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Thread: Bacteria

  1. #1 Bacteria 
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    Hi, my name is Jonathan and I'm new here

    Does bacteria multiply in space, ie no air and no gravity?

    Also could bacteria grow on tar-mac, the stuff that roads is made from. If it could would it grow on the surface or inside and would it survive cars traveling over it?

    And are my questions completely unrealistic


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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Most if not all bacteria would not be inconvenienced by the lack of gravity.
    Vacuum would be more of a problem, however bacteria can survive for some time in a vacuum as evidenced by experiments on the ISS and by the finding of bacteria on a piece of one of the lunar Surveyor craft, recovered by Apollo astronauts.

    They would have no trouble surviving on tarmac and there are doubtless many of them all over every roadway on the planet.


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    Aren't some types of bacteria able to survive with no air for as long as they want.
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  5. #4  
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    Thanks,

    So how do bacteria multiply in a vacuum?
    They can't just be created from nothing, there has to be a food of some kind, doesn't there?
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Some bacteria are fairly good at surviving while doing nothing until a possible energy source comes around. However, a few stray bacteria on a piece of metal in space are not going to multiply, they will just stay put and maybe if they're lucky they won't be destroyed by radiation or just die from regular metabolic damage.

    As for bacteria on tar-macs, I'm sure there are loads hanging around. Though, dessication makes that a difficult environment for most bacteria, and I'm not sure asphalt would provide the necessary minerals for a lithotroph. No bacteria are going to be thriving on that tarmac, but there will be quite a few just surviving after being dragged there or carried through the air to the tarmac. There are species of bacteria, many in the bacillus genera, that survive in harsh environments by producing very resistant spores that stay dormant until some rain or something they can consume comes along to make things a little easier for them.

    It's not really a matter of whether bacteria are going to thrive at the center of an asteroid, the question is really whether or not they can just survive. Bacteria can't reproduce without liquid water.
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    All organism especially bacteria follows growth curve i.e. lag phase,log phase,stationary phase and death phase.So if there is no air or vaccum,the bacteria will try to adjust in it first and then after adapting in the environment it will start multiplying.
    Bacteria dont face any problem in surviving in tar-mac and yes they do really present on the road.


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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    No bacteria are going to be thriving on that tarmac, .
    !!!!***!!!
    Tarmac is an ideal environment for many types of bacteria.
    1. It has a high porosity, providing many nooks and crannies for the little fellows to live in.
    2. It is hydrophilic, so that a thin film of water will be availble for the the bacteria.
    3. Tarmac = Tar Macaddam; Tar = organic resin = food, glorious food.

    I have absolutley no research data to back up my claim, but I am highly confident it is valid, for the reasons noted above.
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  9. #8  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rupam89
    All organism especially bacteria follows growth curve i.e. lag phase,log phase,stationary phase and death phase.So if there is no air or vaccum,the bacteria will try to adjust in it first and then after adapting in the environment it will start multiplying.
    This is an oversimplification. If you look at the growth patterns of Baccilus species in desert soil, it follows burst growth patterns following rainfall. Sometimes the adaptation to a change of environment is dormancy until more suitable conditions arise. Moreover, the lag, log, stat, death phasing is what you expect of optimum growth medium in the lab, not of bacteria in the wild. Optimum growth conditions in the wild are not always a regular occasion for bacteria.

    Bacteria dont face any problem in surviving in tar-mac and yes they do really present on the road.


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    Rupam
    I'm sure there are plenty that live on it just fine, but I don't think you'd expect anywhere on Earth not to have some living there. Just, that in general, thinking of the tarmac the way I think of rocks out in the sun, it is an extreme environment because of dessication. In general, most bacteria will have a hard time with the environment, but soil bacteria are a hardy bunch, which make lots of spores and other protections against rapid changes in environment.

    There are bacteria that can consume some types of asphalt, from a quick google searcg. There are also extremophiles that live in tar pits, but you obviously don't find those on roads.

    Anyway, since I was curious about this, and Ophiolite makes a good point about the hydrophilic nature of asphalt I undertook some research. Thankfully the Kansas Department of Transport has looked into it. They found that bacteria certainly were present in soil on the road, and that they were degrading the asphalt, and that bacterial activity correlated with high levels of moisture. Although, apparently the major culprit is Thiobacillus using the sulfur compounds found in the asphalt, and producing sulfuric acid as a product. I made a mistake thinking asphalt would be a dryer environment than it actually is, the cracks trap a good deal of moisture for the bacteria.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/1....280540211/pdf
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