Bacteria

Shaping Success: A Mathematical Exploration of Cyanobacteria across Scales

ABSTRACT Mathematical models and functions are familiar tools used to study biological systems and interactions, in particular with the study of infectious diseases. Epidemic and pandemic dynamics, however, are only one example of their applications for adding analysis, understanding, and insight into complex topics. In this essay, cyanobacteria’s size and

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The Biochemical Nature of Cyanobacteria

ABSTRACT Cyanobacteria are a phylum of gram-negative bacteria that have been found in a vast range of habitats including Antarctic lakes, hot thermal springs, tropical soil, and even arid climates. These microorganisms have gained attention for their photosynthetic capabilities, long history on Earth, and more recently, eutrophic blooms due to

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Mechanics and Optics of Cyanobacteria: How to Survive over Billions of Years

Abstract This essay sheds light on a unique photoautotrophic prokaryote that presents a wide range of physical properties. Although billions of years old, cyanobacteria still ingeniously make use of their structural composition, mechanical processes, and optical properties to interact with their surroundings. With a strong gliding motility, a light sensing

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Magnetic Marvels: A Mathematical Exploration of Magnetotactic Bacteria

Order can be found within the seemingly complex, and perhaps even disordered, processes and shapes that constitute magnetotactic bacteria (MTB). This order can be explained by the concepts of mathematics. First and foremost, the crystalline structures within the magnetosomes of MTB can be modelled mathematically. Magnetite and greigite crystals consist…

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Nature’s Nanomagnets: A Chemical Perspective on Magnetotactic Bacteria

Magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) are complex organisms that have evolved a multitude of internal chemical processes to survive their harsh environments. This paper discusses the details of important biological molecules, metabolic systems, and molecular mechanisms that contribute to the vital functions of MTB. Notably, biomineralization is a chemical, multi-step process that…

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A Physical Analysis of Magnetotactic Bacteria: Nature’s Microscopic Compass as a Solution to a Motile Biotope

Figure 1: Magnetotactic Bacteria (Perduca, 2016). Magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) are unique aquatic microaerophiles that can align and move in the direction of the Earth’s magnetic field. In this paper, the basic physical properties of magnetosomes, some mechanisms, such as magnetotaxis, and phototaxis, involved in the MTB’s motion, and the role…

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Chemical Analysis of Amoebae

Amoebae wield a fascinating array of chemical tools to increase their chances of survival and optimize their interactions with their environment. A selection of these tools will be presented and explained in this article, so that as many people as possible may gain inspiration from the ingenuity of nature’s design…

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Chemical Warfare in Toxin Producing Organisms

The use of toxins and venoms to gain control over a limited number of resources is often observed in competitive relationships between organisms. Antagonistic interactions such as allelopathy, exploitative and interference competition significantly contributing to dynamics of coexistence and coevolution of the involved species. Toxin-producing phytoplankton exude allelopathic compounds that…

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The Mechanics and Rates of Organic Matter Decomposition

Despite their differences, living organisms find common ground when their time comes to an end. While life activities cease, the spirit of the afterlife continues in the form of decay – a critical mechanism by which an ecosystem’s nutrients and energy resources are recycled. Within nature’s ecosystems, the important task…

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Courtship and Mating: the Physics of Sexual Dimorphism and its Evolutionary Function

Sexual dimorphisms are defined as the differences in size and anatomy between sexes of animals of the same species. These differences arise from reproductive pressures and oftentimes have no survival benefits. The manifestation of such sexual dimorphisms varies significantly based on courting and mating practices. In this essay, we analyze…

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