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Bacteria Used To Fix Cracked Concrete

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the smear-and-repair dept.

Biotech 177

An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at the UK's University of Newcastle have created a new type of bacteria that generates glue to hold together cracks in concrete structures — that means everything from concrete sidewalks to buildings that have been damaged by earthquakes. When the cells have been germinated, they burrow deep into the concrete until they reach the bottom. At this point, the concrete repair process is activated, and the cells split into three types that produce calcium carbonate crystals, act as reinforcing fibers, and produce glue which acts as a binding agent to fill concrete gaps."

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177 comments

Okay. (3, Interesting)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34257732)

I think it's officially "the future".

Re:Okay. (4, Funny)

somaTh (1154199) | more than 3 years ago | (#34257806)

Nope, still the present. Well, it was. Now it's the past. Stupid entropy.

Re:Okay. (3, Funny)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34259268)

Wait, when was this?!!!

Re:Okay. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34259484)

You missed it!

Re:Okay. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34259602)

Colonel Sandurz: You missed it!
Lord Dark Helmet: When?!
Colonel Sandurz: Just now.
Lord Dark Helmet: When will then be now?
Colonel Sandurz: Soon sir!

Re:Okay. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34257990)

Call me when they can pour this Bacterial pudding into a bullet wound and have it heal up...that's the future I'm waiting for. Then I can finally start my crime-fighting vigilante spree.

Re:Okay. (3, Informative)

sadness203 (1539377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258208)

The problem, with bullet wound is... they are not always clean, you can have some clothes debris, or other dirt. Closing the wound is easy (well, relatively speaking) but cleaning it well enough is another thing.

Re:Okay. (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34259706)

This is not generally true, bullets are quite hot and tend to sterilize pretty much everything. In the past people were often better off not cleaning the wound or digging out the bullet as that only ensured infection.

Re:Okay. (3, Informative)

locallyunscene (1000523) | more than 3 years ago | (#34259790)

The main problem with a bullet wound is that it used to be a normal functioning part of the body and not a bullet wound...

Re:Okay. (2, Funny)

RapmasterT (787426) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258440)

Call me when they can pour this Bacterial pudding into a bullet wound and have it heal up...that's the future I'm waiting for. Then I can finally start my crime-fighting vigilante spree.

Or...you could put this pudding IN the bullet, then as soon as you'd got shot, you'd start healing. Joscelyn Elders would finally be vindicated!

Re:Okay. (3, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258118)

Seems like a giant "Just So" story if you ask me.

Lots of pre-programed mutations working perfectly in the laboratory to seal cracks of a known nature.

Activated when the reach the bottom. Bottom? What if there is no bottom? Most cracks in concrete go right thru the slab.

React to the specific PH of the concrete? If only all concrete were the same. Its been in use for several hundred years, and the formula has been constantly evolving.

And nothing is said about the strength. If the concrete was broken by whatever means, what are the chances some bio glue could hold it together against the next insult?

"decommoditization" of concrete? (4, Insightful)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258590)

React to the specific PH of the concrete? If only all concrete were the same. Its been in use for several hundred years, and the formula has been constantly evolving.

Remember Monsanto and "roundup ready" seeds? Now imagine a "bio-healing ready" concrete... concrete that is differentiated by a specific compound formula which is standardized for a specific bacteria (of course several grades of the product combo will exist for both quality and usage differences ... which also allow for market segmentation)

All it will take is some enterprising megacorp with the legal muscle to patent this combo (and defend the patents) and you can effectively raised margin on concrete 10x at least.

Anything can be de-commoditized if it provides unique value and a big enough megacorp.

Re:"decommoditization" of concrete? (1, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34259558)

All it will take is some enterprising megacorp with the legal muscle to patent this combo (and defend the patents) and you can effectively raised margin on concrete 10x at least.

Depends on whether they can get it into building codes or not. If they can't, then the concrete would comparable in cost (else you're not going to get it into the building).

Re:Okay. (2, Insightful)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34259216)

Maybe this isn't meant as a permanent repair? It would still be a hell of a boon if it worked fast enough that we could use it to temporarily shore up structures until they could be properly repaired.

