These Living Bricks Use Bacteria To Build Themselves

A new living substance can transform from a wet sand mixture into a solid brick, and even help to reproduce copies of itself. From a report: Researchers from the University of Colorado, Boulder, used a type of photosynthetic bacteria that absorbs carbon dioxide, sunlight, and nutrients and produces calcium carbonate — a rigid compound found in rocks, pearls, and seashells. They grew the bacteria in a warm mixture of salt water and other nutrients and combined it with sand and gelatin. The mixture was poured into a mold, and as it cooled the gelatin set, forming a “scaffold” able to support further bacterial growth. The bacteria deposited calcium carbonate throughout the scaffold, turning the soft sludge into a harder substance after about a day. The mixture looks green initially, but the color fades as it dries. The research was published in the journal Matter and was funded by DARPA, the US military’s research arm.

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Source: Slashdot – These Living Bricks Use Bacteria To Build Themselves

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