Biologists discover bacteria communicate like neurons in the brain

October 21, 2015
Bacteria

Biologists at UC San Diego have discovered that bacteria—often viewed as lowly, solitary creatures—are actually quite sophisticated in their social interactions and communicate with one another through similar electrical signaling mechanisms as neurons in the human brain.

In a study published in this week's advance online publication of Nature, the scientists detail the manner by which bacteria living in communities communicate with one another electrically through proteins called "."

"Our discovery not only changes the way we think about bacteria, but also how we think about our brain," said Gürol Süel, an associate professor of molecular biology at UC San Diego who headed the research project. "All of our senses, behavior and intelligence emerge from electrical communications among neurons in the brain mediated by ion channels. Now we find that bacteria use similar ion channels to communicate and resolve metabolic stress. Our discovery suggests that neurological disorders that are triggered by metabolic stress may have ancient bacterial origins, and could thus provide a new perspective on how to treat such conditions."

"Much of our understanding of electrical signaling in our brains is based on structural studies of bacterial ion channels" said Süel. But how bacteria use those ion channels remained a mystery until Süel and his colleagues embarked on an effort to examine long-range communication within biofilms—organized communities containing millions of densely packed bacterial cells. These communities of bacteria can form thin structures on surfaces—such as the tartar that develops on teeth—that are highly resistant to chemicals and antibiotics.

The scientists' interest in studying long-range signals grew out of a previous study, published in July in Nature, which found that biofilms are able to resolve social conflicts within their community of bacterial cells just like human societies.

When a biofilm composed of hundreds of thousands of Bacillus subtilis grows to a certain size, the researchers discovered, the protective outer edge of cells, with unrestricted access to nutrients, periodically stopped growing to allow nutrients—specifically glutamate, to flow to the sheltered center of the biofilm. In this way, the protected bacteria in the colony center were kept alive and could survive attacks by chemicals and antibiotics.

Realizing that oscillations in biofilm growth required long-range coordination between bacteria at the periphery and interior of the biofilm, together with the fact that bacteria were competing for glutamate, an electrically charged molecule, prompted the researchers to speculate that the metabolic coordination among distant cells within biofilms might involve a form of electrochemical communication. The scientists noted that glutamate is also known to drive about half of all human brain activity.

So they designed an experiment to test their hypothesis. The object was to carefully measure changes in bacterial cell membrane potential during metabolic oscillations.

The researchers observed oscillations in membrane potential that matched the oscillations in biofilm growth and found that ion channels were responsible for these changes in membrane potential. Further experiments revealed that oscillations conducted long-range within the biofilms through spatially propagating waves of potassium, a charged ion. As these waves of charged ions propagate through the biofilm, they coordinated the metabolic activity of bacteria in the inner and outer regions of the biofilm. When the ion channel that allows potassium to flow in and out of cells was deleted from the bacteria, the biofilm was no longer able to conduct these electrical signals.

"Just like the neurons in our brain, we found that bacteria use ion channels to communicate with each other through electrical signals," said Süel. "In this way, the community of bacteria within biofilms appears to function much like a 'microbial brain'."

Süel added that the specific mechanism by which the bacteria communicate with one another is surprisingly similar to a process in the known as "cortical spreading depression," which is thought to be involved in migraines and seizures.

"What's interesting is that both migraines and the electrical signaling in we discovered are triggered by ," he said. "This suggests that many drugs originally developed for epilepsy and migraines may also be effective in attacking bacterial biofilms, which have become a growing health problem around the world because of their resistance to antibiotics."

Explore further: Resolving social conflict is key to survival of bacterial communities

More information: Ion channels enable electrical communication within bacterial communities, DOI: 10.1038/nature15709

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33 comments

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JVK
1.8 / 5 (10) Oct 21, 2015
Excerpt: "Just like the neurons in our brain, we found that bacteria use ion channels to communicate with each other through electrical signals," said Süel. "In this way, the community of bacteria within biofilms appears to function much like a 'microbial brain'."

The obvious link from ecological variation and either nutrient stress or social stress to pathology is virus perturbed protein folding, which can be placed into the context of mutations and pathology but not into the context of RNA-mediated events that link nutrients and controlled social stress to healthy longevity in all living genera.

