Article

Microbiology: Altruistic defence.

Nature (Impact Factor: 42.35). 09/2010; 467(7311):34-5. DOI: 10.1038/467034a
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A charitable deed by a few cells in a bacterial culture can help the rest of that population survive in the presence of antibiotics. This finding can aid further research into a major problem in public health.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Alexander van Oudenaarden, Aug 26, 2015
0 Followers
 · 
76 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Biofilms can be defined as communities of microorganisms attached to a surface. It is clear that microorganisms undergo profound changes during their transition from planktonic (free-swimming) organisms to cells that are part of a complex, surface-attached community. These changes are reflected in the new phenotypic characteristics developed by biofilm bacteria and occur in response to a variety of environmental signals. Recent genetic and molecular approaches used to study bacterial and fungal biofilms have identified genes and regulatory circuits important for initial cell-surface interactions, biofilm maturation, and the return of biofilm microorganisms to a planktonic mode of growth. Studies to date suggest that the planktonic-biofilm transition is a complex and highly regulated process. The results reviewed in this article indicate that the formation of biofilms serves as a new model system for the study of microbial development.
    Annual Review of Microbiology 02/2000; 54(1):49-79. DOI:10.1146/annurev.micro.54.1.49 · 13.02 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Bacteria use a variety of means to communicate with one another and with their eukaryotic hosts. In some cases, social interactions allow bacteria to synchronize the behavior of all of the members of the group and thereby act like multicellular organisms. By contrast, some bacterial social engagements promote individuality among members within the group and thereby foster diversity. Here we explore the molecular mechanisms underpinning some recently discovered bacterial communication systems. These include long- and short-range chemical signaling channels; one-way, two-way, and multi-way communication; contact-mediated and contact-inhibited signaling; and the use and spread of misinformation or, more dramatically, even deadly information.
    Cell 05/2006; 125(2):237-46. DOI:10.1016/j.cell.2006.04.001 · 33.12 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The treatment of bacterial infections is increasingly complicated because microorganisms can develop resistance to antimicrobial agents. This article discusses the information that is required to predict when antibiotic resistance is likely to emerge in a bacterial population. Indeed, the development of the conceptual and methodological tools required for this type of prediction represents an important goal for microbiological research. To this end, we propose the establishment of methodological guidelines that will allow researchers to predict the emergence of resistance to a new antibiotic before its clinical introduction.
    Nature Reviews Microbiology 01/2008; 5(12):958-65. DOI:10.1038/nrmicro1796 · 23.32 Impact Factor