such as "Introduction", "Conclusion"..etc
October 2006 — To study the bacteria which
survive in extreme cold, scientists no longer have to go to extreme
environments, such as Antarctic lakes and glaciers. Bacteria previously
isolated from polar climates, and have properties which allow them to
survive in extreme cold, have been isolated from soil in temperate
Professor Virginia Walker and her colleagues at Queen's University,
Canada, have developed a technique to isolate bacteria which have
properties to interact with, and modify, ice. This technique involved
the formation of an 'ice finger' (or lolly) to select for bacteria
which will adsorb to ice. These bacteria were then cultured and
identified using their DNA.
The bacteria can modify ice and water in a number of ways. One of
the species identified, Chryseobacterium sp., demonstrated Ice
Recrystallisation Inhibition (IRI), a property that can be exploited in
the production of ice-cream to prevent it from recrystallising and
Other species isolated in this study promote the formation of ice
crystals at temperatures close to melting, a property which is useful
in the production of artificial snow.
Pseudomonas borealis is one species which is not only ice-forming,
it is also thought to be tolerant to cold and could therefore have
advantages for snow-making in artificial environments such as ski
centres and in waste-water purification.
"Selecting for rare microbes that seem to stick to ice has been fun,
but now the real work begins to find out what genes are responsible for
this attraction" Said Professor Walker.
These findings will decrease the costs involved in the further study
of such bacteria and their properties, as scientists will no longer
need expeditions to the poles in order to isolate the bugs; they can
find them in their own backyards.
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