Studying Social Microbial Behavior And Its Effects On Human Behavior

1239 Words Nov 22nd, 2016 5 Pages
Recently there has been a rising interest in studying social microbial behavior, which can provide fundamental information about the development of severe infections in host organisms by pathogenic bacteria. These microorganisms demonstrate highly social behaviors such as the ability to communicate by producing, releasing, detecting and responding to small signaling molecules. This process, named quorum sensing (QS), allows a bacterial population to regulate its population’s behavior in response to the effective density of neighboring microbial species. However, only a few studies have explored this complex process in low-cell-number/high-density populations. Such studies are of great medical significance since numerous infectious diseases are easily spread throughout hospitals to patients with extremely compromised immune systems when the patient makes physical contact with bacterial populations that readily form dense biofilms on heavily trafficked hospital surfaces.
In the late nineteenth century, Pasteur and Koch developed plate and flask-based culture approaches to isolate microbial species, which are still the standard methods most microbiologists use for studying bacterial behaviors. However, these conventional technologies lack the ability to organize cells into high-density populations of small sizes (101-105 cells). Consequently, our lab has developed a µ3DP technique, which provides a way to create microbial environments that more accurately mimic physiological…

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