Bacteria live on caffeine

Researchers discover that some bugs crave the buzz of caffeine.

By | June 10, 2011

Coffee beansPUUIKIBEACH VIA FLICKR

And you thought you were addicted to coffee: researchers have found bacteria that actually live on caffeine, Newswise reports. Most bacteria can’t digest caffeine molecules because their nitrogen-rich cores are surrounded by three methyl groups. But University of Iowa researchers used gene sequence analysis to show that Pseudomonas putida CBB5 relies on four digestive proteins to strip off the methyl groups and feast on the nitrogen at the molecule’s heart. The chemical process could one day be used to turn waste from industrial tea and coffee processing into safe, decaffeinated animal feed, the researchers say. The enzymes could also be used to break the caffeine molecule down into the basic components of drugs to treat asthma and heart arrhythmias.

 

Advertisement

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo
Advertisement

Popular Now

  1. Opinion: Making Progress by Slowing Down
  2. A Case of Sexual Ambiguity, 1865
    Foundations A Case of Sexual Ambiguity, 1865

    This year marks the 150th anniversary of an autopsy report describing the first known case of a sexual development disorder.

  3. Influential Cancer Biologist Dies
  4. Image of the Day: Colorful Corn
Advertisement
NeuroScientistNews
NeuroScientistNews
Advertisement
Life Technologies