Researchers Discover New Bacteria That Can Save Mankind


Mankind's carbon footprint is increasing every day leading to massive climate change. To curb the increasing carbon dioxide produced by human activities, researchers have developed bacteria that feed only on these emissions. Researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS) in central Israel published the discovery in the Cell.

Researchers Discover New Bacteria That Can Save Mankind


Carbon Dioxide Eating Bacteria

The newly developed bacteria build the entire biomass of their body using the carbon present in the atmospheric air. The researchers say it will aid in developing future technology that can drop the carbon dioxide accumulation in the air. More importantly, it helps in fighting global warming. The published paper says the bacteria were completely weaned off sugar eventually.

Going into the details, the scientists have 'reprogrammed' the E.Coli bacteria, which mainly thrives on consuming sugars. In turn, they release carbon dioxide, which they again use from the environment and produce the sugars they need to survive.

Now, the researchers have traced the essential genes in this process and infused it to some bacteria genome in their lab. The researchers have inserted a gene in the bacteria that allows the microorganism to grasp energy from a substance called formate. Over time, scientists have altered the genes in a laboratory-infused evolution which gradually changed the diet of the bacteria.

Researchers Discover New Bacteria That Can Save Mankind

Bacteria Evolves To Consume Carbon Dioxide

The bacteria were able to gradually change their diet away from sugar consumption. Every stage of the process, the altered, cultured bacteria received a decreasing amount of sugar. At the same time, the bacteria were exposed to an abundance of carbon dioxide and formate.


As the evolution process continued, the next-generation bacteria had completely weaned off sugar dependence. After roughly six months of modifying the new diet, the bacteria were able to adapt to the new nutritional diet. Researchers say that the change in habits of the bacteria will greatly benefit the Earth.

If we go to the applications of the new bacteria, biotechnology-related companies can use this yeast or bacterial cell cultures. Commodity chemicals can be produced using these bacteria instead of the huge amounts of corn syrup that's generally used today.

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