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Unformatted text preview: During 1391–1392, Spinello Aretino painted a cycle of frescoes in Pisa’s cemetery on the theme “Storie dei Santi Martiri Efisio e Potito”, highly prized by contemporaries and by Vasari. Twenty years ago, one of these frescoes, “Conversione di S. Efisio e Battaglia” (Conversion of S. Efisio and Battle), because of discolouring and bad damage caused by humidity and atmospheric pollution, was removed from the walls using the “tear-off” technique, consisting in covering the surface with a strong cloth bound to the surface with generous layers of formaldehyde-treated glue. As luck would have it, this large fresco (3.50 6 7.80 m) was abandoned in a storehouse for more than 20 years. When the curators attempted to remove the cloth, much to their dismay they found that the glue resisted any attempt at digestion, even when treated with concoctions of the most aggressive proteolytic enzymes available on the market. It is likely that during the long storage the glue became slowly cross- linked by the formaldehyde to the point of forming an intricate mass of untreatable proteinaceous material. Thus, although poor Spinello died presumably as a bona fide Christian, his painting was condemned to wear the burka, Muslim-fashion, for the rest of its life. When we recently treated the fresco with a suspension of viable Pseudomonas stutzeri cells, these bacteria, although agnostic, were able to fully digest the hardened glue and restore to life Spinello’s glorious painting. We show here how proteomics helped us solve the riddle of how these bacteria acted on the burka-obscured fresco. Proteomics. 2005 Jun;5(9):2453-9 . Art-loving bugs: the resurrection of Spinello Aretino from Pisa's cemetery . Antonioli P, Zapparoli G, Abbruscato P, Sorlini C, Ranalli G, Righetti PG. Lecture 9 need to know • Microbes are diverse • Bacteria can use many sources for energy • Bacteria can use many sources for Carbon • All Naturally found carbon sources can be metabolized by bacteria (and many synthetic molecules) • Biodegradation is the ability of microbes to metabolize a variety of carbon sources • Bioremediation – use of microbes to metabolize pollutants • Microbes are ubiquitous- very few environments where bacteria do not grow • Microbes make up significant of earth biomass • Bacteria grow in relation to other organisms in the environment • Bacteria grow in mixtures in the environment • Bacterial growth is effected by the environment/nutrients • Bacterial growth and products effect the environment! Bacterial growth and products effect the environment!...
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This note was uploaded on 02/28/2011 for the course BSCI 223 taught by Professor Stein during the Spring '08 term at Maryland.
- Spring '08