Skip to comments.Bugging bugs: Learning to speak microbe
Posted on 03/07/2010 8:53:29 AM PST by grey_whiskers
DEEP in your lungs, there's a battle raging. It's a warm, moist environment where the ever-opportunistic bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa has taken up residence. If your lungs are healthy, chances are the invader will be quickly dispatched. But in the mucus-clogged lungs of people with cystic fibrosis, the bacterium finds an ideal habitat. First, the microbes quietly multiply and then they suddenly switch their behaviour. A host of biochemical changes sticks the population of cells together, forming a gluey biofilm that even a potent cocktail of antibiotics struggles to shift.
Microbes like P. aeruginosa were once thought of as disorganised renegades, each cell working alone. Microbiologists like Thomas Bjarnsholt, who is battling to understand how P. aeruginosa causes chronic infection in people with cystic fibrosis, now know otherwise. They are up against a highly organised army, using a sophisticated communication system to coordinate its behaviour.
(Excerpt) Read more at newscientist.com ...
Seeing bacteria talk: Shown colored above are molecules used by bacteria to communicate.
Amazing. Looks like they communicate better than we do in, say, an internet forum. Or a business meeting.
PIng... (Thanks grey_whiskers!)
Thanks for the ping!
Thanks for the ping.
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