Thursday, October 14, 2010

661)Bacteria Strut Their Stuff: Videos Catch Microbes Walking On Hairlike Appendages; Quotes From Blogpost Four Hundred

"Here is a relevant verse from the Noble Qur'an, cited by Nasir-i Khusraw, hujjat-i Khurasan in his Khawaan al-Ikhwaan : "It is He who created you from dust, then from a sperm drop, then from a blood clot, then He brings you forth as a child, then lets you reach your age of full strength, then lets you become old - though some of you die before - and then lets you reach the appointed term; and that haply you may find the intellect (la'allakum ta'qilun)."(Nasir Khusraw, 11th century Fatimid Ismaili cosmologist-philosopher-poet)

"Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which Allah sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they Trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth; (Here) indeed are Signs for the people of intellect"(Noble Quran)

"Every particle of the Creation has a share of the Command of God, because every creature shares a part of the Command of God through which it has come to be there and by virtue of which it remains in being and the light of the Command ofGod shines in it. Understand this!"(Abu Yakub Al Sijistani, 10th century Fatimid Ismaili cosmologist, d971, Kashf al-Mahjub("Unveiling of the Hidden"))

“The physician considers [the bones] so that he may know a way of healing by setting them, but those with insight consider them so that through them they may draw conclusions about the majesty of Him who created and shaped [the bones]. What a difference between the two who consider!”(Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali, Muslim Theologian-Philosopher-Mystic, d1111CE)

“Muslims believe in an all-encompassing unit of man and nature. To them there is no fundamental division between the spiritual and the material while the whole world, whether it be the earth, sea or air, or the living creatures that inhabit them, is an expression of God’s creation.”(Aga Khan IV, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA, 13 April 1984)

"Our interpretation of Islam places enormous value on knowledge. Knowledge is the reflection of faith if it is used properly. Seek out that knowledge and use it properly"(Aga Khan IV, Toronto, Canada, 8th June 2005)

"Of the Abrahamic faiths, Islam is probably the one that places the greatest emphasis on knowledge. The purpose is to understand God's creation, and therefore it is a faith which is eminently logical. Islam is a faith of reason"(Aga Khan IV, Spiegel Magazine interview, Germany, Oct 9th 2006)

Bacteria strut their stuff

Videos catch microbes walking on hairlike appendages

By Tina Hesman Saey
Web edition : Thursday, October 7th, 2010
View the video

Jokes that open with a bacterium walking into a bar just got a little less far-fetched.

Some bacteria can just stand up and toddle away on hairlike legs, a new study shows. The finding, reported October 8 in Science, could help scientists better understand how bacteria form dense antibiotic-resistant communities called biofilms and may lead to better ways to combat troublesome and sometimes deadly microbes.

Researchers had already documented bacteria swimming through liquids or crawling on their bellies across a surface, but no one had ever seen bacteria getting up and walking. No one, that is, until a group of undergraduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign made movies of Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria moving on a microscope slide. Working under the supervision of Gerard Wong, a biophysicist now at UCLA, the students adapted a technique used by physicists to track microscopic particles. Computer programs allowed the researchers to quickly sort through video footage of teeming bacteria to find out what individual cells were up to.

“My students started seeing all this neat stuff,” Wong says. “They’d tell me, ‘Yeah, sometimes they just pop wheelies and stand up.’”

What the students saw were rod-shaped P. aeruginosa bacteria standing up on end and then staggering around the slide. The unsteady walks required the use of hairlike appendages called Type IV pili, the scientists found. Without pili, bacteria just lie there. But with pili, P. aeruginosa bacteria “have the ability to both be a sprinter and a long distance runner,” says George O’Toole, a microbiologist at Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, N.H.

The stringy appendages were already known to be needed for twitching motility, a type of locomotion in which pili at one end of a bacterium pull the cell across the surface. “When the bacteria are lying down flat it’s almost like front wheel drive,” Wong says. Crawling bacteria move in relatively straight lines over fairly long distances — an average of six micrometers by Wong’s measurements — possibly enabling the microbes to move toward chemical attractants.

Walking bacteria stand on splayed pili. Tugging on one of the pili sends the cell lurching in that direction. As each pilus gets tugged the bacterium staggers and stumbles, moving randomly across the surface. Walking bacteria covered more ground and moved faster than their crawling counterparts, the researchers found. Such behavior could enable microbes to explore the local environment quickly.

As it turns out, walking is a common activity for bacteria. After a cell divided in two, about 67 percent of the time one of the newborn cells would get up and walk away from its sibling, the researchers observed.

Interactions with the surface are important for forming biofilms. Bacteria need to attach to the surface and release if conditions aren’t favorable. “And it really seems like standing upright is a key transitional step,” O’Toole says.

In the new study, Wong and his colleagues watched as P. aeruginosa bacteria used their pili as launch platforms. A bacterium first rises up on its end and then spins itself around, powered by a molecular motor that drives a whiplike swimming apparatus called a flagellum. Pili adjust the angle at which the cell is tilted. Finally, the microbe builds up momentum and shoots off the surface.

“They don’t just fly off a surface,” Wong says. “There’s a whole coordinated series of pirouettes.”Blocking bacteria’s ability to stand up may prevent biofilms from forming on medical implants and other surfaces, O’Toole says.

Standing up means bacteria can move in three dimensions, not just on flat surfaces, says John Kirby, a microbiologist at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. “That’s a real eye-opener,” he says. “It’s like the Earth was flat, but now it’s not flat anymore.”

See video:
PRECOCIOUS WALKER from Science News on Vimeo.
A newborn bacterial cell stands up and walks away from its sister cell.Credit: Courtesy of Gerard Wong, UCLA Bioengineering, CNSI

Easy Nash

In Shia Islam, intellect is a key component of faith. Intellect allows us to understand the creation of God: Aga Khan IV(2008)
The Qur'an itself repeatedly recommends Muslims to become better educated in order better to understand God's creation: Aga Khan IV(2007)
The Quran tells us that signs of Allah's Sovereignty are found in the contemplation of His Creation: Aga Khan IV(2007)
This notion of the capacity of the human intellect to understand and to admire the creation of Allah will bring you happiness in your everyday lives: Aga Khan IV(2007)
Islam, eminently logical, placing the greatest emphasis on knowledge, purports to understand God's creation: Aga Khan IV(2006)
The Holy Qu'ran's encouragement to study nature and the physical world around us gave the original impetus to scientific enquiry among Muslims: Aga Khan IV(1985)
The first and only thing created by God was the Intellect(Aql): Prophet Muhammad(circa 632CE)