2010 CVM News: Grasping bacterial friending paves the way for scientists to disrupt biofilm formation and combat enteric disease
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This news item is about: Finding a biological mechanism much like an online social network, scientists have identified the bacterial protein VpsT as the master regulator in Vibrio, the cause of cholera and other enteric diseases. This discovery, now published in the journal Science, provides a major tool to combat enteric disease. For decades, it has been observed that bacteria engage in biofilm formation in nature and the lab. Like the online social network Facebook, free-swimming bacteria ditch the solitary lifestyle to form a biofilm community, but only after they’ve signaled their intention to do so to others. The protein VpsT receives the invitation and accepts it by starting a cellular program contributing to the process.