Micromotors are powered by bacteria, controlled by light

(Phys.org)—When researchers deposit a drop of fluid containing thousands of free-swimming, genetically engineered E. coli onto an array of micromotors, within minutes the micromotors begin rotating. Some of the individual ...

A new way to control microbial metabolism

Microbes can be engineered to produce a variety of useful compounds, including plastics, biofuels, and pharmaceuticals. However, in many cases, these products compete with the metabolic pathways that the cells need to fuel ...

Engineered viruses could fight drug resistance

In the battle against antibiotic resistance, many scientists have been trying to deploy naturally occurring viruses called bacteriophages that can infect and kill bacteria.

Bacteria change behavior to tackle tiny obstacle course

It's not exactly the set of TV's "American Ninja Warrior," but a tiny obstacle course for bacteria has shown researchers how E. coli changes its behavior to rapidly clear obstructions to food. Their work holds implications ...

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Escherichia coli

Escherichia coli (commonly E. coli; pronounced /ˌɛʃɪˈrɪkiə ˈkoʊlaɪ/, /iː ~/, and named for its discoverer), is a Gram negative bacterium that is commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms (endotherms). Most E. coli strains are harmless, but some, such as serotype O157:H7, can cause serious food poisoning in humans, and are occasionally responsible for costly product recalls. The harmless strains are part of the normal flora of the gut, and can benefit their hosts by producing vitamin K2, or by preventing the establishment of pathogenic bacteria within the intestine.

E. coli are not always confined to the intestine, and their ability to survive for brief periods outside the body makes them an ideal indicator organism to test environmental samples for fecal contamination. The bacteria can also be grown easily and its genetics are comparatively simple and easily-manipulated or duplicated through a process of metagenics, making it one of the best-studied prokaryotic model organisms, and an important species in biotechnology and microbiology.

E. coli was discovered by German pediatrician and bacteriologist Theodor Escherich in 1885, and is now classified as part of the Enterobacteriaceae family of gamma-proteobacteria.

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