Millions of microbial species populate the world, but so far only a few have been identified due to the inability of most microbes to grow in the laboratory. Also Read - Spotify Greenroom Clubhouse-like live audio room is here: How to download and get started?
Edgar Goluch, an engineer, and Slava Epstein, a biologist, both from Northeastern University in the US have now developed a device that allows scientists to cultivate a single species of bacteria that can then be studied and identified. This new device permits just a single bacterial cell to enter an inner chamber containing a food source, to which the only access is a microscopic passageway just slightly narrower than a single cell. Also Read - Will India ban Battlegrounds Mobile India? IT Minister responds
The passageway is so small that the first cell to enter it gets stuck, blocking entry by any other cell or species. Once inside, this cell proliferate as in previous devices, and when it does it fills up the inner chamber with a pure, single-species sample, since it is isolated from competition from other species. The researchers demonstrated the device’s ability to separate mixtures of cell types in a laboratory setting. Also Read - OnePlus, Oppo integrates: What this partnership means for users?
In one experiment, the researchers separated two different bacterial species whose cells are slightly different sizes – E. coli and P. aueruginosa. In a second experiment, they isolated a combination of similarly sized but differently shaped species that commonly show up together in the marine environment – Roseobacter sp. and Pscyhoserpens sp.
Finally, they used the device to separate cells of the same species that had been differentially tagged to glow either red or green. The findings appeared in the journal PLOS ONE.