How do Bacteria Communicate?

So here we are; bragging about our discoveries and great new ways of living… meanwhile we tend to forget that we are NOT the dominant species on the surface of the earth. Reality check!

According to Bonny Bassler, bacteria live a boring life. They grow and divide, grow and divide, grow and divide. Yet they manage to cover us in an invisible body armor protecting us from environmental influences. They work together with our body by digesting our food, producing vitamins and educate our immune system to keep bad virusses and microbes out. Without bacteria we simply wouldn’t be able to survive.

In this light, human bodies can be seen as incredible garden–spaceships to the smallest living organisms on earth. This would imply that bacteria populations found ways to communicate and organize themselves to pursue certain objectives. If only we could know what they have in mind for us and learn to speak their language…

In this TED-talk Bonnie Bassler gives an inspiring introduction to the chemical language spoken by our tiny symbiotic dominators (click to view). Image credit: Takho Lau / Sharp

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