Chemical Tweeting!?

  • Author: Natalia Ortuzar/ Image: Eshel Ben-Jacob, Tel Aviv University
  • Published: 28 March 2012
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
  • Source / Publisher: 243rd American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition
thumbnail image: Chemical Tweeting!?

Bacteria chat, according to Professor Jose Onuchic, Center for Theoretical Biological Physics at Rice University, Texas, USA. As reported at the 243rd American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition in San Diego, CA, USA, bacteria make decisions based on those of their neighbors; for example, they might decide to form a spore (bacterial hibernation) in response to stress or they may instead toughen up and weather the storm. These decisions are influenced by chemical "tweets" sent out by bacteria as a form of communication, allowing a colony to act in an informed way.

Onuchic's research is now expanding to look at how cancer cells communicate ... could an analogous situation be responsible for cancer metastases?

Other news from the ACS Meeting:

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