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A recent study has shown that bacteria can tell whether it is morning or night.
Complex organisms such as humans, animals, and plants have long been known to have an internal mechanism called a circadian rhythm, which is a natural body clock that is synchronized with the Earth’s 24-hour cycle. The new study presents a breakthrough finding that even simple bacteria also follow a circadian rhythm, which allows them to identify the time of day and synchronize their body functions with it.
The researchers found the mechanism in a type of bacteria found in the soil called Bacillus subtilis. The scientists wanted to see if changes in the bacteria’s surroundings would affect its body functions. To find out, they added a luminous enzyme to the bacteria that would let them see what was happening inside it.
For the experiment, the researchers placed the bacteria in constant darkness first. Then, they subjected it to alternating 12-hour cycles of light and darkness and compared their findings. They also observed the bacteria’s reaction to changes in the temperature of its surroundings.
The researchers found that the bacteria’s genetic activity depended on the amount of light and the temperature of its surroundings, which is a common trait among organisms that have circadian rhythms. Based on the experiment’s results, they concluded that bacteria can tell the time of day by using external cues around it.
According to the researchers, the study’s findings may be used to determine if time of day affects how bacteria can infect people and if it has any effect in anti-bacterial treatment. They may also be useful in improving processes that involve bacteria, such as producing laundry detergent and protecting crops.