Re:Okay. (2, Insightful)

Fizzl (209397) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258248)

Lord help us! This the gray goo!
Soon it will be fixing cracks we did not anticipate!

Re:Okay. (2, Interesting)

Toze (1668155) | more than 3 years ago | (#34259628)

I immediately thought of Masamune Shirow's Dominion Tank Police [wikipedia.org]. Bacteria that can grow between cracks in concrete = bacteria that will grow over a lattice. Lash together a frame soaked in bacteria-food, seed the base, come back in a couple of weeks.
Now, where're my sexy android catgirls?

Re:Okay. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34260278)

I have been saying for years that the transition to the future started in 2005, and that it would be complete by 2015. So far I have not seen any reason to change that prediction.

Why, just the other day it came to my attention that the Vocaloid Hatsune Miku now performs live, sold out concerts. When an animation program combined with a voice synthesis program is a pop star, it is definitely "the future".

When does it stop? (4, Funny)

Mishotaki (957104) | more than 3 years ago | (#34257794)

How is it gonna stop? when they run out of concrete to fill, when they overpopulate and eat all the concrete "cracks" or when they kill all humans and we can't record the moment it stops because there won't be any humans to observe it?

Re:When does it stop? (4, Informative)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34257938)

RTFA, it's not very long and explains just that fact you need; it does know when to stop.

Re:When does it stop? (5, Funny)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258252)

"and they have a built-in self-destruct gene that prevents them from proliferating away from the concrete target."

That never works in the movies. One cosmic ray and the gene is replaced by another one that says," invade humans and turn them into statues."

Re:When does it stop? (3, Funny)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258818)

invade humans and turn them into statues

Living, moving statues with a ravenous, uncontrollable hunger for the brains of the unpetrified. Prepare yourself for 90 minutes of bad stoner jokes.

Re:When does it stop? (2, Funny)

lennier (44736) | more than 3 years ago | (#34260236)

One cosmic ray and the gene is replaced by another one that says," invade humans and turn them into statues."

Don't blink. Don't even blink.

Blink and you're dead.

Re:When does it stop? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34259740)

One would think that that this non-beneficial feature would be evolved out of the bacteria. Kind of hard to survive as the fittest if you kill yourself off.

Re:When does it stop? (1)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258016)

FTA (in case countSudoku's post requires too much effort ;)):

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.

I would like to buy some--the city is doing a <sarcasm> wonderful </sarcasm> job of taking care of the sidewalk in front of my house.

Re:When does it stop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34259156)

Look, apparently they've already thought of everything that could ever go wrong. Its totally safe! Besides, if it ever did expand, we can just bring in some concrete and bacteria munching snails to take care of the problem.

Makes me think of Battlestar Galactica (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34257812)

Seriously... Season 4 Did Adama ok this?

How do they know where 'the bottom' is? (1)

synthesizerpatel (1210598) | more than 3 years ago | (#34257838)

Is the nanobot 'grey goo' earth going to be usurped by the bacteria concrete earth?

Re:How do they know where 'the bottom' is? (5, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#34257920)

Well, since grey goo is such an abstract concept, they thought they would rather use something more concrete ...

Read teh article. (2, Informative)

mattdm (1931) | more than 3 years ago | (#34257980)

The spores germinate only in very alkaline environments — concrete has a quite high pH. The article is vague on details, but notes that "[the bacteria] have a built-in self-destruct gene that prevents them from proliferating away from the concrete target."

Now, What Could Possibly Go Wrong and all of that, but the bases are nominally covered.

Re:Read teh article. (3, Funny)

BrotherBeal (1100283) | more than 3 years ago | (#34259336)

The spores germinate only in very alkaline environments... ...but the bases are nominally covered.

I see what you did there.

Re:How do they know where 'the bottom' is? (3, Interesting)

falldeaf (968657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258256)

I think that whole nanobot grey goo problem is way overhyped. Biological organisms are much more advanced than our technology and they haven't been able to turn all matter into copies of themselves yet, despite their best efforts.

