Country: United States
Date: September 2007
I have to find out how bacteria moves from one object to
another. I have looked at
every single site that i know of, and i still can't find the answer.
Different bacteria use different methods, but generally they have hair-like
structures that wave back and forth, whip around, or spin. There are other
unicellular microorganisms that aren't bacteria (like amoebas or algae) that
use different methods as well. Because of their small size, the structures
don't work like a fish's tail or a propeller. The physics of water and
swimming at this scale are quite different than what we experience at our
size scale (similar to how the physics of bumble bees flying are different
than birds). Basically, the bacteria use the viscosity of the water to pull
or push themselves along, rather than flinging water behind (a la a
Hopes this helps,
Bacteria are small enough that they ride on objects and are carried from one
place to another. For instance, they can hitch a ride on your hands, on a
water droplet from your mouth when you sneeze or on a spoon. They can be
carried in water or on food. Some bacteria are motile, which means they
have flagella that can propel them through a medium. However, being motile
doesn't move them from one object to another, only from place to place on
that same object. To prevent bacteria from spreading, prevent their access
to another object by breaking the chain and not becoming a go between.
Bacteria are probably the most ancient forms of life
and mostly have movements. They move using parts of
their body, called
flagella. They also can glide, or twitch, and also
move through changes of buoyancy.
Many bacteria use flagella (whip-like structures)
for locomotion. The flagella of bacteria are quite
interesting since they have a simple but very
ingenious design. A bacterial flagellum is a miniature
mechanical device with a movement that is caused by
rotation of the shaft, the part where the flagellum is
attached to the cell. It is an extra cellular
structure that works like a little propellor.
Motile bacteria are attracted or repelled by certain
stimuli in behaviors called taxes: these include
chemotaxis (chemically), phototaxis (through light)
and magnetotaxis (though magnetism).
Thanks for asking NEWTON!
Dr. Mabel Rodrigues)
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