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Tag Archives: Biofilms
The microorganisms in biofilms live in a self-produced matrix of hydrated extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) that form their immediate environment. EPS are mainly polysaccharides, proteins, nucleic acids and lipids; they provide the mechanical stability of biofilms, mediate their adhesion to … Continue reading
Our view of bacteria, from the earliest observations through the heyday of antibiotic discovery, has shifted dramatically. We recognize communities of bacteria as integral and functionally important components of diverse habitats, ranging from soil collectives to the human microbiome. To … Continue reading
In the past few decades our fundamental understanding of how microorganisms grow and survive in natural settings or in host tissues has changed considerably. It is now widely accepted that microbes in nature rarely survive as solitary cells, but rather … Continue reading
A recent article in New Scientist entitled Why microbes are smarter than you thought looks at six behaviours that seem remarkably intelligent for single celled organisms. Single-celled organisms don’t have nervous systems, let alone brains, but they could be viewed … Continue reading
A biofilm is a surface-associated population of microbes that is embedded in a cement of extracellular compounds. This cement is known as matrix. The two main functions of matrix are to protect cells from their surrounding environment, preventing drugs and … Continue reading
A recent paper in Trends in Microbiology examined the possibilities for using bacteriophages in controlling biofilms which might result in healthcare-associated infections (Preventing biofilms of clinically relevant organisms using bacteriophage. 2009 Trends in Microbiology 17: 66-72). Biofilms are firmly attached … Continue reading
Bioremediation can be defined as a process that uses microorganisms, fungi, green plants or their enzymes to return the natural environment altered by contaminants to its original condition. A major advantage of bioremediation is its reduced cost compared to conventional … Continue reading
Few bacteria are loners – more often they grow in crowds and squat on surfaces where they form a community. These so-called biofilms develop on any surface that bacteria can attach themselves to. The dilemma we face is that neither … Continue reading
When bacteria grow on solid surfaces, they can form three-dimensional communities called biofilms. Within these complex structures, bacteria can develop specific tolerance to different microbiocides, causing serious health and economic problems. Investigations of the key molecular events involved in biofilm … Continue reading