Have you ever tried to glue something together in the rain or underwater? Most likely you haven’t because you knew that the glue would not work on a wet surface. However, it may be possible in the future with the help of a tiny soybean-shaped bacterium.
Researchers at Brown University and Indiana University used video microscopy in their study of the bacterium called Caulobacter crescentus which lives in fresh and saltwater environments. It produces one of the strongest adhesives known to man and this adhesive works underwater.
In nature, this bacterium divides, producing two daughter stages. These daughter stages swim using a flagellum to propel it around. When it finds a location to attach to, the bacterium sheds its flagellum and grows a thicker structure referred to as a holdfast. As soon as the holdfast makes contact with the other object, it stops wiggling with the help of structures known as pili. When the holdfast completely stops moving, it then produces its adhesive which secures it to the surface of the object.
The adhesive is so strong that it is extremely difficult to remove it from whatever it is stuck to. All scientists have to do now is figure out how the bacterium produces the adhesive and try to duplicate the process. If they can learn the secrets of the adhesive, it could be a huge asset to all of mankind.
Reading this report reminded me of what one of my college professors taught me. He said that there is not one chemical process known to mankind that has not been found to occur in at least one bacterium and as such, this technically makes them the most versatile group of organisms known to man and the most likely to survive in the harshest conditions imaginable.
When you read the Old Testament laws, you will see that God is a God of detail. When you study His creation down to the cell and molecular level you can’t help but realize just how much of a God of detail He really is. It reminds me of Romans 1:20 which says:
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
Boyle, Rebecca. Video Microscopy Unveils the Tricks of Nature’s Toughest Glue, Oozed By a Bacterium, Popular Science, Feb 10, 2012.