Captain Stumpy
4.4 / 5 (7) Oct 21, 2015
The obvious link
@jk
"unmotivated seeing of connections" accompanied by a "specific experience of an abnormal meaningfulness". Apophenia has come to imply a universal human tendency to seek patterns in random information, such as gambling
https://en.wikipe...pophenia

Your Dunning-Kruger gets annoying
https://en.wikipe...r_effect

try using the scientific method instead
https://en.wikipe...c_method

you provided absolutely NO evidence supporting your conclusions

SuperThunder
3.7 / 5 (9) Oct 21, 2015
I'll never look at Lysol the same way again.
JVK
1.8 / 5 (10) Oct 21, 2015
Is nutrition the future of brain health? http://medicalxpr...lth.html

you provided absolutely NO evidence supporting your conclusions


Nutrient-dependent microRNAs are linked to the healthy longevity of every cell type in every tissue of every organ of every organ system in humans via the conserved molecular mechanisms of RNA-mediated cell type differentiation I have detailed in the context of my atoms to ecosystems model. Viral microRNAs perturb the RNA-mediated cell type differentiation, which is how they are linked to all pathology.

Nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations: from atoms to ecosystems
http://figshare.c...s/994281
Vietvet
5 / 5 (6) Oct 21, 2015
Nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations: from atoms to ecosystems
http://figshare.c...s/994281

Criticisms of the nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled evolutionary model
http://www.ncbi.n...4049134/
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (5) Oct 21, 2015
I'll never look at Lysol the same way again.

Or Crest or Listerine...
Captain Stumpy
4.4 / 5 (7) Oct 22, 2015
I have detailed in the context of my atoms to ecosystems model
you mean the model debunked here?
http://www.ncbi.n...4049134/

The model that actually requires "mutations" even though you have stated that "all mutations are pathological", therefore, per your own words, your own model is an abject failure and only pathological????

epic failure
.

I'll never look at Lysol the same way again.

Or Crest or Listerine...
or jvk

JVK
1.9 / 5 (9) Oct 22, 2015
The model that actually requires "mutations" ...


Another correspondent wrote:

"...so what's new..we came from the big soup pot …if bacteria did not start the chain of the evolutionary process then tell me what did?"

The light-induced de novo creation of nucleic acids is obviously the start of experience-dependent links from the epigenetic landscape to the physical landscape of DNA. Creation continues in the context of nutrient-dependent RNA-mediated gene duplication and RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions that differentiate all cell types of all individuals of all living genera. The conserved molecular mechanisms of biophysically constrained protein folding enable fixation of the amino acid substitutions in the context of the physiology of reproduction.

Alternatively, you can start with bacteria and mutations, which link all virus-driven pathology across all species via perturbed protein folding. That's what biologically uninformed science idiots do.
JVK
2 / 5 (8) Oct 22, 2015
See also, from 2013
Signal and noise: Spike correlations in the olfactory system
http://medicalxpr...ory.html

In the past two years or more, nearly every attempt to discuss facts like these had brought on the pseudoscientific nonsense and attacks by biologically uninformed science idiots.

Phy.org and MedicalXpress.com moderators encourage the attacks and the nonsense.

If there are any intelligent people interested in discussion, please make your presence known or find my comments via any search for "James V. Kohl" or for "RNA mediated"
Vietvet
5 / 5 (4) Oct 22, 2015


If there are any intelligent people interested in discussion, please make your presence known or find my comments via any search for "James V. Kohl" or for "RNA mediated"


I encourage everyone to Google "James V. Kohl". The top result is: " Criticisms of the nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled"
https://www.googl...v%20kohl
Captain Stumpy
4.2 / 5 (5) Oct 22, 2015
In the past two years or more, nearly every attempt to discuss facts like these had brought on the pseudoscientific nonsense and attacks by biologically uninformed science idiots.
@jk
well, if you would shut up, post science ONLY, stop posting (especially your) PSEUDOSCIENCE, stop posting creationist dogma or religion and quit advertising your stinky perfume and personal sites, there would be NO pseudoscientific nonsense or "biologically uninformed science idiots" posting here.

take the first step! prevent pseudoscience and religious posting!
disable your profile
Another correspondent wrote:
so, you can't answer the question or elucidate the science so you will post someone else's OPINION and then claim it is fact?
like elsewhere, personal conjecture is NOT evidence or fact

this is like saying you are pope because you stayed near a catholic church once and then present an airline ticket to Rome as proof of Papal ordination.
epic failure
JVK
2.1 / 5 (7) Oct 22, 2015
Why do I need to elucidate the science that has already been repeatedly elucidated to refute pseudoscientific nonsense?

