Talking to bacteria

A team at University of California, Los Angeles has found a way to communicate with bacteria through chemical signals.

Liao’s team persuaded the cells to make GFP simply as a convenient way to show that the acetate trigger was working. But in principle, they could use the acetate signal to trigger cells to do something more practical, such as making hydrogen or producing poisons to kill off diseased cells.

“You could use this approach as a Trojan horse idea to combat disease,” says Jeff Hasty, who works on gene modules at the University of California, San Diego. Modified cells of pathogenic bacteria could be introduced into a natural colony of the same cells, he says. Then, at a given chemical signal, the modified cells could be told to produce compounds that would kill off the bacteria.

Full Story: Nature:

(via Smart Mobs)

1 Comment

  1. Fascinating, actually.

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