1. “Survivors from space”: that’s how astronauts called these #bacteria 👩🚀 Why? They survived 533 days on the exterior of the International Space Station! 🚀🛰️
Bacteria won’t stop surprising us! Now the German Aerospace Center has discovered that some microorganisms, including bacteria, have survived on the exterior of the International Space Station for 533 days. This discovery was part of an experiment to investigate if organisms can resist harsh environments such as on the surface of other planets. We still don’t know if we can find bacteria on Mars, but one thing is clear, they are great survivors! Read more>
2. The fruit fly will have a say in the current fight against resistant #bacteria. 🦟Its genome holds a mighty antimicrobial molecule.
Living organisms aren’t defenceless against infections. One of the first lines of the body against pathogens are some molecules called antimicrobial peptides. There is little known about them but researchers have already an interest in them for the therapeutic potential. This recent study shows promising results after studying the peptide molecules of fruit flies. The antimicrobial peptides of these flies attack mainly Gram-negative bacteria which are the most common to become superbugs. This is a great step forward in the fight against bacterial infection. Discover more>
3. The untold secrets about #bacteria are now revealed in this exhibition of the Oxford Natural History Museum @morethanadodo Don’t miss it out!
If you are close to Oxford, don’t miss out this exhibition! It is a great initiative to bring the benefits of bacteria closer to people. Discover how important bacteria are to understand our bodies and to answer some of the more significant questions about life. These tiny organisms had and will have a big influence on the history of Earth. It’s not so long ago that we know about them, and there are still plenty of secrets to be revealed! If you can’t visit the exhibitions don’t worry, follow this link to discover more about the secrets of bacteria.
4. “No animals were harmed in the making of this burger” 🐂 Impossible? Not for #SynBio! Check the new vegan burgers available now in Burger King.
Burger King has started selling a new vegan burger, they call it the “Impossible Whopper”! It’s the result of a collaboration with the start-up Impossible Foods and it’s been possible thanks to the aid of synthetic biology. This company found a way to cultivate “heme”, the molecule that literally makes the meat taste like meat, using a species of yeast. Once cultivated, they mix it with other vegetarian ingredients to make the patty and the resulting burger feels and tastes like meat! Even the people from their team struggled to find the differences! Discover more>
5. Meet the plastic-eating #bacteria! These #AwesomeMicrobes can help us to clean up the environment!♻️🌍
Our #AwesomeMicrobes of April was for Idionella sakaiensis. These bacteria could be the solution to our plastic wastes problems. They take care of the environment better than us 🌍
6. With great power comes great responsibility 🕷 These #bacteria have been modified to produce spider silk, a very resistant material useful for spatial missions 🚀
In outer space, the resistance of materials is crucial! You might be thinking of steel, but nature provides us with substances with mechanical properties that go beyond the best synthetic materials. Spider silk, for example. The problem comes when we have to mass produce it! Thanks to Synbio, it’s possible to engineer bacteria that produce the spider silk. Although its mechanical properties are not still the same, now researchers have found an alternative to ensure its stability: using bacteria to produce only the small blocks that form spider silk and subsequently assemble them to generate the final spider silk fibre. Read more>
7. Here comes the #AgarArt challenge of April! 🎨 Let’s picture the Earth beauty by using #bacteria! 🌍 We can’t wait to see your amazing results! 😍 #EarthDay
In April we celebrated #EarthDay with our third challenge for agar artists!🌍
8. #Bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms made entirely of glass! @lukejerram is the British artist behind these beautiful pieces of art.
With this artwork, Luke Jerram wanted to create alternative representations of viruses and bacteria to the ones we are used to from books and media. His sculptures are colourless, made entirely of glass and some of them are almost 30 meters long! They have decorated the big galleries of museums around the world, such as the Metropolitan Museum of New York or the Oxford University Museum. It is good to see how microbes inspire artists to create astonishing works! Discover more about Luke Jerram work here>
9. Quick and useful!🎥 Interesting video about the differences between #bacteria and #viruses!
Which are the difference between bacteria and viruses? They might seem similar, but there are many distinctions between them. For example, although both are tiny, the largest virus is still tinier than the smallest bacteria! Another example is that bacteria can live almost everywhere, but viruses can’t survive by themselves, they need a host. If you want to know more, the Smithsonian museum has collected in one of their videos the most significant differences between these organisms. Very useful! Discover more>
#bacteria species like brightness and luxury… but only one of them actually exists! Which one do you think it’s real? #SynbioQuiz
Here are the results of our quiz: 49% Produces gold 👑, 47% Eats diamonds 💎 and 4% No way, you’re kidding! And the right answer was…A! 🙌
The bacterium Cupravidus metallidurans transforms toxic gold compounds into harmless gold nuggets. These bacteria take up gold soluble compounds, but they are unable to pump them out, so they become toxic. In order to survive, they have developed an enzymatic way to transform these gold compounds into metallic gold that is more difficult to absorb. Discover more about this #AwesomeMicrobes here>