By Abigail Klein Leichman
“We modified bio-luminescent E. coli bacteria, which luminesce when they detect toxicants and act as a sensing model representative of the complex microbial system,” said BGU biotech engineering Prof. Ariel Kushmaro, a member of the Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology and the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev.
“Consumption of artificial sweeteners has been linked with adverse effects such as cancer, weight gain, metabolic disorders, type 2 diabetes and alteration of gut microbiota activity,” the researchers said. “This is further evidence that consumption of artificial sweeteners adversely affects gut microbial activity which can cause a wide range of health issues.”
Artificial sweeteners also have been identified as emerging environmental pollutants. The researchers noted that their traces have been found in drinking and surface water as well as groundwater aquifers.
Additional researchers who participated in the study from BGU are PhD student Dorin Harpaz and Prof. Robert S. Marks.