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Microbiologists: B. subtilis produces SOUND!!

Henry Wallace ultrasonic at worldnet.att.net
Sat Sep 26 11:19:40 EST 1998


Microbiologists: B. subtilis produces SOUND!!

To: Microbiologists

Are you aware that B. subtilis, and some other microbes,
while being cultured, actually puts out SOUND??

According to the article, reference attached, this sound is
loudest at about 25 kilohertz, which is well above the
frequency limit of human hearing. We will FAX you a copy
of this article, if you desire.

It is possible that the best way to monitor growth of B. 
subtilis is by "listening in" to this sound. According to the 
article, the cells use this sound for communication 
between cells.

Potential applications abound. Is it possible, for instance,
to characterize microfauna by their ultrasonic output ? Can
a "spectrum analysis" tool be developed to quantitatively
identify the various components of a mixed culture ? Such
a tool might resemble the "mass spectrometers" so useful
to Chemists. In medicine, does a healthy/sick organ present 
different ultrasonic signatures?

We are prepared to offer you a complete system for 
listening to the B. subtilis grow for $995.00. This 
system consists of a submersible ultrasonic transducer 
and an ultrasonic receiver. The receiver converts the 
high-frequency sound from B. subtilis to a lower 
frequency sound which you can hear.

If you desire to get in on this exciting new field of micro-
biological measurement, please contact me.

Henry C. Wallace, Physicist
Director of Research
Ultrasonic Energy Systems: Building near
megahertz  high-intensity ultrasonic sources...
Please visit us at:
http://www.ultrasonic-energy.com/
 
Vol 44, Issue 1, Feb. 1998, JOURNAL OF GENERAL 
            AND APPLIED MICRO-BIOLOGY, Publishers 
            MICROBIOLOGY  RESEARCH FOUNDATION,
            Tokyo, Japan, pages 49-55.

Title "Production of sound waves by bacterial cells and 
         the response of bacterial cells to sound"

Author: M Matsuhashi, Tokai University
            Department of Biological Science & Technology 
            317 Nishino, Shizuoka 4100321, Japan

 Abstract:
    
  Bacterial cells enhance the proliferation of neighboring 
  cells under stress conditions by emitting a physical 
  signal. Continuous single sine sound waves produced 
  by a speaker at frequencies of 6-10, 18-22, and 28-38 
  kHz promoted colony formation by Bacillus carboniphilus
  under non-permissive stress conditions of high KCl 
  concentration and high temperature. Furthermore, sound 
  waves emitted from cells of Bacillius subtilis at frequencies 
  between 8 and 43 kHz with broad peaks at approximately 
  8.5, 19, 29, and 37 kHz were detected using a sensitive 
  microphone system. The similarity between the frequency of
  the sound produced by B. subtilis and the frequencies that 
  induced a response in B. carboniphilus and the previously 
  observed growth-promoting effect of B. subtilis cells upon 
  B. carboniphilus through iron barriers, suggest that the 
  detected sound waves function as a growth-regulatory 
  signal between cells.







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