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Bacteria are able to extend psuedo-legs and walk upright, creating deadly biofilms as they go

Illustration for article titled Bacteria are able to extend psuedo-legs and walk upright, creating deadly biofilms as they go

Some microorganisms undergo a genetic change when they land on a solid surface. New research shows that these microbes cope with solid surfaces by standing upright, projecting tiny legs, and walking.

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The result are microbes that turn into what researchers call biofilms. A biofilm is much harder to eradicate than a simple microbe.

Rather than just swim along, when the potentially deadly Pseudomonas aeruginosa reaches a solid surface, it uses appendages called pili to stand upright and walk. This new posture is ideal for exploring surfaces, and makes it easier for them to detach and spread, enlarging the biofilm.

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P. aeruginosa biofilm infections are the leading killer in people with cystic fibrosis, and are incredibly resistant to antibiotics. By understanding how they move and spread, we have a better chance of stopping them, and other biofilm related problems, too.

Research published in Science

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DISCUSSION

Anekanta
Anekanta - spoon denier

What. The. Fuck?

This creeps me out. I think the only way to relieve this feeling is to teach these upright walking bacteria to roll-over and beg.

Who's a good little microbe? YOU, that's who... oh yesh, you wuv it when I scritch your, uh... whatever that is... Oh! wook at his wittle pili twitching, he must be having a running dream!