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  • Kevin Baldridge 16:45, 6 March 2013 (EST):There are some formatting issues that should be addressed. For example, the arsenic sensing section has two figures that cannot fit side by side as is, so you should reduce the size of one or maybe fill in some of the blank space with text. The "multiple sensing" section looks like a good model for the others, the text and images fit together nicely.
  • Catherine I. Mortensen 11:24, 7 March 2013 (EST):Is it practical to use P. aeruginosa bacterium as a means of ridding the ocean of tarballs and oil considering this bacterium is lethal to organisms? If it was possible to rid P. aeruginosa's ability to create biofilm make the bacterium considerably less lethal?
    • Neil R Gottel 19:29, 7 March 2013 (EST):You're refering to those wild strains of P. aeruginosa that were isolated from tarballs, right? I think P. aeruginosa is dangerous only if you have a compromised immune system, or something like cystic fibrosis. I suspect the P. aeurginosa that are living in tarballs probably aren't the same kind that would be infecting humans. The thing with oil spills is that they're naturally occurring (at very low levels, compared to something like Deepwater Horizon), so there's bacteria in the wild that derive their energy at least partially from hydrocarbons.
      • Benjamin Gilman 23:28, 7 March 2013 (EST): Pseudomonas aeruginosa is found pretty much everywhere thanks to the fact that it likes a huge range of surfaces and can grow in hypoxic conditions, so there are a ton of strains out there. It's a health problem not because it's so infectious, but because you're constantly exposed to it anyway and it's hard to get rid of with antibiotics. Even if the same strains were used for oil cleanup, I doubt you'd see more cases of it popping up.
      • Catherine I. Mortensen 00:08, 10 March 2013 (EST): So I assume their biofilm is the reason why antibiotics are mostly infective
    • Neil R Gottel 19:29, 7 March 2013 (EST):With regards to your second question, removing the bacterium's biofilm abilities would certainly reduce it's ability to survive within the body. This is sorta unrelated, but I just came across this paper showing how to use phage to break apart biofilms. Simply have the phage carry a gene for an enzyme that targets the main structural support of the film, so that infected cells produce large quantities of it. When the cell lyses, the enzymes are released, and expose more bacteria to the phage. Maybe my next topic for the class should be on the role of phage in synthetic biology...
  • Aurko Dasgupta 19:17, 7 March 2013 (EST): Isn't H2O2 toxic to all sorts of creatures? How does the host system cope with a toxic communication method, or are concentrations used just too low? Does it have a fast catalase response in case it gets swamped with signal?
    • Yunle Huang 15:18, 10 March 2013 (EDT):The article says that low levels of H2O2 are produced, so the concentrations are probably not high enough for it to be toxic.