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[phys.org] Slime can see: Scientists discover that slime-forming bacteria act as optical objects

post #1 of 4
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Quote:
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, Professor of Microbiology from QMUL's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

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. Cyanobacteria evolved around 2.7 billion years ago and the fact that they are able to produce oxygen and fix carbon dioxide using energy from the sun - photosynthesis - is thought to have caused mass extinctions and the oldest known ice age.

As 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.

Read more here: Source


There was someone previously wondering how sight evolved... well, it seems that sight didn't really need to, the basic design has been there for a long, long time.
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post #2 of 4
Interesting, thanks for the read.
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post #3 of 4
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No problem! I think it's fascinating!
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post #4 of 4
wait wait wait.... so... does that mean Australia is right side up and the rest of the world upside down.... how could I have not seen this!!
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Overclock.net › Forums › Industry News › Technology and Science News › [phys.org] Slime can see: Scientists discover that slime-forming bacteria act as optical objects