All living cells require iron to live, this includes bacteria and human cells, because iron has essential functions in the cellular metabolism. The problem is, that free iron is actually toxic, so that each organism needs to make sure iron … Continue reading What the presence of iron tells a bacterium about its location
Throughout summer I had a not so nice encounter with the least favourite of all doctors – the dentist. While she was tampering with my teeth, I realised I barely know anything about those bacteria that cause this nasty disease … Continue reading What bacteria do to our teeth
In this article I want to talk about a mechanism that, when I read about it, completely fascinated me. Yes, bacteria can still amaze me with their countless abilities to affect almost everything within our body! A new study just found that bacteria are even able to change our blood type! But as always, let’s start with the basics. We have four different blood types based on the sugars that are on the surface of our blood cells (I am not going to talk about rhesus factors here). These sugar blocks are generally called antigens, because they are recognised by … Continue reading Bacteria changing blood types
Bacteria can be major problems for human health. One of the reasons for that is because they have the ability to form biofilms. What is a biofilm you ask? I am glad you’re here. Bacterial biofilms are defined as a … Continue reading Bacteria building houses
As you might well be aware of by now, our body is full of bacteria. All those little bugs that usually live there are together called the human microbiota. They are the reason why you are never truly alone 😉 Basically on all our surfaces, like the skin, in our nose, mouth, in our urogenital or gastrointestinal tract live bacteria. The skin and the mucosa in our nose and mouth are like a barrier for bacteria to keep them out of our body. This means that our internal organs are basically sterile, no bacterium there to be found… Or are … Continue reading How bacteria get (too) attached
How do bacteria find food? It is an important question as everything and also bacteria need to intake food/nutrients to survive and grow. Think about how you get food. First of all you realise that you are hungry, then you need to know where your next food source is, which can be either your fridge or the nearest take away, and then you move towards it. Bacteria do it very similarly. Interestingly, most bacteria can move or swim towards a nutrient as soon as they are hungry and they know where to find food. This process of bacterial movement according … Continue reading Towards the goodies!
While the last article was about the project I studied in the past, this one will be about the project I am currently working on. Generally, it is about how bacteria sense the presence of iron in an environment where there is only little iron present. Okay, let’s start from the beginning. One reason why I am so fascinated with bacteria, is because they can basically survive in all kinds of different environments. However, these changing environments require proper preparations. Just as you would put on some layers of warm clothes in winter when you go outside, they need to adapt to … Continue reading Bring in the iron!