Battling Infections By Silencing Bacterial Chatter

Princeton biologist Bonnie Bassler studies bacterial "quorum sensing" — the chemical communication that makes pathogens so dangerous.

bonnie-bassler
Bacteria may be primitive, but they’re far from simple. They lead complex lives and communicate through a chemical language that allows them to coordinate their actions, a process known as quorum sensing. Using this chemical communication system, bacteria can sense when they have reached a critical number, or quorum. Then they act en masse. Some might begin producing light, others a deadly toxin. This capability is part of what makes bacteria so terrifying: A single cell can’t manufa...
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