[LMB] The bugs that moil for Strontium

Jonathan Spencer jonrspence at aol.com
Sat Jan 12 13:53:15 GMT 2019

The technology already exist. As reported by the Genetic  Literacy  Project 

“Environmental contamination with heavy metals is often the result of various types of industrial processes. Because heavy metals can be dangerous to humans and other wildlife, contaminated sites need to be cleaned up.


So, scientists have increasingly chosen to use the techniques of biotechnology to create genetically engineered microbes capable of gobbling up pollution. The latest example of this was described by a team of Romanian and Norwegian researchers in the journal Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology.

The researchers created new protein-encoding genes that consisted of three parts: (1) A cell membrane anchor; (2) green fluorescent protein; and (3) one of three kinds of metal-binding peptides. When these new genes were expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (the common baker’s yeast), the new proteins attached to the inner side of the cell membrane and glowed green”

Jonathan Spencer
Jonrspence at aol.com

> On Jan 11, 2019, at 11:58 PM, lois-bujold-request at lists.herald.co.uk wrote:
> From: <pouncer at aol.com>
> Subject: [LMB] The bugs that moil for Strontium
> To: hedwig52 at comcast.net, litalex at gmail.com,
>    lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk,    m.dolbear at lineone.net,
>    sylviamcivers at gmail.com, thefabmadamem at yahoo.com
> Message-ID: <1686435991.17359534.1547261723465 at mail.yahoo.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> The Rad-Bugs of Vorkosigan Vashnoi glow brighter 
> as they accumulate more "radiation".? It seems there
> are three possible mechanisms that would afford this
> result:
> 1) The radiation directly powers the glow.
> 2) The element -- isotope, rather, and say, cesium, 
> just for example -- that is the most common contributor 
> to the overall radiation load is part of the chemical 
> pathway by which the bugs make their luminescent cells.
> It's sort of an essential nutrient for glowing, a proxy
> that indicates the amount of radiation gathered, and
> even though the radiation is killing the overall bug, 
> the nutrient makes the glow brighter and healthier.
> or
> 3) The luminescent chemical normal to "glorious bugs"
> is being consumed in the metabolism of HEALTHY 
> rad-bugs -- but as the bugs accumulate radiation, 
> get sicker and perhaps cancer-ridden, the digestive
> ability to consume the glow is more and more inhibited.
> As I first considered the possibilities, it seems to me
> that the first option was unlikely. But I've recently
> learned of the phosphor compound? Strontium Aluminate,
> which would seem to allow or combine both possibilities
> (1) and (2). Radioactive isotopes of Strontium (Sr-90) 
> are often a worry in nuclear weapons fallout. It would make
> a good?? The element behaves in bio-systems rather like 
> calcium.? So the take up in the rad-bug systems of
> strontium allows it to MAKE more phosphor, and the 
> radiation then POWERS the phosphor.? Dramatic 
> synergy. 
> If the problem were really cesium instead of strontium,
> though, this conjecture falls apart. 
> What do y'all think?
> ------------------------------

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