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Dormant Bacteria Can Still Calculate When To Return To Life

Some dormant bacteria can still calculate when to return to life after going into a state of dormancy where their life functions cease when circumstances get a little more favorable. These undead cells, which are also called spores, can survive high pressure, heat, and even the harsh conditions of space while in this state, and they can stay in this state for a very long time.

Author:Suleman Shah
Reviewer:Han Ju
Oct 07, 20220 Shares467 Views
Some dormant bacteria can still calculate when to return to lifeafter going into a state of dormancy where their lifefunctions cease when circumstances get a little more favorable. These undead cells, which are also called spores, can survive high pressure, heat, and even the harsh conditions of space while in this state, and they can stay in this state for a very long time.
According to a recent study, these bacteria simply count how frequently they come into contact with nutrients to determine when it is time to revive or germinate. Even though these bacteria spores are in a dormant stage, they are still able to gather information about their surroundings.
Researchers found that spores slowly release the electrochemical energy they have stored inside them. This lets them know when it's time to start living again, even if there aren't any clear signs from the outside.
According to Gürol Süel, a microbiologist at the University of California, San Diego,
They appear to have literally no measurable biological activity.- Gürol Süel, a microbiologist at the University of California, San Diego
Since positively charged potassium atoms in the center of spores can move around without the cell needing energy, Süel and his colleagues thought that potassium may play a role in waking up the cells. Therefore, the group subjected B. subtilis spores to nutrients and employed fluorescent dyes to monitor the efflux of intracellular potassium.

The thinking undead: How dormant bacteria calculate their return to life

The core's electrical charge became increasingly negative as more potassium left it during each exposure. When the central part of the spore became negatively charged enough, germination happened, like when the cork on a bottle of champagne pops.
To germinate, different spores need different numbers of exposures, much like different corks need different amounts of twisting to open. Experiments showed that spores that couldn't move potassium around didn't change their electric charge much, even though they had plenty of food, so they were less likely to "pop" back to life.
From the timing of brain cells' zipping out messages to each other to the snapping of a Venus flytrap, changes in a cell's electrical charge play a crucial role throughout the tree of life. Süel is thrilled by the discovery that spores utilize electrical charges to program their alarms.
"You want to identify principles in biology, processes that traverse systems, fields, and frontiers," he adds. The unusual and extreme biology of spores is fascinating, but that's not all they're good for. Some are quite harmful and can result in food poisoning or even anthrax. Because spores are immune to many drugs, learning how they germinate could lead to a strategy for eliminating them once and for all.

Conclusion

However, there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered regarding how spores start to develop, such as whether or not they can reset their potassium count.
According to Kaito Kikuchi, a biologist now at Reveal Biosciences in San Diego who conducted the work while at University of California, San Diego,
We really are in the beginnings of trying to fill in that black box.- Kaito Kikuchi, a biologist now at Reveal Biosciences in San Diego
However, finding out how spores are able to detect their environment while they are essentially dead is an intriguing place to start.
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Suleman Shah

Suleman Shah

Author
Suleman Shah is a researcher and freelance writer. As a researcher, he has worked with MNS University of Agriculture, Multan (Pakistan) and Texas A & M University (USA). He regularly writes science articles and blogs for science news website immersse.com and open access publishers OA Publishing London and Scientific Times. He loves to keep himself updated on scientific developments and convert these developments into everyday language to update the readers about the developments in the scientific era. His primary research focus is Plant sciences, and he contributed to this field by publishing his research in scientific journals and presenting his work at many Conferences. Shah graduated from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (Pakistan) and started his professional carrier with Jaffer Agro Services and later with the Agriculture Department of the Government of Pakistan. His research interest compelled and attracted him to proceed with his carrier in Plant sciences research. So, he started his Ph.D. in Soil Science at MNS University of Agriculture Multan (Pakistan). Later, he started working as a visiting scholar with Texas A&M University (USA). Shah’s experience with big Open Excess publishers like Springers, Frontiers, MDPI, etc., testified to his belief in Open Access as a barrier-removing mechanism between researchers and the readers of their research. Shah believes that Open Access is revolutionizing the publication process and benefitting research in all fields.
Han Ju

Han Ju

Reviewer
Hello! I'm Han Ju, the heart behind World Wide Journals. My life is a unique tapestry woven from the threads of news, spirituality, and science, enriched by melodies from my guitar. Raised amidst tales of the ancient and the arcane, I developed a keen eye for the stories that truly matter. Through my work, I seek to bridge the seen with the unseen, marrying the rigor of science with the depth of spirituality. Each article at World Wide Journals is a piece of this ongoing quest, blending analysis with personal reflection. Whether exploring quantum frontiers or strumming chords under the stars, my aim is to inspire and provoke thought, inviting you into a world where every discovery is a note in the grand symphony of existence. Welcome aboard this journey of insight and exploration, where curiosity leads and music guides.
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