Re:How do they know where 'the bottom' is? (3, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34259954)

Absolute worst case scenario is a grey goo outbreak being treated basically like a fire (which, when you think about it is the ultimate grey goo machine). There's a limit to how much energy is available for replication, and there's a limit on how efficient you can make your replication (at some level, the replicating nanobots will be literally tearing apart and putting back together materials). Fighting the grey goo only involves tearing about the replicators, not necessarily wasting energy putting the pieces back together into something useful.

In other words, it should be trivial to design a nanobot that tears apart the self-replicators but doesn't waste energy by making copies of itself. This nanobot would be manufactured a head of time and stored for future use, or manufactured in specialist facilities (even in a mobile truck if necessary) that provide the energy input necessary for their production. As long as your facilities have more energy available than the self-replicators do, you'll win out eventually. And the replicators will only have about as much energy available as a fire can produce.

Re:How do they know where 'the bottom' is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34258810)

Isn't this more like a 'grey glue' scenario?

Awesome! (1)

RoyalTee (1942268) | more than 3 years ago | (#34257868)

Using bacteria to fix concrete? Now that's thinking outside the box. This will be a great money saver for any size city by not having to replace whole slabs of concrete. My only concern is... isn't it just like slapping some duct tape on there? Either way, I have a feeling this will become huge in the near future.

Re:Awesome! (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258076)

Using bacteria to fix concrete?

Seems the homeless people in my town have had the right general concept all along ... they just haven't been getting the details right.

Gigacrete looks better (1, Informative)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34257902)

Gigacrete [treehugger.com] looks like a better material for building in my opinion. I'll just have bacteria in my yogurt for now.
-Several GigaCrete products can be made with recycled waste material such as bottom ash, fly ash, sludge, or dredged materials. And, these waste material fillers can comprise up to 80% (by volume) of GigaCrete products. Usage of such waste materials reduces the amount of these byproducts going to landfills or other waste storage sites.
- Less carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are produced from the manufacture of the GigaCrete cement binder than compared to the manufacture of Portland cement.
- Energy savings can be achieved with the GigaCrete PanelSystem due to the high thermal efficiency and insulating value of the panel material. According to the “Structural Insulated Panel Association in Partnership with Oakridge National Labs,” structural paneled homes can achieve energy savings of up to 70%.
- The GigaCrete cement binder is 100% nontoxic.
- GigaCrete products use approximately two-thirds less water than conventional Portland-based cement products.
- High resistance to mold, mildew, insects, and vermin facilitates cleaner living environments.

Re:Gigacrete looks better (3, Informative)

Skidborg (1585365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258038)

You do realize that most waste products that can be used as you mentioned contain toxins themselves? Bottom ash and fly ash from coal plants is comparable to nuclear waste.

Re:Gigacrete looks better (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258126)

It SAYS it is 100% non-toxic so I don't really know...but what if it does work better?

Re:Gigacrete looks better (3, Insightful)

Vegeta99 (219501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258580)

They said the binder was 100% non-toxic. which is only a small percentage of the product (as filler is the rest, up to 80%).

To see another example of "green" being a fib, look up AggRite construction/pavement aggregate.

Re:Gigacrete looks better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34258970)

No, the fact that some conscience-free sociopaths use "Green" to describe a product they know isn't, doesn't make "Green" a fib in and of itself. Please read up on logical fallacies.

Re:Gigacrete looks better (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34260076)

Picking nits and getting offtopic, but he was giving another example where green was in fact a fib. Does that look like the implication that green is a fib in and of itself? Doesn't to me.

Re:Gigacrete looks better (3, Insightful)

Lawbeefaroni (246892) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258106)

Gigacrete [treehugger.com] looks like a better material for building in my opinion. I'll just have bacteria in my yogurt for now.

Nice GigaCrete advert but the bacteria isn't presented as a replacement for concrete or GigaCrete. It's presented as a mechanism to repair existing concrete.

Or are you advocating we raze all existing concrete buildings and tear up all sidewalks?

Re:Gigacrete looks better (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258148)

No, just move on to something more eco-friendly and better.

Re:Gigacrete looks better (3, Informative)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258762)

So basically, it had nothing at all do with the topic hand and your comparison "I'll just have bacteria in my yogurt for now" was completely meaningless since no one has suggested building new things with it since that wouldn't work anyway.

