Terahertz Radiation Suppresses Cell Division In Bacteria - Study

Terahertz Radiation Suppresses Cell Division in Bacteria - Study

NOVOSIBIRSK (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 20th October, 2021) Terahertz irradiation suppresses cell division in bacteria, scientists of the Institute of Cytology and Genetics at the Russian academy of Sciences' Siberian Branch (ICG SB RAS) found, according to a study published in the Nature Scientific Reports journal.

"As a result of exposure to radiation, a number of processes significant for the vital activity of cells begin to proceed differently. In our work, we have shown that there is a change in the activity of entire gene systems that are associated with cell aggregation, cell mobility, cell division is suppressed, cell membranes behave differently," lead researcher Sergey Peltek said.

The generation and application of electromagnetic radiation of the terahertz frequency range has been developing rapidly since the end of the last century, but there are very few studies on its effect on living organisms. It is known that terahertz radiation from natural sources is almost completely absorbed by the atmosphere, and the evolution of organisms on Earth took place in the almost complete absence of its influence. In this regard, genetic and other biological studies are important for assessing the biosafety of technologies based on terahertz radiation.

Scientists conducted experiments on the Novosibirsk free electron laser of the Siberian Center for Synchrotron and Terahertz Radiation, exposing live E. coli bacteria to powerful terahertz radiation, and evaluated the changes caused.

The experiments lasted for about a year and included several sessions of irradiation of cells for 15 minutes. To conduct biological research using terahertz radiation of a free electron laser, a special experimental station was equipped with all necessary facilities.

"The equipment of the workstation allows you to regulate and control the intensity and uniformity of irradiation of biological samples, as well as their temperature with an accuracy of several hundredths of a degree. All this ensures the repeatability of experiments with living objects. Cooperation with the ICG SB RAS has been going on for more than 15 years, and in addition to E. coli, other biological objects are being studied with the help of the Novosibirsk free electron laser," senior researcher Vasily Popik said.

The Novosibirsk free electron laser is a unique scientific installation built on the basis of a special accelerator-recuperator. The terahertz laser is one of the three lasers included in the installation, launched in 2003.