See also: Scientists discover protein factories hidden in human jumping genes
http://www.scienc...4518.htm

Dobzhansky reported the link between the epigenetic landscape and the physical landscape of DNA in 3 primate species in 1973.

"...the so-called alpha chains of hemoglobin have identical sequences of amino acids in man and the chimpanzee, but they differ in a single amino acid (out of 141) in the gorilla. ( p. 127)"
http://img.signal...nsky.pdf

Who's claiming that the amino acid substitution is a mutation or trying to link the substitution from a nutrient energy-dependent change in a base pair to the evolution of a new protein, gene, or whatever else they think links mutations, natural selection, or anything else to evolution?
JVK
2.1 / 5 (7) Oct 22, 2015
[q} I encourage everyone to Google "James V. Kohl". The top result is: " Criticisms of the nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled"

Thanks. I'll help:

https://www.googl...+Kohl%22

I encourage everyone to read the response to the most ridiculous display of ignorance than anyone has ever submitted to any journal in response to accurate representations of biologically-based cause and effect. The response to the biologically uninformed science idiot: Andrew Jones (aka anonymous_9001) should become a classic.

"Editor's note

The 2013 review article by James Vaughn Kohl published in Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology and criticized in the above Letter to the Editor was subjected to standard peer review and the revised version was accepted by me after it had been accepted by both reviewers."

For comparison, anyone who accepts Jones' claims is a biologically uninformed science idiot, like he is.

Captain Stumpy
4.2 / 5 (5) Oct 22, 2015
Why do I need to elucidate the science
@jk
well, princess, because of the following:
- you made a CLAIM
- your link and quote doesn't support your CLAIM (nor does it support your past claims)

thus, it is a matter of discussing what, exactly, in said link/article that you are referring to as actually validates your CLAIM

in your own model, your CLAIMS are refuted by your other CLAIMS, which directly contradict your own model such as:
your model requires mutations, but since all mutations are pathological, per your claim, then your model is pathological and thus it cannot be viable

thus, you must be specific about your claims and point to specific information so that you can actually be refuted or accepted

thus the "elucidation"

pointing and saying "i've already said blah blah" while not demonstrating a link or validating a claim is just another way of saying "I can't actually validate my claims, so i will distract with stupidity instead"
Captain Stumpy
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 22, 2015
"Editor's note

The 2013 review article by James Vaughn Kohl published in Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology
When i queried the magazine senior editors and staff, this is the reply i got
From the Senior staff at Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, BTW
hello harold,
So say it's hot paper kohl sent ... you will have to remove it, or you pubie every forum against: it is also a way to dismantle the pseudo science. j bises
caroel
Google translate of the following original message
salut harold,
dis donc c'est chaud le papier de kohl….soit tu va devoir le retirer, soit tu pubie toutes les tribunes contre : c'est aussi une facon de démonter la pseudo science. j bises
caroel
I would ask Uncle Ira for another translation and clarity, but Google has been sufficient to out you as a crackpot

JVK
2.1 / 5 (7) Oct 22, 2015
Google has been sufficient to out you as a crackpot


Precisely the opposite.