Re:Gigacrete looks better (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258632)

Gigacrete [treehugger.com] looks like a better material for building in my opinion. I'll just have bacteria in my yogurt for now.

-Several GigaCrete products can be made with recycled waste material such as bottom ash, fly ash, sludge, or dredged materials. And, these waste material fillers can comprise up to 80% (by volume) of GigaCrete products. Usage of such waste materials reduces the amount of these byproducts going to landfills or other waste storage sites.

- Less carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are produced from the manufacture of the GigaCrete cement binder than compared to the manufacture of Portland cement.

- Energy savings can be achieved with the GigaCrete PanelSystem due to the high thermal efficiency and insulating value of the panel material. According to the “Structural Insulated Panel Association in Partnership with Oakridge National Labs,” structural paneled homes can achieve energy savings of up to 70%.

- The GigaCrete cement binder is 100% nontoxic.

- GigaCrete products use approximately two-thirds less water than conventional Portland-based cement products.

- High resistance to mold, mildew, insects, and vermin facilitates cleaner living environments.

All those eco-friendly bullet points, and no mention of the four things that matter: Strength, weight, longevity, and cost.

Re:Gigacrete looks better (2, Informative)

jeff4747 (256583) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258848)

Beware the press releases. You'll note that nowhere does the article discuss the strength of Gigacrete. They put up a few random things, but nothing like how much PSI it can withstand. And according to their web site [gigacrete.com], "GigaCrete manufactures some of the most innovative, functional, high-performance interior finishes on the market". Interior finish != replacement for concrete. Concrete is used as a structural material. It holds up thousands of tons of stuff. GigaCrete is an alternative to plaster. It looks pretty smeared on a wall...that's made of concrete.

Re:Gigacrete looks better (1)

deapbluesea (1842210) | more than 3 years ago | (#34260154)

So the premise is that it's greener. They start by complaining about all that gravel that has to be excavated and transported, and that it can't be recycled (uh, it's gravel). Then moves on to this gem:

[Gigacrete has a] "proprietary non-toxic binder" made from "a different cementitious binder consisting of commonly found nontoxic elements available from many locations throughout the world."

Which, oddly enough, can be said of gravel (except for the 'different' part).

Of course, I'm mixing my fillers and my binders, but I'm pretty sure that the fillers used in the example also have to be "transported" in order to "house a couple people", and it doesn't matter if it's recyclable or not, because in both cases it is meant to last 50+ years, and in both cases, you'd have to break out the filler in some way to recycle it (aka use all that polluting energy), so the net gain appears to be......

I, for one, welcome... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34257922)

our new concrete secreting overlords.

As seen on BSG ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34257924)

Adama was madly painting this stuff on before he hit the booze and destroyed his model ship again.

Lungs (1)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258018)

And the bacteria knows the difference between concrete and lung tissue how?

Re:Lungs (3, Informative)

mattdm (1931) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258098)

What's the acidity of your lungs? Oh, I see. You didn't read the article. Carry on, then.

Re:Lungs (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258334)

The bacteria they made in the lab likes the acidity of concrete. What about the mutant bacteria that the bacteria in the crack makes?

Re:Lungs (2, Informative)

mattdm (1931) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258506)

The bacteria they made in the lab likes the acidity of concrete. What about the mutant bacteria that the bacteria in the crack makes?

It won't survive because it's still in the very alkaline concrete environment? Or as Morbo might put it: EVOLUTION DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY.

Re:Lungs (2, Insightful)

shadow_slicer (607649) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258880)

Usually when you say that the bacteria 'likes' acidity it means that at least one of the proteins it depends on requires the acidity to function. If there are several proteins that are essential for the bacteria to live, the probability that all of the required mutations would occur becomes reasonably small. Additionally, even if the bacteria are able to mutate in such a way to live outside the concrete, they would be poorly adapted to that environment, and would most likely become food for something else. That's not even considering the likelihood that the food source the bacteria uses in its concrete environment may not be available elsewhere.

tl;dr:
The amount of change necessary to go from a bacteria that thrives in concrete to a bacteria that thrives in the lungs is large enough (under the expected conditions) to be considered insurmountable.

