Among the topics are the self-assembly and application of cellulosomal components, the protein-aided mineralization of inorganic nanostructures, bio-inspired biomolecular supramolecular self-assemblies and their applications, virus-like particles, restoring vision using microbial rhodopsins, and magnetosomes
The finding is significant in showing that this bacterium has specific genes to synthesize magnetite and greigite, and that the proportion of these magnetosomes varies with the chemistry of the environment," said Enriqueta Barrera, program director in NSF's Division of Earth Sciences.
A detailed look at its DNA revealed that BW-1 has two sets of magnetosome genes, unlike other such bacteria, which produce only one mineral and have only one set of magnetosome genes.
Magnetotactic bacteria (ABOVE), which are typically found in oxygen depleted water, grow tiny magnetic crystals called magnetosomes which they use for navigation.
Synchrotron technology has allowed scientists to 'see' the magnetism of magnetosomes within individual bacteria cells, which sheds light on how the tiny magnets grow in response to genetic and environmental factors.
The researchers focused their study on magnetotactic bacteria, which contain chains of magnetic crystals, called magnetosomes.
However, the new study claims that previous modelling methods were inaccurate and new calculations prove that all known magnetosomes do posses the right magnetic qualities needed to facilitate navigation.
Among the amazing pictures generated by this technique is one of an actin-like filament, MamK, decorated with a chain of iron-containing magnetosomes
in Magnetospirillum, a bacterium that can orient itself in relation to the earth's magnetic field.
A good fossil is something that is difficult to make inorganically, and these magnetosomes
are very good fossils,'' Kirschvink said
Inside these creatures, minuscule chains of crystal particles called magnetosomes serve as compasses that point the way to relatively safe and nutrient-rich habitats.
For one thing, the newly identified bacteria--which live in salty, sulfur-ridden waters and sediments -- make their magnetosomes out of iron sulfide, a magnetic mineral known as greigite ([Fe.
Discusses magnetic nanoparticles including nanowires, nanotubes, zero-dimensional nanosperes and naturally existing magnetosomes