“Man shall not live on coffee alone …. but Pseudomonas putida CBB5 can”
Okay, so I am paraphrasing a bit, but no matter how much you depend on coffee to keep you going, it will not keep you going indefinitely.
When you roll out of bed feeling like a flat tyre and stagger to the kitchen to swig down your first cup of coffee/caffeine, the caffeine energy boost comes due to a little neurotransmitter manipulation.
The energy lift has nothing to do with you actually burning the stuff for fuel to derive energy. To load up with fuel, you need to include some food along with the coffee.
But when Pseudomonas putida swallows a little java juice, it actually manages to turn it into fuel, squeezing biological energy (known as ATP) out of the caffeine molecule. So this little guy can get by on a caffeine only diet.
The caffeine enzyme package
The ability to survive on caffeine alone, comes courtesy of a special package of enzymes. The enzymes lob off the methyl groups (CH3 bits) and then smashes the complex nitrogen rings, in the process energy is released.
We do a little caffeine chemistry as well, but our enzymes focus on popping things on, so we can pee it out.
Don’t covet that enzyme package too much. Caffeine really doesn’t taste too good on its own – it is quite bitter, the taste comes from the peripheral chemicals, only the oomph comes from caffeine.
The owners of this special package are unlikely to be spending their days sipping coffee at the local coffeeshop. The Iowa researchers have plans to keep the caffeine guzzling bacteria wired and working hard.
They will be staying up late, removing caffeine from coffee to create ala natural caffeine-free coffee, for the crazy people who believe drinking caffeine is an unhealthy past time.
Currently, getting the caffeine out of coffee is a very chemical reaction, but a little biotechnology could see caffeine-free coffee, being 100 % caffeine free and 100 % natural.
Caffeine guzzlers go local
Hopefully not too many species of bacteria are able to burn up caffeine.
Shushi eating encourages shushi eating bacteria to take up residence in your gut so, if you are a caffeine addict, you may already be sharing your daily caffeine fix with a few thousand friends.
Eish – I hope not. I can’t afford to be buying coffee for thousands.American Society for Microbiology issued a press release about Pseudomonas putida coffee eating capabilities
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