Research News

Imprisoning Bacteria to Isolate Changes

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

For scientists working with bacteria in a lab, evolution is a bit of a problem. Bacteria change so rapidly that a cool trait you create one day may be gone the next. Now a researcher reports he may have found a way to solve the problem: a tiny prison for bacteria. It's no bigger than a dime and has six tiny compartments that can each hold a few bacteria. Tiny pipes pump in food, scrub the walls, take out waste, and remove the progeny of dividing bacteria. This keeps bacteria in a kind of holding pattern that means they don't evolve into something different from the one you started with.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from