Science The Anthrax Bacteria Throws A Scary Surprise At Scientists

Published on October 18th, 2012 | by Steven Hodson


The Anthrax Bacteria Throws A Scary Surprise At Scientists

Anthrax is one of the scariest viruses known to man, maybe with the exception of Ebola, as that it can cause your insides to basically turn to liquid and make black ulcers appear all over your body but scientists believed that the bacteria that causes anthrax, bacillus anthracis, became dormant when it is in the soil and only coming to life when it enters a cow’s digestive system.

However that belief may turn out to be a false one as scientists at the University of Virginia have discovered that the bacteria is quite capable of breeding , and spreading, in that same soil that scientists believed it lay dormant. It apparently does this by using common soil and water amoebas as a breeding source.

Placed in sterile water, the spores that anthrax bacteria call home in their dormant state were undisturbed. However, when Acanthamoeba castellanii were introduced to the water, anthrax spores germinated and their population exploded, increasing to 50 times the number of bacteria initially present. When the temperature was raised in the dish, the population rose to 100 times where it began.

In the wild, these numbers would turn healthy streams into cow death mills when livestock drank from them.

via Geekosystem





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About the Author

Steven has been around the tech world long enough to see most of the stuff we think of cool happen before which leads to a certain bit of cynicism that has contributed to him being known as the cranky old fart of the Internet. Besides sharing some of the goodness that he finds with you here at 42x you can also find him curating some digital goodness at Winextra (tech type stuff) and Rotten Gumdrops (for your daily dose of WTF).

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