Sexta-feira, 15 de Julho de 2011

Tit for tat




In multi-colonial communities (e.g., sub-gingival plaque), bacterial social intelligence is usually used for cooperation between colonies of different species. For example, each colony develops its own expertise in performing specific tasks for the benefit of the entire community, and they all coordinate the work done. Some bacteria undertake the task of keeping valuable information which is costly to maintain and may be hazardous for the bacteria to store. Frequently, such information is directly transferred by conjugation following chemical courtship played by the potential partners: bacteria resistant to antibiotics emit chemical signals to announce this fact. Some fundamental aspects of social intelligence are used to handle defectors, as is reflected by the variety of strategies Myxobacteria can use when their social intelligence is challenged by cheaters--opportunistic individuals who take advantage of the group's cooperative effort. For example, they can single out defectors by collective alteration of their own identity into a new gene expression state. By doing so, the cooperators can generate a new "dialect" which is hard for the defectors to imitate. This ever-ongoing intelligence clash with defectors is beneficial to the group as it helps the bacteria improve their social skills for better cooperation which can be utilized at other times.

Recent findings even indicate that the bacteria purposefully modify their colonial organization in the presence of antibiotics in ways which optimize bacterial survival, and that the bacteria have a special collective memory which enables them to keep track of how they handled their previous encounters with antibiotics--learning from experience. Bacteria are clearly capable of developing antibiotic resistance at a higher rate than scientists develop new drugs, and we seem to be losing a crucial battle for our health. We might even discover that the last five decades of evolution in bacterial social intelligence is largely a result of their encounter with our socially irrational massive use of antibiotic materials in agriculture and human intake.



Vejam as outras fotos aqui


publicado por quaerendoinvenietis às 22:35
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3 comentários:
De Anónimo a 15 de Julho de 2011 às 23:47
O teu blog é bonito.

De Anónimo a 15 de Julho de 2011 às 23:49

De quaerendoinvenietis a 16 de Julho de 2011 às 22:45

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