Random gene pulsing generates patterns of life

A team of Cambridge scientists working on the intersection between biology and computation has found that random gene activity helps patterns form during development of a model multicellular system.

Study shines light on spread of Candida auris

Candida auris is capable of forming high burden biofilms, which may help explain why this fungal pathogen is spreading in hospitals worldwide, according to a study published this week in mSphere, an open-access journal of ...

The antibiotic arms race moves at high speed

Acinetobacter baumannii is a pathogen that creates serious problems in hospitals throughout the world. It causes opportunistic infections in the bloodstream, urinary tract, and other soft tissues, accounting for as much as ...

How to control biofilms in space

Researchers from MIT will be collaborating with colleagues at the University of Colorado at Boulder on an experiment scheduled to be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) on Nov. 2. The experiment is looking for ways ...

Bacteria contradict Darwin: Survival of the friendliest

New microbial research at the University of Copenhagen suggests that 'survival of the friendliest' outweighs 'survival of the fittest' for groups of bacteria. Bacteria make space for one another and sacrifice properties if ...

Nanostructures help to reduce the adhesion of bacteria

Scientists have shown how bacteria adhere to rough surfaces at the microscopic level. Now a team of researchers has discovered that precise analysis of the topographical composition of nanostructured surfaces provides a direct ...

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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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