Scientists were able to record a soundtrack of bacteria by promoting the right conditions for the microorganism’s “party”, and the team described the sound produced by this experiment in a research paper published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. The scientists placed these single-celled organisms on a material called graphene, then sat And wait to see what happens.
According to RT, graphene is a unique variant of carbon that is sometimes referred to as a “wonder material,” because it is extremely sensitive to stimulation with only one atom thick.
The team conducted their first experiments on the bacterium Escherichia coli. “What we saw was amazing,” Ces Decker, a researcher at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and a co-author of the study, said in a statement. When a single bacterium sticks to the surface of the graphene cylinder, it generates random vibrations with amplitudes as low as a few nanometers that we can detect. Hearing the sound of a single bacterium.
In fact, it sounds a lot like a wind tunnel. And this is the sound of one of the smallest living things in the universe. More specifically, what you hear is the sound of the bacteria’s tails, or flagella, interacting with the graphene cylinder and producing back and forth motions called oscillations.
Such oscillations generate vibrations on the surface of the material, and the scientists later converted all of this into noise you can hear.
“To understand how small these whiplashes are on graphene, it is worth saying that they are at least 10 billion times smaller than a boxer’s punch when hitting a sandbag,” said Farbod Aliani, a researcher at Delft University of Technology, and colleagues. “However, these nanoscale tones can be turned into a soundtrack and listened to, and that’s great.”
But beyond the sheer astonishment of this discovery, the team’s discovery could also have important medical application, as listening to the sounds of bacteria may help us understand the efficacy of antibiotics.
During the experiments, the study team clearly saw that if the bacteria were resistant to antibiotics, their potency would continue. And if the bacteria respond to the drug, the song slows down and slows down until it’s completely gone.
“This will be an invaluable tool in the fight against antibiotic resistance, an ever-increasing threat to human health worldwide,” said Peter Steinkin, a researcher at Delft University of Technology and another co-author of the study.
“For the future, we aim to improve and validate the single-cell graphene antibiotic sensitivity platform against a variety of pathogenic samples so that it can eventually be used as an effective diagnostic tool for rapid detection of antibiotic resistance in clinical practice,” Steinken added.