Re:Lungs (2, Interesting)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34259396)

So the assumption, as I read it, is the environment in which the bacteria is deployed is assumed to have a consistent pH level to help it identify that it is in fact, concrete. However anything that also has that pH could potentially be a hospitiable environment.

Question: How are they planning on accounting for a non-lab environment where everything from moisture, temperature, hell even lighting apparently, can influence the pH of the target location? Based on respitory infection the pH in a lung is hardly consistent in that scenario and as many have jested, the side walk could have a cold. The point is if they are pinning the identification based on the pH I fail to see this as viable in uses outside of a controlled lab. Bridge work going on in Nov with snow and sleet I fail to see a consistent pH for this to work on any credible level. Just more theortical lab work that will get a bit of grant money and that is about it. With construction workers dealing with a lot of concrete dust during repairs the pH is one hurdle for the bacteria. As for phsyical contaminates, respitory contaminates could be lunch for this stuff. I doubt there is a lethal risk, but having to throw someone on sick leave because they have a mild infection of this stuff is more economic risk then anything. pH to me seems a tad bit flaky as a marker for concrete. Even from what the article mentions, it requires too much of a controleld environment to be usseful. The number of things that could have similar pH seems rather high, the non-concrete contaminates... potential predators\competitors... It might work great in a lab... but in the real world? I'm doubtful.

Re:Lungs (3, Informative)

reverseengineer (580922) | more than 3 years ago | (#34260062)

It turns out that the press release is not really accurate with regard to the effect pH has on this engineered bacterium. The starting bacterium, Bacillus subtilis 168 naturally prefers a neutral pH, but by growing generations of this bacteria in media with gradually increased pH, it can be acclimated [igem.org] to thrive at the pH of concrete (roughly 10). This requires no engineered genetic modification. The steps to control the spread of this bacterium have little to do with pH, actually. First, the bacterium comes from a strain of Bacillus subtilis which has been produced as the result of decades of laboratory cultures, and is a mutant which depends on many key nutrients to be present in its enviroment to survive. In the wild, it would be a massively deficient competitor to wild Bacillus subtilis, which is extremely common in nature.

Also, the concrete repair activity is produced by upregulation of genes natural to Bacillus subtilis, not by anything transgenic. The upregulation of these genes presents an energy cost to the engineered bacterium while providing no benefit- if these bacteria mutate, it is more likely to be towards the wild phenotype. In addition, the team responsible has added a kill switch [igem.org] which tells the bacteria to commit suicide if sucrose is not present.

Re:Lungs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34259764)

Yeah, well how about those of us with lungs made of concrete, you insensitive clod.

I foresee a world... (1)

dbc (135354) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258040)

... where bacteria-laden cast concrete garden gnomes evolve intelligence.

And it's not a pretty sight.

What could possibly go wrong? (1)

optikos (1187213) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258082)

Bacteria burrows into bone, squeezing bone marrow into an ever-tinier passageway, for a new disease mimicking leukemia or aplastic anemia. Bacteria burrows into joints, for a new cause of arthritis and bone spurs. I hope that the genetic engineers built a foolproof off-switch into this one, or perhaps this bacteria commits suicide in the absence of rebar.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34258152)

I live in Haiti were we don't use rebar you insensitive clod!

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258360)

you forgot bacteria gives host mutant healing factor and near indestructibility. and it's in a BAD GUY!

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (1)

jeff4747 (256583) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258910)

If only there was a little underlined bit of text in TFS that brings you to a short, one-page article. You could read it, and could even look like you know what you're talking about!

Interesting (1)

JIKilo (1942278) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258254)

This article is very interesting, but at the same time I have my concerns. For instance, how do you make the bacteria stop and what if the bacteria enters the ground creating unnatural erosion or other environmental problems. Also, how is the bacteria purchased? I mean who ever discovered this will make some money! It is important to know these answers because everything in life has a cause and effect. Overall though, it is a sweet method to fix the cracks in concrete.

Re:Interesting (1)

jeff4747 (256583) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258980)

For instance, how do you make the bacteria stop

Well, if you read TFA, its apparent that the bacteria need a strong alkali environment, such as in concrete. Strong alkali environments are rare in nature.

what if the bacteria enters the ground creating unnatural erosion

Ok, we're not even going to consider this little bit of fantasy until you come up with a remotely plausible way that this could happen.

