Bonnie Bassler

How bacteria "talk"

1.7M views Apr 2009


Bacteria are the oldest living organisms on the earth. They've been here for billions of years, and what they are are single-celled microscopic organisms. So they are one cell and they have this special property that they only have one piece of DNA. They have very few genes, and genetic information to encode all of the traits that they carry out. And the way bacteria make a living is that they consume nutrients from the environment, they grow to twice their size, they cut themselves down in the middle, and one cell becomes two, and so on and so on. They just grow and divide, and grow and divide -- so a kind of boring life, except that what I would argue is that you have an amazing interaction with these critters.

http://www.ted.com/talks/bonnie_bassler_on_how_bacteria_communicate/transcript?language=en
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