Newsletter – April 2014
This month, we highlight our brand new theme: Bacteria in biotech.
Bacteria in biotechnology – explained
The theme explores how and why we use bacteria to improve our lives. It looks at how the DNA revolution has led to new uses for bacteria and includes several articles that cover the basic science of bacteria, DNA and proteins.
Get to grips with bacterial shape and size. Learn about the remarkably diverse habitats of bacterial species (including numerous distinct niches on the human body), and read about how bacteria can work together, achieving ‘safety in numbers’ by forming biofilms.
Unlike most other organisms, bacteria contain plasmids – short circular DNA structures that are separate from chromosomal DNA. Learn about what plasmids do and how they have made it possible to create genetically modified bacteria.
Escherichia coli (E. coli) is the go-to bacterium for biotechnology. Scientists use it to store DNA sequences from other organisms and to produce proteins.
This article sets out why E.coli is such an excellent ‘workhorse’ and explains its starring role in the DNA revolution.
New Zealand scientists are giving bacteria new and useful functions. Learn about the glowing bacteria that help scientists monitor TB infection, the photosynthetic bacteria that convert sugars into biofuel and the bacteria that combat serious environmental pollutants.
Close links to other Hub resources
The Bacteria in biotech articles have been designed to support teaching of other Hub resources. In particular, they provide background information and additional depth to these focus stories:
We’d like to hear from you if you’re using Hub resources in the classroom or if you’re interested in helping us develop new resources. Please email email@example.com, and we’ll be in touch.
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The Biotechnology Learning Hub team
- 10 April 2014