Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

TEDTalks: Talking Bacteria

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This interesting video is a TEDTalk. TED — for Technology, Entertainment, Design — talks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. They are a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give “the talk of their lives” in 18 minutes. In this TEDTalk, Bonnie Bassler discovered that bacteria “talk” to each other, using a chemical language that lets them coordinate defense and mount attacks. The find has stunning implications for medicine, industry — and our understanding of ourselves. [18:59]


  1. #1 wybory sondaze demokracja
    April 19, 2009

    I don’t feel surprised, to be honest. Chemical language is something we all use (sense of smell or taste, not to mention feromones), I meant not only humankind but also other mammals, birds fish, even plants (eg. a kind of cactus emits some chemical substances that keeps other representatives of its kind away – this way they have their own ‘territories’).
    What IS fascinating is the fact that we are able to understand the chemical languages of other species. That gives us great advantage. Thanks to this discovery we are able not only to fight against diseases but also preserve food or clean the Earth in ‘natural’ way. This video is nice introduction to it, so keep up workig hard!

  2. #2 Toaster
    April 20, 2009

    I can’t watch that right now at work, but I must note that we’ve known about inter-bacterial chemical communication for some time now. Originally discovered in Vibrio fischerii chemiluminescence in squid bellies, it has also been found to work between different species. What’s more, pathogenic strains of E. coli have been found to be chemotactically attracted to epinephrine-producing host cells (like the gut walls) and repelled by the indole that they secrete.

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