Narrator: This is Science Today. While they may lack the ability to see, hear, smell, taste and touch, most bacteria do have a molecular signaling system for sensing their environment. 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 environment. Staff scientist Aindrila Mukhopadhyay says they're interested in this bacteria because it is one of the best available models for examining microbiological impact in environments contaminated with toxic and radioactive waste.
Mukhopadhyay: The primary interest in this organism is that it is an environmentally important organism, meanwhile not a single one of these signal transduction systems has been studied. It's almost like studying an organism without understanding what it hears, what it sees, what it responds to.Narrator: This work is an important step for developing future bioremediation applications. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.