Sunday, November 19, 2017

The bacterium has landed

Bacteria tend to grow in two different forms; planktonic form and a bio film form. Planktonic form is when bacteria exists as free floating single cells in water, whereas the bio film form is when bacteria has the ability to grow on many different surfaces. An example of bio film is dental plaque that grows on teeth, or pond scum which grows on the surface of ponds and creates a film over the water. Bio film form is responsible for about 80% of the infections in the human body. It is initiated by the bacteria's ability to sense a surface, resulting in a metabolic response then the bacteria adheres to the surface, and colonizes it. Although scientists know that the bacteria can sense the surface, they don't know how they do it. These scientists discovered separate mechanisms that bacteria have that allow them to recognize a surface which allows them to attach and multiply. There were 2 types of mechanisms the scientists researched which were the rotary flagellum and retractable pilus. They experimented with different strains that had different mutations in a bacteria's expression of the rotary flagellum. They discovered that bacteria that had a mutation in the rotor and stator components of the flagellum had a decreased ability to attach and adhere to surfaces.  By better understanding how bacteria sense and adhere to different surfaces, we can create different materials that we can use in hospitals and labs. This would result in bacteria not being able to attach to different surfaces, which would reduce their spread and reduce bacterial infections.

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