We are acquainted with the phenomenon of bacterial infections on the bruised skin. Bacteria tend to rush towards the cut and enter inside our body. They attack the WBCs and if they win, they cause a serious infection.
Well! Each and every one of us is familiar with the disease-causing attributes of bacteria but very few of us are aware of the beneficial use of bacteria. ‘Probiotics’ or the science of researching over the benefits of bacteria has much to unleash yet, lot many benefits are unveiled. Thus, herein, we aim at bringing to you, the essential benefits of bacteria which would astonish you.
1 . Bacteria are essential for nitrogen fixation.
Well! Legumes or pulses are a rich source for proteins. This is because in the roots of the leguminous plants, dwells the Rhizobium sp. These bacteria along with their other partners fix the inorganic nitrogen from the atmosphere into organic form which is absorbed by plants and utilized in growth and development.
2. Gut bacteria are necessary for digestion.
Gut bacteria or the intestinal fauna in the human body are useful for human body. Intestinal fauna usually constitute of Escherchia coli. They not only help in the digestion of unused energy-substrates but also stimulate the growth and development of the cell. Additionally, they build up the immunity of the body by repressing the growth of numerous harmful pathogens.
3. Bacteria are used in production of insulin.
Bacteria are known to multiply very quickly at an extremely high rate via the process of binary fission. Thus, bacteria are widely used in the production of Humuline, the artificially produced hormone which functions similarly as insulin thus, controlling the blood sugar level of those diabetic patients who cannot produce insulin. This is done by the Recombinant DNA Technology wherein the plasmid from a bacterial genome is incorporated with the genes producing insulin and the bacteria with the incorporated insulin gene multiply thus, producing insulin in large amounts.
4. Bacteria help in production of vaccines.
We all are familiar with the BCG vaccine. BCG vaccine tends to provide immunity against the tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is a dangerous disease and in the developing countries like, India, TB takes the lives of many people. Thus, BCG vaccine constituting the live TB bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis is administered in the body of newborns to help them acquire immunity.
5. Bacteria help in detecting level of pollution.
Swiss scientist Jan Van der Meer has tested out the possibilities of biosensor bacteria which can be used to detect the pollutants in the water source. These bacteria tend to give bio-signals when they come in contact with the chemicals or precisely, pollutants. This is amongst the latest discoveries in the bacteriology but is a groundbreaking breakthrough as in the coming years, it can be used to detect and combat air pollution and soil pollution too.
6. Oil-cleaning bacteria cleans the marine environment.
In 2005, the Indian-American scientist, Dr. Anand Mohan Chakraborty discovered the genetically engineered oil-eating bacteria, Pseudomonas sp. They are a great friend to the marine organisms living deep in the sea. Basically, after the oil-spill, it is very difficult to clean the crude oil from the surface of the sea. The crude oil hampers marine life greatly by not only killing the marine animals but by disrupting their reproduction cycles also. However, the oil-cleaning bacteria consume over the crude oil thus, removing its traces from the surface of the sea.
7. Bacteria facilitate formation of dairy-products.
We are very well-acquainted with this use of bacteria. The Lactobacillus is the prime agent which acts upon milk to produce curd, cheese and other dairy-products which are highly nutritious and healthy. When some acidic substance like lemon juice is added to the milk, the pH level gets lowered down and the bacteria act upon he milk proteins to coagulate and get denatured thus, producing curd, and other dairy-product. These dairy-products tend to have high amount of whey protein then milk.
8. Bacteria can store data.
According to the researchers based in Hong Kong, one gram of Escherchia coli can store data of 900 terabytes. The data like, images, documents etc can be compressed stored in the bacterial genome which could be later retrieved. This phenomenon is termed as bio-cryptography. The best part of this method of storing data is that it is impossible to hack the data stored in this system.
9. Bacteria as bio-fuel.
The scientists have found a way to create bio-fuel in large quantities using the famous E.coli. It is notable that if the bacteria is fed upon the sugar source, it generates bio-fuel as waste which could be used by humans as a renewable source of energy. The bio-fuel can be produced in large amounts because bacteria multiply very fast.
10. Bacteria can repair concrete.
The students of the Newcastle University have found that bacteria sense the pH of the crack of the concrete and reproduce till the bacterial colony fills it. Then, the bacterial cells tend to clump and perform three different functions of producing calcium carbonate, reinforcing fibres and acting as glue hereby, repairing the crack. Thus, bacteria act as glue holding the concrete of skyscrapers intact!
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