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How genetic map of bacteria may boost basic research

 

Narrator:                This is Science Today. All creatures sense their environment and respond to it, even bacteria. But how do such simple organisms anticipate changing conditions? Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory recently provided the first ever map of the genes that determine how a sulfate-eating bacteria interacts with its surroundings. Staff scientist Aindrila Mukhopdhyay says understanding these kinds of mechanisms may help solve problems across many different disciplines.

Mukhopadhyay:     Being able to understand how these environments are changing, how our activities are impacting the environment, how the organisms co-exist and you might think that tinkering with one small organism here is not having much of an impact, meanwhile you can rewire the entire landscape. So a lot of medicine, a lot of food, a lot of our agricultural practices, everything is tied up in this foundational basic research.

Narrator:               For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.