Tag: Microbial Factories

Swipe and wipe with toilet paper for your smartphone.
Microbial Factories

Toilet Paper for Your Smartphone

Usually when you cross the border or when your flight lands, you’ll receive a welcoming text message that informs you about roaming charges, and maybe sends you a code to get free WiFi access. If you are planning to travel to Tokyo’s Narita International Airport anytime soon, expect to find this information on a roll of tiny toilet paper that you can simultaneously use to disinfect your phone.

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guy does a fecal matter transplant using friend's poop
Microbial Factories

Using Feces as Medicine

Meet freelance-biophysicist Josiah Zayner. He’s one of those people who decided to take matters into his own hands when his life became substantially affected by severe gastrointestinal pain. Taking the matter into his own hands proved to be quite messy, since the matter he was handling consisted of human feces, and not even his own.

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Japanese researchers discovered bacteria which eats plastic
Plastic Planet

Plastic-Eating Bacteria Are Coming

Bacteria are everywhere. Therefore, it’s a safe assumption that they should also be present in plastic recycle factories. With this line of reasoning Japanese researchers took 250 soil samples in the piles of waste and the wastewater of a recycle factory in the Japanese city Sakai. There they hoped to find a microbe, which, after years of inhabiting the plastic pool, had naturally evolved the ability to digest plastic (polyethylene terephthalate, or PET to be exact).

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Microbial Factories

Self-Healing Concrete

Henk Jonkers, a microbiologist at the Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands, has developed a way to make the cracks in concrete structures heal themselves. This is accomplished by embedding the concrete with limestone producing bacteria – the Bacilus Pseudofirmus or the Sporosacina Pasteurii. 

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Microbial Factories

Bacteria and Drones: New Ways to Collect Samples

Sample collection in hard-to-reach and harsh environments has often made scientific research a costly and dangerous exercise. Luckily technology has helped us overcome some of these difficulties.

Although costly robots, for instance, have for a long time been the equipment of choice to collect samples in space. But there is a new competitor for the robot space-sample collector. Experiments have shown that a remarkable amount of small organisms are able to survive in space. ESA researchers have send living kombucha bacteria into space to look for signs of life.

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