❝After more than 300 years of looking, scientists have figured out how bacteria “see” their world. And they do it in a remarkably similar way to us.
A team of British and German researchers reveal in the journal eLife how bacterial cells act as the equivalent of a microscopic eyeball or the world’s oldest and smallest camera eye.
“The idea that bacteria can see their world in basically the same way that we do is pretty exciting,” says lead researcher Conrad Mullineaux…
❝Cyanobacteria are found in huge numbers in water bodies or can form a slippery green film on rocks and pebbles. The species used in the study, Synechocystis, is found naturally in freshwater lakes and rivers…
As <a href="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-02/e-scs020716.php">Slime can see | EurekAlert! Science News
“>photosynthesis is crucial to the survival of these bacteria, scientists have sought to understand how they sense light. Previous studies have shown that they contain photosensors and that they are able to perceive the position of a light source and move towards it, a phenomenon called phototaxis.
❝The current study reveals that they are able to do this because the cell body acts like a lens. As light hits the spherical surface, it refracts into a point on the other side of the cell. This triggers movement by the cell away from the focused spot.
Within minutes, the bacteria grow tiny tentacle-like structures called pili that reach out towards the light source. As they attach to the surface that they’re on, they retract and pull the bacteria along…
Synechocystis serves as a spherical lens but the team think that rod-shaped bacteria can also trap light and sense the direction it is coming from using refraction, acting like an optical fibre.
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