Magnetic Microbes Undergoing Biotech Research
According to a recent press release from ScienceDaily.com, magnetotactic bacteria, the smallest organisms to use a biological compass, are currently undergoing extensive research as scientists look to uncover exactly how they create their cellular magnets. In a study published online in Genome Research, researchers have used genome sequencing to unlock new secrets about these magnetic microbes that could accelerate many research studies in both biotechnology and nanotechnology.
So what makes magnetotactic bacteria different from other forms? The answer is in the air. Magnetotactic bacteria, in order to obtain more ample oxygen, evolved using the Earth's magnetic field to orient itself and swim downward – exactly the direction a microbe must move to locate low oxygen areas in lakes and oceans. Using tiny magnetic crystals as a compass, the bacteria was able to find more oxygen and consequently, sustain life. This development, should it be further researched, could shed light on many more aspects of internal compassing, as well as the development of magnetic forces within various life forms.
Posted by Jay Roberts at 01:59 PM | Permalink