Also, how is the bacteria purchased?

In little test tubes from the people who invented it.

I mean who ever discovered this will make some money!

That would be the idea, yes.

Mistaken article summary (1)

Saishuuheiki (1657565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258294)

Article summary states how it works incorrectly, which confused me.

"When the cells have been germinated, they burrow deep into the concrete until they reach the bottom."

should be

"When the cells have been germinated, they burrow deep into the concrete CRACKS until they reach the bottom"

Made me think at first it's going through the solid concrete which didn't sound like a good idea.

Re:Mistaken article summary (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258610)

Made me think at first it's going through the solid concrete which didn't sound like a good idea.

I'm not sure why it's a bad idea to strengthen the concrete where it isn't damaged, but I guess if your design depends on a certain amount of flex it could cause you problems.

I visited this story wondering if this could be tailored to improve concrete which was of generally poor quality because the mix was poor, which is burrowing through almost-solid concrete...

Obligatory overlord joke (0, Redundant)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258504)

Que all variations in this thread for the sake of tidiness in 3, 2, 1 ...

Re:Obligatory overlord joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34258566)

They're Underlords you insensitive clod!

More Info From iGEM (4, Informative)

reverseengineer (580922) | more than 3 years ago | (#34258684)

This engineered bacterium system was entered into the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition, so there's a lot more information about this project at the team's [igem.org]project page. [igem.org] In particular, there's a more thorough description of the kill switch [igem.org] the team engineered to prevent the spread of this bacterium beyond the target environment, the underlying mechanism being that sucrose must be available in the environment to prevent the bacterium from producing a toxin which kills itself.

Re:More Info From iGEM (1)

davidc (91400) | more than 3 years ago | (#34259526)

Sucrose?

Oh I see! This is nothing more than a system to convert fast food into concrete. Repair the sidewalk and cure the obesity epidemic in one fell swoop.

Yeah, this worked great on BSG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34258704)

They tried to fix the Galactica with biological glue too, and all that accomplished was the ship waking up and taking control.

BSG (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 3 years ago | (#34259038)

Was this not what the sylons did in BSG where the hull of the ship was breached so they used some bacterial goo to strengthen the ship

fr0st pist!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34259346)

also Dead, its than this BSD box,

Why use bacteria? Just insert glue directly! (1)

kkleiner (1468647) | more than 3 years ago | (#34259420)

Why do you need bacteria to make glue in the cracks when you can simply insert glue directly into the crack without bacteria? What am I missing?

Calcium Carbonate? (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 3 years ago | (#34259902)

I suspect the Brits are also working on having this technology used as non-conductive fillings.

Really, WCGW ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34259906)

As an added bonus, all those unsightly loiterers and people that just sit about on curbs doing nothing - and just maybe all those folk that walk really slow (getting in the way of skates, bicycles and segways) - will be incorporated into artistic-looking concrete ornaments. Just remember not to sleep on the sidewalk, then.

I'm sure everything will be ok with all those little creepy-crawlers and creatures that live on roads or near them, Or under them. Right ? And those that eat them ? These bacteria can't survive in streams and rivers and in the sea, can they ? Specially if they find an oilspill? Uh-oh! Does take care of the parking-space problem for coastal towns, though. Undoubtedly.

Anyway, I'm those good folk on Andromeda Rd., Crichtonville, will be as comfy as ever.

Concrete from thin air? (1)

angiasaa (758006) | more than 3 years ago | (#34260088)

All this crack-filling info is great, but where does all the crack-filling goo come from?
Where does the bacterium procure its nutrition from?

It's a great concept and probably incredibly useful. But what good is news if it leaves out the important bits?
Does anyone know where the bacterium pulls something out of nothing from?

TFA certainly avoids giving out any details about what the bacteria requires and what byproducts (aside from the gap-goo) they produce.

Shades of BSG (1)

Dputiger (561114) | more than 3 years ago | (#34260296)

This sounds like the real-world version of the technology the Cylons attempted to employ to repair Galactica. Cover the hull in goo, wait for it to bond, and all is well.
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