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Microscope reveals how bacteria 'breathe' toxic metals
Date:3/16/2009

ia surface the proteins were located.

The microscope detected OmcA all around the edges of the bacteria, wherever the cell membrane contacted the hematite -- which suggests that the protein does indeed enable the bacteria to "breathe" hematite. The protein was even present in a gelatinous ooze that was seeping from the bacteria. This suggests that Shewanella might create the ooze in order to obtain energy from a wider portion of the metal than it can directly touch, Lower said.

In the future, he and his partners want to test their new microscope technique on other types of cells. They also want to test whether Shewanella produces OmcA on the cell surface when exposed to uranium and technetium.


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Contact: Brian Lower
Lower.30@osu.edu
614-247-1676
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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