CO2-consuming bacteria

Do you also find it difficult to control what you eat? Scientists have made bacteria not need food at all...
12 January 2020
Presented by Amalia Thomas
Production by Amalia Thomas.

E_COLI_BACTERIA

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

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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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