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Bacteria seals cracks in roads

 

The BacillaFilla spores start germinating only when they make contact with concrete — triggered by the very specific pH of the material — and they have a built-in self-destruct gene that prevents them from proliferating away from the concrete target.

 

MSNBC

Researchers have designed bacteria that can produce a special glue to knit together cracks in concrete structures. The genetically modified microbe has been programmed to swim down fine cracks in concrete and once at the bottom it produces a mixture of calcium carbonate and a bacterial glue. This glue combines with the filamentousbacterial cells, ultimately hardening to the same strength as the surrounding concrete and essentially “knitting” the building back together.

The bacterium tweaked by the researchers is called Bacillus subtilis and is commonly found in soil. Accordingly, the research team calls its building-healing agent “BacillaFilla.” The agent was developed with the goal in mind of prolonging the life of structures that are environmentally costly to construct.

“Around 5 percent of all man-made carbon dioxide emissions are from the production of concrete, making it a significant contributor to global warming,” said joint project instructor Jennifer Hallinan, a research fellow in complex systems at the University of Newcastle in the United Kingdom. “Finding a way of prolonging the lifespan of existing structures means we could reduce this environmental impact and work towards a more sustainable solution.”

The genetically modified microbe has been programmed to swim down fine cracks in concrete and once at the bottom it produces a mixture of calcium carbonate and a bacterial glue. This glue combines with the filamentous bacterial cells, ultimately hardening to the same strength as the surrounding concrete and essentially “knitting” the building back together.

MSNBC

HA, this is ingenius! I hope they got a patent on that bacteria as this private construction companies and the government will save millions in construction restoration efforts with this bacteria

Also, this bacteria looks like it won’t have any negative impacts on the food chain either  as it hardens into calcium carbonate after an initial contact with pavement. This would be a great alternative to repaving roads for not only companies but also consumers who lose time in traffic when it’s time to repave roads.

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