Microwaves get bacteria to open sesame

Australian researchers have discovered a kind of remote control for bacterial cells that gets them to open up their pores and, it is hoped, someday accept drug delivery. Russell Crawford of the Swinburne University of Technology and colleagues at the faculty's Nano-BioTech Group exposed E. coli cells to low-temperature microwaves--an 18 GHz radiofrequency electromagnetic field. In response, the E. coli cells opened their pores and gobbled up sugar molecules. They performed the experiment in low temperatures to prove that it was the electromagnetic field, and not high temperatures, that were responsible. Crawford says the technology could potentially "help doctors deliver antibiotics to infection sites, such as open wounds or surfaces around medical implants," he said, according to a report on Physorg. Report | Abstract