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Science:思考的细菌土壤有助防止建筑倒塌

摘要 : 当一座大楼下的地面沉降时,其造成的代价极高,甚至会带来灾难性后果。然而,如果英国研究人员获得成功,基因工程微生物某一天或将防止这一问题发生。

 

当一座大楼下的地面沉降时,其造成的代价极高,甚至会带来灾难性后果。然而,如果英国研究人员获得成功,基因工程微生物某一天或将防止这一问题发生。

受到研究生制作的修复混凝土的细菌——“修补杆菌”的启发,一名生物设计师与同事在努力推动生物水泥研究,这种物质可由定制土壤微生物生成,以应对土壤压力的变化,从而加固建筑物的地基。

为了实现这一目标,该团队在代理土壤(形状类似汽缸的水凝胶)中培养了一种常见肠道微生物。他们将这些承载着细菌的水凝胶放置在相当于海平面10倍的压力环境之下,分析了因为压力变化导致其活性至少增加3倍的122个细菌基因。

该团队随后对细菌基因进行了修饰,从而使负责激活其中一个基因的DNA附着到一个蛋白基因上,该蛋白基因在生成时会发热。该微生物受到的压力越大,则其发出的热量就越强,科学家10月29日在密歇根安阿伯市举行的计算机辅助建筑设计协会会议上报告称。

此外,在会议上,他们还介绍了一个预测微生物如何对压力(如在一座建筑地基土壤中转移的水压)做出回应的计算机程序。最终,研究人员计划用生成生物水泥的基因代替发热蛋白基因,建立“会思考的土壤”,从而保持建筑物的安全,使其拥有自我修复型地基。他们表示,这项研究是日益发展的将生物学融入建筑的行动的一部分。

原文链接:

‘Thinking soil’ made of bacteria could keep buildings from collapsing

原文摘要:

It can be quite costly, even catastrophic, when the land under a building subsides. But genetically engineered microbes may one day keep that from happening if researchers in the United Kingdom are successful. Inspired by undergraduates who made a concrete-repairing bacterium—dubbed BacillaFilla—for a synthetic biology competition, a biodesigner and his colleagues have been pushing hard to develop biocement, a material that custom-built soil microbes would produce in response to the changing pressures in soil to help shore up the ground under foundations. Toward that end, the team grew a common gut bacterium in surrogate soil—a “hydrogel” shaped into a cylinder. They subjected the bacteria-laden hydrogel to pressures up to 10 times that experienced at sea level. They identified 122 bacterial genes that increased their activity by at least threefold by the pressure change. The team then modified the bacterial genome so that the regulatory DNA responsible for activating one of these genes was attached to a gene for a protein that glows when produced. The more pressure exerted on the microbe, the more intensely it glows, the scientists will report 29 October at the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In addition, at the meeting, they will describe a computer program that predicts how the microbe will react to forces, such as water pressure, transferred through soil under a building foundation (as depicted in the illustration). Eventually the researchers plan to replac the glowing protein gene with genes that make biocement, creating a “thinking soil” that will keep buildings safe and be a self-constructing foundation. The effort is part of a growing movement to incorporate biology into architecture, they note.

来源: Science 浏览次数:0

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