Jenni Quach | Blog 12
Who would have ever thought to utilize bacteria to create enhanced materials? In an article by Tamar Tegün, she describes the possibilities and mechanics of Bio-Cement, which is created through modified bacteria. Though she illustrates the possibilities of the material—such as preventing erosion and earthquake liquefaction mitigation—one should keep in mind the pitfalls or negative outcomes that could possibly manifest. By doing so, it would make individuals prepared for such negative outcomes or completely prevent it from happening.
For one, we do not know how fast the modified bacteria produces Bio-Cement, nor how fast it spreads. The article states that this material is best used around piers because it will prevent the soil from eroding. Yet, what if the material spreads into the sand where tourists linger around? The feeling of hard sand does not sound pleasant.
Since the material stems from bacteria, there would also be excessive spreading if someone were to come into skin contact with it. He or she would unknowingly spread the bacteria which will cause other objects that the individual touches to harden. Perhaps the skin contact with the bacteria would cause an allergic reaction as well.
To counteract, perhaps someone has already created a way to prevent over spreading of the bacteria. For example, the bacteria could die off once it produces its life’s worth of Bio-Cement. As for an allergic reaction, there are already existing antihistamines to battle against it.
Tegun, Tamar. “Bio-Cement Producers Say Bacterias Might Build Cities in Near Future.” Interesting Engineering. N.p., 16 Nov. 2016. Web. 22 Nov. 2016. <http://interestingengineering.com/bio-cement-producer-bacterias-might-build-cities-near-future/>.
Bacteria. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2016. <http://interestingengineering.com/bio-cement-producer-bacterias-might-build-cities-near-future/>.