Repairing damaged concrete often requires pouring more fresh stuff, or digging it all up and starting over again. But thanks to germ experts at the University of Newcastle, custom bacteria – “BackFilla” – might be the future of fixing.
The bacteria, once released into a damaged area, procreate and spread into the cracks – and then die. But don’t be sad – in their wake, they leave behind calcium carbonate corpses as strong as the original concrete. And don’t worry – the researchers were canny enough to design the bacteria to know when their work is done, so they don’t run amuck and cover the world in concrete:
The bacteria also contains a self-destruct gene that keeps it from wildly proliferating away from its concrete target, because a runaway patch of bacterial concrete that continued to grow despite all efforts to stop it would be somewhat annoying
Yes, annoying is right – or like something out of a very dull horror movie. [BoingBoing]