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'Two-handed' Marine Microbes Point To New Method For Isolating Harmful Forms Of Chemicals

Scientists studying how marine bacteria move have discovered that a sharp variation in water current segregates right-handed bacteria from their left-handed brethren, impelling the microbes in opposite directions. This finding and the possibility of quickly and cheaply implementing the segregation of two-handed objects in the laboratory could have a big impact on industries like the pharmaceutical industry, for which the separation of right-handed from left-handed molecules can be crucial to drug safety. "This is a remarkable example of how basic research, initially focused on understanding how bacteria interact with their environment, can lead to discoveries far beyond that initially envisioned," said David Garrison, director of the National Science Foundation (NSF)'s Biological Oceanography Program, which funded the research.
 
 

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