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May 31, 2011

Caffeine-Eating Bacteria May Fix Your Broken Heart

Everyone loves a good cup of joe, including our friendly neighborhood bacteria Pseudomonas putida CBB5. This microbe can consume caffeine with the best of us, a talent that could help heart arrhythmia and asthma patients.

This caffeine fiend takes a molecule of the stimulant and uses an enzyme to break it down into carbon dioxide and ammonia. A team of researchers from University of Iowa isolated the gene responsible for this caffeine-digesting protein and have cloned it into E.Coli.

Now that it's in E. Coli, this enzyme can be produced mass produced for pharmaceuticals or other industries. It could be used in medicines to increase blood flow, treat heart arrhythmia, or help patients with asthma. It could also be used by coffee manufacturers to clean up excess caffeine left over from the decaffeination process. All this from an itty bitty microbe found in a flowerbed.
 
 

27 comments:

phosports said...

gives me an excuse for drinking more coffee

Pieter said...

That's really cool! E. Coli is my favorite bacteria. :D

Patti D. said...

Very cool and scary info!!

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logo mess said...

hehe great news, i will get me a bunch of em :D

Engelhart said...

I don't consume that much caffeine, so I'll pass on the E. Coli, thanks.

Lesha said...

naah, i better stick to tea ^^

Geoffrey said...

This makes me worried to stop by the cafe on the way to work

kxxthanxx said...

nice to know

TIMMYTHEROBOT said...

Interesting stuff, I'm not a caffeine drinker though. Cut the stuff a few months ago.

Dejch said...

didn't know that.. so i won't feel bad after drinking coffie anymore

Kristof Unpronounceable said...

Hmmmloving my tasty ecoli coffee right now.

Zombie said...

Thats pretty dang interesting.

cheshire said...

This is great!

Claude said...

I love it when they discover awesome stuff like that.

BigMike said...

Uggg when ever i hear about them growing a new bacteria I just think of all the ways it could turn into a horror movie plot... Here i see a villian spreading the little guy all over Columbia, destroying the worlds supply of coffee

Blk Jesus said...

very sweet! now i can eat and drink and the chocolate and soda i want maybe

VersionDouble said...

interesting post, shame i dont drink coffee anymore!

Rob said...

I haven't even got my afternoon cup yet, damn man. I don't have a broken heart, but I am feeling lazy. lol

Max Power said...

Too bad I hate caffeine.

duffboi said...

I wonder, can bacteria get hyper? hehe

freightblog said...

i stopped drinking coffee three weeks ago :/

Dave said...

Ill need to eat a lot of this then lol.

LadyS said...

Gosh I hate coffee or any other caffeine drink. No thank you!

Skankin_Pete said...

So when the local taco bell got E. Coli it was actually a good thing! =O

trippinkets said...

interesting stuff

theunkownblogger said...

Nice post! Very interesting read.

Athanasian Echo said...

Haha, this bacteria reacts better to coffee than I do.