Subscribe
Subscribe
MY AMERICAN SCIENTIST
LOG IN! REGISTER!
SEARCH
 
Logo IMG

FEATURE ARTICLE

Biofilms

A new understanding of these microbial communities is driving a revolution that may transform the science of microbiology

Joe Harrison, Raymond Turner, Lyrium Marques, Howard Ceri

Figure 2. Formation of a biofilm...Click to Enlarge Image

When most people think about bacteria, they picture free-swimming, single-celled organisms. In nature, however, most microorganisms form surface-adherent communities known as biofilms. Forming a biofilm is a literally life-changing experience. A film's members embed themselves in a slimy matrix and take on varied roles: Some patrol the perimeter, while "persister cells" go dormant but can revive and reproduce after an antibiotic attack. A biofilm thus offers protection from changes in the environment and antimicrobial substances. Biofilms have an immense impact in natural, medical and agricultural settings.


 Go to Article


comments powered by Disqus
 

EMAIL TO A FRIEND :

Subscribe to American Scientist