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Bacteria turn tiny gears

Swarms of bacteria turn two 380-micron long gears, opening the possibility of building hybrid biological machines at the microscopic scale. Read more at Wired: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/12/bacterial-micro-machine/#more-15684 or Scientific American: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=brownian-motion-bacteria

Courtesy Igor Aronson.

Duration : 0:0:21

Filed Under: Bio-MEMS


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  1. canisdormit says:

    now when can we …
    now when can we give these bacteria nano-sized bazookas and machine guns????

  2. scrfce123 says:

    Thats a decent …
    Thats a decent reply. Unlike Trigger, you are obviously an intelligent person.

    The reason that I assumed the gears were poorly designed is because of the angled teeth. They are not the optimum shape to acheive constant meshing. Thanks for your input.

  3. scrfce123 says:

    I am a douche? You …
    I am a douche? You dont even know me… You stand against free speech and critique. Therefore, you are unequivically the bigger douche.

    For you to be so offended by my critique, It would normally be assumed that you have a stake in the tech. Ofcourse, I am certain that this isn’t the case. My question to you is, would you donate your own cash/resources towards this type of research? If not, then shut the up.

  4. edgarahf says:

    hmmmmm i dont know …
    hmmmmm i dont know about this ….

  5. urielmusician says:

    @galtsgulca the ” …
    @galtsgulca the “surrounding fluid” you are seeing are the bacteria swimming. Even though the gears are greatly more massive than each individual bacterium, they operate the gears by swimming against them en masse.

    @scrfce123 These are aerobic bacteria, meaning they’re “powered” by oxygen. Those “poorly designed” gears are actually perfectly designed to move with the force of the bacteria. The gears are guaranteed to work by regulating the amount of O2 in the environment. more=faster none=stop

  6. Trigger200284 says:

    because your …
    because your obviously a douche, and your comment about “poorly designed, yet excellently fabricated” , has given me the idea that someone should hassle you, seeing as how you could do it better

  7. ducttaperulestheworl says:


  8. rynoandliam says:

    @aannijibabi …
    @aannijibabi yes

  9. scrfce123 says:

    They did it for …
    They did it for funzies? Thats why I said, and quote ‘ I know it is beside the point at this stage’…

    What I’d like to know is why my comment bothers you so much? Furthermore, I’d also like to know how you are even the slightest bit more qualified than me? What provides you with the basis to state that I know little about the subject.?

  10. aannijibabi says:

    i feel very …
    i feel very adventurous today any guys want to have an adventure

  11. Trigger200284 says:

    what about nano …
    what about nano machinery? maybe they are just showing that it is possible to develope items on a nano scale, and for funzies they decided to put 2 gears together and watch something incredible that your grandfather wouldnt have thought about for a second in his life, this pays dividends 10 fold, to how far we’ve come, and it will be practical, just cause it isnt governed now, why can’t it be governed later? your trolling something you know little about

  12. galtsgulca says:

    These bacteria do …
    These bacteria do not look like they are operating as gears. It looks like the bacteria are being moved by the circulation of the surrounding fluid and not by the other bacteria.

  13. scrfce123 says:

    LMAO. I see some …
    LMAO. I see some squiggles here and there, but they are poorly defined. These may very well be colonies of bacteria, however, I was offering my critique on the vid – ie, indicating that the bacteria lacked definition.

    Also, I know it is beside the point at this stage, but how can something mechanical which cannot be governed prove practical?

  14. Trigger200284 says:

    watch the video …
    watch the video again, if you were noticing like the rest of us the bacteria are in colonies in the backround moving around, and who cares if its practical right now. what if its practical in the future?

  15. tubester4567 says:

    omg im gonna put …
    omg im gonna put some germs in my transmission.

  16. scrfce123 says:

    I see the gears ( …
    I see the gears (poorly designed, yet excellently fabricated), but I don’t see the bacteria.

    When developing a practical application for this technology, whats to guarantee that the bacteria will spin the gear sets in the desired direction?

  17. dber229 says:

    if they cant wipe …
    if they cant wipe butts yet im not impressed either

  18. Bugstomper2 says:

    Can they wipe my …
    Can they wipe my butt too?

  19. Armzda says:


  20. KizZamP92 says:

    wow xD
    wow xD

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