CO2-consuming bacteria

12 January 2020
Presented by Amalia Thomas
Production by Amalia Thomas.


Escherichia coli: Scanning electron micrograph of Escherichia coli, grown in culture and adhered to a cover slip.


Scientists have found a way to make organisms not need food at all. Bacteria usually rely on some sort of sugar to survive, but a group at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel made a population of a common bacteria able to feed on carbon dioxide, very much like plants do. They did this by genetically modifying how the bacteria digests its food, and then putting them in a tank with very little food - sugar - and a lot of carbon dioxide. In only a few hundred generations, these bacteria evolved to feed on the carbon dioxide in the air instead. Amalia Thomas reports...


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