Wednesday 19 December 2018

Shocking news: bacteria in gut produce electricity

 

Charges: Some electro-bacteria are known to cause illnesses
Charges: Some electro-bacteria are known to cause illnesses

Sarah Knapton

Bacteria are known to play a crucial role in the human gut, but scientists have discovered they hold a shocking secret - they produce electricity.

US researchers have found that hundreds of types of bugs produce electrical charges that can make us fall ill.

Previously bacteria that produce electricity have been found in extreme environments, deep within mines or at the bottom of lakes, where they use the ability to take in nutrients.

But scientists have noticed a similar process occurs in the gut. Some electro-bacteria are known to be responsible for human illnesses, such as gangrene and listeria and those that cause hospital-acquired infections and food-related sicknesses.

Scientists think the discovery will be useful to researchers who are trying to create "living batteries" from microbes. The research was published in the journal 'Nature'. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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