CRYSTAL VIOLET - INSPIRED BY QUORUM SENSING AND THE INTRIGUING NOTION OF INFORMATION IN SOCIAL NETWORKS OF BACTERIA
Bacteria are microscopic organisms that express incredible cooperative behaviors. They communicate with each other sending chemical signals, organizing themselves and acting together, which sometimes translate on expressing a disease for humans beings, and other manifestations as creating light. Cooperative behaviors of bacteria are particularly fascinating because they represent one of the major challenges for evolutionary biologists: How to explain altruistic behaviors, where actions that increase another individual's fitness come at a cost to your own, as natural selection appears to favor selfish, uncooperative individuals.
Quorum sensing is a response process that bacteria use to coordinate gene expression depending on the population around them, at a given time. The chemical signals bacteria send to other bacteria are captured by sensors in their membranes. Bacterias not only communicate to their similars, but they also have inter-species communication codes that allow them to determine patterns of association.
How to deal with bacteria when Quorum Sensing produces unwanted effects
Bonnie Bassler explains how interrupting flows of information can prevent bacteria to generate larger effects that are harmful to humans, instead of shutting down the capacity of bacteria to transmit data. This is crearly a good alternative not only to develop types of antibiotics, but also to re-think mechanisms for censorship, that hack structures that transmit information, instead of preventing organisms (or people) to express themselves.