Thursday, 1 November 2007

Useful bacteria


I was watching a science program on the TV the other day and was amazed at how much we can benefit from such small creatures as bacteria. Mostly they have been considered harmful as they cause disease, but we would not have any wine or lovely, smelly cheese or even yoghurt without bacteria.

I was baffled to discover that bacteria are used to restore the fa├žade of limestone of the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, France. The bacteria is first sprayed on to the limestone, and then feed by spraying nutrients onto the surface several additional times in order for the bacteria to form new limestone crystals.

And the Chinese apparently are into the use of bio-gas. Sounds funny when “clean energy” is made out of ordinary manure and turning it into fashionable, like it has been done in China is even more hilarious. But one thing though, as long as there is life on earth there is always going to be a fresh supply of manure to use for energy. Fresh manure means fresh energy for cooking, heating of the house and water and even for electricity to light your light bulbs.

There are even bacteria that have genetically been modified into resist radioactivity. The bacteria called Super Conan are kept isolated as it is alien to avoid contamination with other bacteria. As Super Conan is resistant to radioactivity it will come in handy when needed to neutralize radioactive waste sites as it feeds on the radioactivity making it neutral in faster time than it would do on its' own. But I still hope there never will be any need for Super Conan bacteria anywhere.

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