Evolution: No social distancing at the beginning of life

Bacteria are a dominant form of life that inhabit every environment on Earth. This includes human bodies, where they outnumber our cells and genes and regulate many body systems. Bacteria are regularly viewed as simple, single-celled ...

Mechanical forces of biofilms could play role in infections

The vast majority of bacteria in the world live on surfaces by forming structures called biofilms. These communities host thousands to millions of bacteria of different types, and are so biologically complex and active that ...

New method for combating antibiotic resistance in microbes

Bacteria in biofilms are 1,000 times more resistant to antibiotics, disinfectants, mechanical treatment, and other types of stress. A chemist from RUDN University suggested a method to prevent the formation of biofilms and ...

Deprived of oxygen, layers of bacteria get creative

Bacteria are found living nearly everywhere on our planet, from the inside of human intestines to the soil to deep underwater. When scientists study bacteria in the lab, they most often examine individual bacterial cells ...

How a gooey slime helps bacteria survive

Bacteria have the ability to adapt to their environment to survive the host's immune defense. One such survival strategy includes the formation of a biofilm that prevents the immune system or antibiotics from reaching the ...

Washing away stubborn biofilms using fungal cleaning products

Lurking inside pipes and on the surfaces of indwelling medical devices, slimy layers of bacteria, called biofilms, cause problems ranging from largescale product contamination to potentially fatal chronic infections. Biofilms ...

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Biofilm

A biofilm is an aggregate of microorganisms in which cells are stuck to each other and/or to a surface. These adherent cells are frequently embedded within a self-produced matrix of extracellular polymeric substance (EPS). Biofilm EPS, which is also refered to as "slime," is a polymeric jumble of DNA, proteins and polysaccharides. Biofilms may form on living or non-living surfaces, and represent a prevalent mode of microbial life in natural, industrial and hospital settings . The cells of a microorganism growing in a biofilm are physiologically distinct from planktonic cells of the same organism, which by contrast, are single-cells that may float or swim in a liquid medium. Microbes form a biofilm in response to many factors, which may include cellular recognition of specific or non-specific attachment sites on a surface, nutritional cues, or in some cases, by exposure of planktonic cells to sub-inhibitory concentrations of antibiotics . When a cell switches to the biofilm mode of growth, it undergoes a phenotypic shift in behavior in which large suites of genes are differentially regulated .

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