Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Adapting to change? Remember the good, forget the bad!

Date:
March 31, 2010
Source:
Society for General Microbiology
Summary:
It's not easy being a bacterium and constantly having to adapt to whatever your environment throws at you. Bacteria rely on their "memories" to fine-tune their ability to sense food and danger.

It's not easy being a bacterium and constantly having to adapt to whatever your environment throws at you. Dr Robert Endres explains how bacteria rely on their 'memories' to fine-tune their ability to sense food and danger, in his talk at the Society for General Microbiology's spring meeting in Edinburgh.

Dr Endres and his team at Imperial College London developed a mathematical model to explain the dynamics of chemotaxis -- the mechanism bacteria use to detect and respond to changes in their environment. The group tagged the surface molecules of Escherichia coli that act as 'antennas' with fluorescent labels. Tracking these labels allowed them to detect the speed at which the bacteria respond and eventually adapt to change.

The researchers found that E. coli adapts to potentially toxic molecules much more quickly than to beneficial molecules such as nutrients. "This makes sense since, when bacteria find themselves in unfavourable conditions, cells 'tumble' and randomly find a new direction for swimming -- which is hopefully one that provides a quick escape!" said Dr Endres. "This kind of knowledge could potentially help us understand how pathogenic bacteria respond in the face of a host immune attack."

Bacteria such as E. coli are sensitive to even tiny changes in levels of chemicals around them. After altering their motility in response to these changes, cells must then return to their 'normal' swimming patterns. To adapt quickly, they must effectively 'forget' the initial stimulus soon after responding to it. Conversely, bacteria that 'remember' the stimulus continue to display altered behaviour patterns and are slower to adapt.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for General Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for General Microbiology. "Adapting to change? Remember the good, forget the bad!." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100330210944.htm>.
Society for General Microbiology. (2010, March 31). Adapting to change? Remember the good, forget the bad!. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100330210944.htm
Society for General Microbiology. "Adapting to change? Remember the good, forget the bad!." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100330210944.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

Reuters - US Online Video (July 21, 2014) An endangered black rhino baby is the newest resident at the San Diego Zoo. Sasha Salama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins