Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researcher aims to understand one of nature's strangest secrets: Magnetotactic bacteria

Date:
October 15, 2012
Source:
University of Huddersfield
Summary:
New research aims to unlock one of the most intriguing processes in nature by looking into the process of magnetotactic bacteria. These organisms develop membrane-encapsulated nano-particles known as magnetosomes which allow bacteria to orient themselves along Earth's magnetic field lines in order to migrate to more favorable environments.

Example of magnetotactic bacteria.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Huddersfield

Ph.D. researcher Amy Monnington is making a key contribution to research that will unlock the understanding of one of the most intriguing processes in nature by looking into the process of magnetotactic bacteria. These organisms develop membrane-encapsulated nano-particles known as magnetosomes which allow bacteria to orient themselves along the earth’s magnetic field lines in order to migrate to more favourable environments.

Magnetosomes contain the iron-oxygen composite, magnetite, which is also found in more complex organisms, such as honey bees, salmon and pigeons, and presumed to play a key role in navigation and now, the Department of Chemical and Biological Sciences at the University of Huddersfield, is working on a project which aims for greater understanding of magnetite formation. .

Related Articles


Although magnetotactic bacteria were first discovered in 1975, the production of their magnetite crystals is still not fully understood.

Now, the Department of Chemical and Biological Sciences at the University of Huddersfield is working on a project which aims for greater understanding of magnetite formation. It is the basis of Amy Monnington’s PhD thesis and the project, supervised by Dr David Cooke.

She recently presented a paper – Understanding the Biomineralisation of Magnetite within Magnetotactic Bacteria – at the CCP5 Conference that took place at the University of Huddersfield and after graduation has been invited to join the biomineralisation research project.

Its original contribution is to discover how magnetite crystals form within magnetotactic bacteria, with the ultimate aim of understanding biomineralisation processes as a whole to enable commercial production of magnetite and other biominerals.

Numerous commercial applications for magnetite nano-particles have previously been considered, with their use as contrast agents for MRI and tumour specific drug carriers in development.

However, such applications are not commercially viable at present, says Amy.

“This is because the mechanisms of biomineralisation are not completely known, thus the production of magnetite on an industrial scale is time-consuming and costly,” she explains.

“We are trying to understand the processes in order to be able to produce the particles more economically.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Huddersfield. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Huddersfield. "Researcher aims to understand one of nature's strangest secrets: Magnetotactic bacteria." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121015085419.htm>.
University of Huddersfield. (2012, October 15). Researcher aims to understand one of nature's strangest secrets: Magnetotactic bacteria. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121015085419.htm
University of Huddersfield. "Researcher aims to understand one of nature's strangest secrets: Magnetotactic bacteria." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121015085419.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) A string of black bear attacks has Florida officials considering lifting the ban on hunting the animals to control their population. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) Experts estimate Ebola has wiped out one-third of the world&apos;s gorillas and chimpanzees. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) Activists hope the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) will label killer whales endangered, allowing lawyers to sue a Miami aquarium to release an orca into the wild after 44 years. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

Buzz60 (Jan. 23, 2015) Some &apos;healthy&apos; foods are actually fattening. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) shines a light on the sneaky foods like nuts, seeds, granola, trail mix, avocados, guacamole, olive oil, peanut butter, fruit juices and salads that are good for you...but not so much for your waistline. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins