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Amazing structural reasons why you don’t like sponges in your kitchen

These different types of bacteria each glow in different colors and are designed to allow researchers to track their growth, but they breed in harmony with each other thanks to their structured environment.Credits: Andrea Weiss, Zach Holmes, Yuanchi Ha, Duke University

Researchers at Duke University have discovered some basic but surprising facts. Your kitchen sponge is a better incubator for a diverse bacterial community than a laboratory Petri dish. But it’s not just the trapped remnants that are so happy and productive that the treasure trove of microorganisms is swarming. It is the structure of the sponge itself.


In a series of experiments, scientists have learned how different microorganisms Race May affect each other Vital statistics It depends on structural environmental factors such as complexity and size.Some bacteria Diverse communities Others prefer being lonely. and, Physical environment The highest level of biodiversity is achieved by allowing both species to lead the best lives.

The soil provides this kind of optimal mixed residential environment, as does the kitchen sponge.

Duke Biomedical engineer Their results suggest that industries that use bacteria to perform tasks such as pollution cleanup and commodities production should take into account the structural environment.

Results were published online in the journal on February 9th Nature Chemical Biology..

Bacteria are like people who survive a pandemic. Some people find it difficult to isolate, while others breed, “said Lingchong You, a professor of biomedical engineering at Duke University. There is an intermediate amount of species, integration that maximizes its overall coexistence. “

Microbial communities are mixed to varying degrees throughout nature. The soil provides many corners and gaps for different populations to grow without much interaction from their neighbors. The same is true for the individual water droplets on the top of the leaves.

But when humans throw a lot Bacterial species Together they are placed in unstructured goops to produce products such as alcohol, biofuels and medicines. Usually it’s on a plate or even in a big bat. In their experiments, you and his lab show why these industrial efforts may be wise to start taking a structural approach to their manufacturing efforts.

Amazing structural reasons why you don't like sponges in your kitchen

Credits: Andrea Weiss, Zach Holmes, Yuanchi Ha, Duke University

Researchers have bar-coded about 80 E. coli strains to help track population growth. Bacteria were then mixed in different combinations on laboratory growth plates with different potential living spaces, from 6 large wells to 1,536 small wells. Large wells approached an environment where microbial species were freely mixed, and small wells mimicked the space in which the species could sustain themselves.

The results were the same regardless of the size of the habitat. The Small well It began with a handful of seeds evolving into a community with only one or two surviving strains. Similarly, large wells that began with widespread biodiversity ended experiments with only one or two species remaining.

“The small part really hurt the species that depend on interacting with other species to survive, but the big part eliminated the members (loneliness) who suffer from these interactions,” you say. I did. “But the middle division allowed for the greatest diversity of survivors of the microbial community.”

The results, you say, create a framework for researchers working with diverse bacterial communities to begin testing which structural environment is most effective in their pursuit. They also point out why kitchen sponges are a very useful habitat for microorganisms. It mimics the different degrees of separation found in healthy soil and provides different separation layers in combination with shared spaces of different sizes.

To prove this, researchers also experimented with regular household sponge strips. The results showed that it was an even better incubator of microbial diversity than any of the experimental equipment they tested.

“After all, sponges are a very easy way to implement multi-level divisions to strengthen the entire microbial community,” you said. “Maybe that’s why it’s really dirty. The structure of the sponge makes it a perfect home for microbes.”


Urban bacteria are a diverse group


For more information:
Feilun Wu et al, Modulation of microbial community dynamics by spatial division, Nature Chemical Biology (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41589-021-00961-w

Provided by
Duke University

Quote: The amazing structural reason you hate your kitchen sponge (February 17, 2022) is from https://phys.org/news/2022-02-kitchen-sponge-disgusting.html February 2022 Got 17 days

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Amazing structural reasons why you don’t like sponges in your kitchen

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