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E. coli could be used to plug holes in pipes

Students in Aberdeen are developing a revolutionary technique that could see E. coli being used to plumb leaks in pipes.

Students in Aberdeen are developing a revolutionary technique that could see E. coli being used to plumb leaks in pipes.

Certain strains of the bacteria, which are not harmful to humans, could be used to mend cracks in household pipes or laboratory cooling pipes according to researchers at the University of Aberdeen.

The project is being undertaken as part of the international Genetically Engineered Machine competition (iGEM).

One hundred and twenty universities from across the world will compete to design and assemble new biological systems in the contest, which is organised by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, USA. It is the first year an Aberdeen team has entered the annual competition.

The Aberdeen team’s research involves the coating the inside of a pipe with a layer of sugar, followed by a thin layer of plastic. E. coli is then injected into water which flows through the pipe.
 
 

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