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Showing posts from April, 2009

From "Eavesdropping on Bacterial Conversations" - Part I

Though many talks are interesting, once in a while there comes a talk in a graduate student's life that is so inspiring in both content and presentation. Today was one of these days. I attended the the "Intersectional Seminar Series" here at USC which is a seminar series meant to bring the different separate biology programs - Molecular and Computational Biology, Marine and Environmental Biology, Integrative and Evolutionary Biology and Neurobiology -together. Today's speaker was Bonnie Bassler from Princeton, and her talk title was "Eavesdropping on Bacterial Conversations". Today's blog entry is dedicated to the rich history of ideas she discussed in her talk. I apologize in advance to the longer than usual post and the higher than usual complexity as I try to accurately report back the ideas discussed in her talk.

To most lay people, the idea that simple, single-celled bacteria could use sophisticated means of communication may seem rather strange. Bu…