See: https://www.googl...mediated

See also: https://www.googl...eromones

See also: https://scholar.g...as_sdtp=
Captain Stumpy
4 / 5 (4) Oct 22, 2015
Precisely the opposite.
See: https://www.googl...mediated
@jk
using google as an indicator of scientific credibility?
1- google tracks your use and modifies your results based upon your past history. thus, considering your narcissistic nature and need for self aggrandizement, as well as verbose pontificate and proselytizing of your religion, your "link" only proves that you are a "windbag preacher"

2- the reference above was to Google Translate, not to the search engine

3- thinking your popularity rating makes you scientific or credible is like thinking faerie farts cause anemia and runny noses

4- Google also says this: https://www.googl...=Faeries

About 1,330,000 results (0.39 seconds)
so does that prove Faeries exist?

nice try, mensa boy

HEY! quick question: how did you become a microbiologist without a degree?
JVK
2.1 / 5 (7) Oct 22, 2015
http://phys.org/n...ies.html
http://phys.org/n...man.html

how did you become a microbiologist without a degree?


Thanks for asking.
What difference does it make?
How did you become a biologically uninformed science idiot without being taught to be one?
SuperThunder
3.3 / 5 (7) Oct 22, 2015
What's really sad is that the tartar on our teeth treat each other better than we do.

HEY! quick question: how did you become a microbiologist without a degree?


*raises hand* I read Cliffs Quick Review for Microbiology! Cliffs Review is also how I became a mythology.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (3) Oct 23, 2015
Thanks for asking.
What difference does it make?
@jk
Goes to credibility
there are NO microbiologists working as microbiologists in this nation without a degree (at the very least)
however, you claim to be a Microbiologist. this is called "lying"
it can also be construed as FRAUD considering you are listing it as a professional accomplishment in your history, thus you are fraudulently selling yourself to the public as a degree holding professional while being a drop-out who couldn't learn the basics of even the terminology, let alone actual biological processes

This is cogent because you usually make the fallacious arguments from authority, whereas you are not even qualified to be considered semi-competent

and you wanted to use litigation against PO?
you should actually try researching a subject before popping off at the mouth, mensa-girl

PS- your links only reinforces the Theory of Evolution
not your creationist beliefs

JVK
2.1 / 5 (7) Oct 23, 2015
there are NO microbiologists working as microbiologists in this nation without a degree (at the very least)


I am a member of the American Society for Clinical Pathology and maintain my credentials as a medical laboratory scientist. The last several years of my career were spent working as a microbiologist in a hospital laboratory.

See: American Society for Clinical Pathology https://en.wikipe...athology

See also: http://www.ascp.org/
See also: http://rna-mediated.com/
Bongstar420
not rated yet Oct 24, 2015
LOL..

All cells have ion channels in their membranes.

Do these bacteria grow "wires" which connect individuals? That would be a meaningful similarity.
JVK
2.1 / 5 (7) Oct 24, 2015
Do you understand what the term "DNA sensing" means?

there are NO microbiologists working as microbiologists in this nation without a degree (at the very least)


What kind of biologically uninformed science idiot makes such a ridiculous claim?
(That was a rhetorical question.)

"2016 ASCP Membership Confirmation Your Member Number: 25331607

Dear James V Kohl, MLS(ASCP)CM,

Thank you for your membership with ASCP. As your professional organization, we are committed to providing you with continuing education, networking opportunities, as well as many other ways to advance in your career.

You may access your virtual ID card immediately..."
JVK
2.1 / 5 (7) Oct 24, 2015
http://www.forbes...ionists/

"Most scientists and science lovers cannot win a debate with the best intelligent design creationists."

Moran is one of them. Like PZ Myers, he simply bans any creationist who threatens to expose his pseudoscientific nonsense.

See also: Theme: Genomes & Junk DNA
http://sandwalk.b...dna.html

Excerpt: "retrotransposons:
active (functional): <0.1%"

See: MIR retrotransposon sequences provide insulators to the human genome http://www.pnas.o...abstract

When will all serious scientists learn that the "insulators" protect organized genomes from virus-driven genomic entropy, which is why we need so few of them to be functional. Our genomes have already been organized despite the ever present threat of virus-driven DNA damage linked to pathology.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (3) Oct 24, 2015
rna-mediated
PSEUDOSCIENCE PHISHING SITE
reported
laboratory scientist
AKA-a lab tech
The last several years of my career were spent working as a microbiologist in a hospital laboratory
Ah, so... you are not only practicing medicine without a license as a diagnostician, you are also working as a microbiologist without education, license & training, making that yet another felony?
gotcha!
See: American Society for Clinical Pathology
so... you're a diagnostician, mensa, microbiologist, race-car driver, perfumer, creationist AND pathologist? but you can't actually prove ANY of the claims (except fanatical creationist), and some are actually felonies... fascinating!

