Let’s cure ourselves with bacteria

Bacteria are used to make a high number of pharmacologically important substances. Actinomycetes, for instance, are thread-like bacteria that morphologically resemble mildews. They are among the most important producers of antibiotics, such as streptomycin and tetracycline.
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is also produced in laboratory by bacteria.
Some special bacterial strains are used as test micro-organisms to determine the antibiotic and vitamin content of some foods or drugs. Microbial strain means a bacterium that, although belonging to a given species, has distinctive morphological and metabolic features, such as, for instance, specific resistance to antibiotics, production of some substances or resistance to specific environmental conditions. A bacterial colony is instead a cluster of cells that is visible to the naked eye, mostly round in shape, and is originated by the proliferation of strains. A colony consists therefore of a very high number of bacteria from the same strain.

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From the Multimedia section

Facts

  • Bio-luminescence

    Many sea animals, including a lot of fish and molluscs that live in the dark in the ocean depths...

    Bacteria as detergents

    Enzymes are proteins produced by the cells of all living organisms...

    Bacteria as miners

    The ability of chemoautotrophic bacteria to take energy from...

  • Bacteria as Sherlock Holmes

    A drop of blood, a fragment of skin or a hair found on the scene of a crime can supply…

    Down-pouring bacteria

    It sounds incredible, but recent researches have found that bacteria can cause some atmospheric phenomena...

    High-fashion bacteria

    Some bacteria, the Clostridia, were used to make textile fibres...

  • Let’s eat!

    The economic importance of fungi is increased by the “edible” mushrooms...

    Who lives well with low oxygen?

    <i><span style="font-style: normal; " class="Apple-style-span"><i><em>Aquandriella fermentas</em> </i>lives in stagnant waters and can stand complete anaerobiosis...</span></i>

    Decomposing organisms

    The ability to destroy organic matter has been used by man...

  • 13 May 2011

    Bio-luminescence

    Many sea animals, including a lot of fish and molluscs that live in the dark in the ocean depths...

    Bacteria as detergents

    Enzymes are proteins produced by the cells of all living organisms...

  • Bacteria as miners

    The ability of chemoautotrophic bacteria to take energy from...

    Bacteria as Sherlock Holmes

    A drop of blood, a fragment of skin or a hair found on the scene of a crime can supply…

  • Down-pouring bacteria

    It sounds incredible, but recent researches have found that bacteria can cause some atmospheric phenomena...

    High-fashion bacteria

    Some bacteria, the Clostridia, were used to make textile fibres...

  • Bio-luminescence

    Many sea animals, including a lot of fish and molluscs that live in the dark in the ocean depths...

  • Bacteria as detergents

    Enzymes are proteins produced by the cells of all living organisms...

  • Bacteria as miners

    The ability of chemoautotrophic bacteria to take energy from...