Glue made from genetically modified bacteria can knit cracks in concrete
By Niall Firth | DailyMail.co.uk
A bacteria that can knit together cracks in concrete structures by producing a special ‘glue’ has been developed by British scientists.
The genetically-modified microbe has been programmed to swim down fine cracks in the concrete. Once at the bottom it produces a mixture of calcium carbonate and a bacterial glue which combine to ‘knit’ the building back together.
The ‘BacillaFilla’ eventually hardens to become the same strength as the surrounding concrete and is designed to make buildings last longer.
Filler: The bacteria could be injected into a crack in a concrete wall and would self-germinate until it had filled the gap.
Joint project instructor Dr Jennifer Hallinan said: ‘Around five per cent of all man-made carbon dioxide emissions are from the production of concrete, making it a significant contributor to global warming.
‘Finding a way of prolonging the lifespan of existing structures means we could reduce this environmental impact and work towards a more sustainable solution.
’This could be particularly useful in earthquake zones where hundreds of buildings have to be flattened because there is currently no easy way of repairing the cracks and making them structurally sound.”
The bacterium used by researchers is called Bacillus subtilis and is commonly found in soil.
The BacillaFilla spores only start germinating when they make contact with concrete – triggered by the very specific pH of the material – and they have an in-built self-destruct gene which means they would be unable to survive in the environment.
Once the cells have germinated, they swarm down the fine cracks in the concrete and are able to sense when they reach the bottom because of the clumping of the bacteria.
This clumping activates concrete repair, with the cells differentiating into three types: cells which produce calcium carbonate crystals, cells which act as reinforcing fibres and cells which produce a glue which acts as a binding agent and fills the gap.
The microbial glue was designed by students at Newcastle University as part of a major international science competition in the US.
Article from: dailymail.co.uk
Bacteria Can Stand-Up and "Walk"
Bacteria and Phytoplankton Affect the Weather
Alexander the Great Killed by Toxic Bacteria?
Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
An Input/Output Device for the Brain - Made of Light, Algae, and Bacteria
Much of Britain was Exposed to Bacteria Sprayed in Secret Trials (The Guardian, 2002)
Too Much Technology Kills Good Bacteria
Latest News from our Front Page
60 Years of Research Links Gluten Grains to Schizophrenia
Does the consumption of gluten-containing grains contribute to psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia?
Believe it or not, this question has been asked for well over 60 years by researchers who stumbled upon evidence that the removal of gluten from the diet results in improved symptoms, or conversely, that gluten grain consumption leads to higher prevalence of both neurological and psychiatric problems.
A Sour Deception: Citric Acid Comes From GMO Black Mold, Not Fruit
Just what is your food made of, anyway? Try industrial synthesis, genetically modified mold secretions, hydrochloric acid, mercury-contaminated caustic soda, ferrocyanideâ€¦ and, of course, lots of GMO corn.
If common ingredients like â€ścitric acidâ€ť and â€śascorbic acid (Vitamin C)â€ť sound normal and familiar enough that you practically conjure up an image of the flourishing orchard they were grown in â€“ then ...
Thousands of migrants dumped on Britain as French wriggle out of border promise
Thousands of migrants could be dumped on Britainâ€™s doorstep if France tears up a historic border agreement, it was claimed last night.
Officials have vowed to do â€śeverything in their powerâ€ť to wriggle out of a treaty moving the UK border to Calais.
The besieged townâ€™s mayor Natacha Bouchart is prepared to spark a major diplomatic row by opening the frontier ...
Richard III laid to rest at Leicester Cathedral
King Richard III was today laid to rest at Leicester Cathedral - more than 500 years after his death in battle.
The monarch, who reigned from 1483 to 1485, was the last of the Plantagenet dynasty.
Actor Benedict Cumberbatch read a poem by Carol Ann Duffy during the service. Also in attendance was Robert Lindsay, who played Richard III in a version ...
Sweden - A new paradise for Romani beggars
Thanks to the European Union and freedom of movement that follows with membership Sweden has been flooded with gypsies from Eastern Europe.
Most member states have cracked down hard on the phenomenon of organized begging with legislation and forceful evictions so the Romani (colloquially known as Gypsies) who are engaged in this venture have moved their business to the country where ...
|More News » |