making a claim without evidence! wow... at least you are consistent!

this is like stating that you are a Toyota because you wandered through a garage once... like i said: you still can't prove ANY of it

Who are you trying to convince? me? you?

repeating a lie doesn't make it true
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (2) Oct 24, 2015
@jk cont'd
"2016 ASCP Membership Confirmation
really?

lets actually do some verification, jk: send your board certification or link a copy of it from Photo-bucket or another site (NOT YOUR OWN PERSONAL SITE) and allow me to verify/validate it
the reason i ask is simple, and from your own site
Beware of Fraudulent Certification: The number of people misrepresenting their certification status has significantly increased over the years. Misrepresentation has occurred in a variety of ways. Individuals have improperly obtained ASCP Member ID cards or certificates of qualification from ASCP certified individuals, made copies and changed the name to their own. This copy is then used to obtain employment in a higher level job. In some cases, individuals have modified their own Member ID card to indicate a higher level of certification.
you've already been caught lying your butt off, jk... so until i get your certs and can validate it, you're still lying
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (3) Oct 24, 2015
@jk
post script: i need verification for your board certification and license as a pathologist, diagnostician as well as microbiologist, as you have claimed in the past.

i will give you 1 week
otherwise: http://dch.georgi...rt-fraud

http://medicalboa...gia.gov/

chloe2013025
not rated yet Oct 25, 2015
As is known, bacteria belongs to a member of a large group of unicellular microorganisms that have cell walls but lack organelles and an organized nucleus, including some that can cause disease. The communication way of bacteria might be unique, compared with other substances. Actually, a method for improving the super bacteria has been found, just as the page displayed: http://www.creati...acteria/
JVK
2.3 / 5 (6) Oct 25, 2015
The communication way of bacteria might be unique...


The communication is nutrient-dependent and controlled by the physiology of reproduction in species from microbes to humans.
JVK
2.3 / 5 (6) Oct 25, 2015
Individuals have improperly obtained ASCP Member ID cards or certificates of qualification from ASCP certified individuals, made copies and changed the name to their own.


If anyone will claim that is what I have done, I invite them to quit hiding behind their anonymity or use of any other name that might otherwise prevent my attorney from contacting them.

Captain Stumpy just attested to the value of my credentials. Value is added if someone is willing to claim that my ASCP qualifications are fake or that they cannot be verified by ASCP.

JVK
2.1 / 5 (7) Oct 25, 2015
See also: John Ioannidis has dedicated his life to quantifying how science is broken http://www.vox.co...nterview

Creationists are trying to fix the broken science, but pseudoscientists are threatened by any attempts to fix what they want to stay broken because it is funding source for ridiculous theories only if the science is broken.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (2) Oct 26, 2015
If anyone will claim that is what I have done, I invite them to quit hiding behind their anonymity or use of any other name that might otherwise prevent my attorney from contacting them
I am not anonymous, moron
Captain Stumpy just attested to the value of my credentials
no, i did NOT
you've posted and attested to your fake education here: http://phys.org/n...uch.html

You've lied about holding a medical license here: - http://phys.org/n...nes.html

need i continue?
... i am telling you that, unless you can provide a means of validating your credentials (linking them to me to validate) i will be reporting you to your home state as fraudulent and practicing without a license, because i can provide evidence of said fraud in your own words

Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Oct 26, 2015
Value is added if someone is willing to claim that my ASCP qualifications are fake or that they cannot be verified by ASCP
proof that you don't understand the scientific method any more than you are capable of comprehending reality
https://en.wikipe...c_method

you should read up on how validation works
Creationists are trying to fix the broken science,
there is NO SCIENCE in the creationist movement
https://en.wikipe...Arkansas

this is proven FACT, not just evidence presented, but also held up in the Supreme Court of the US, thus it is VALIDATED fact

reported for pseudoscience

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