Signal integration in bacterial chemotaxis optimizes information transmission
How do bacteria know to go toward nutrients, stay away from toxins, or find each other? One way is through a process called chemotaxis, which is when bacteria sense different chemicals and respond with movement. In the Weibel Lab, John Crooks spent his Ph.D. inventing a new technique, using high throughput microfluidics, to measure this activity much easier than earlier methods. His new method also allows scientists to test bacteria’s response to two chemicals at a time rather than one. His surprising findings show that bacteria combine chemical signals in order to get a more nuanced sense of their environment than previously thought, which could have implications for those who investigate how to disrupt these processes to make new drugs.
Learn more about John’s research at this Thesis Review at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 31 in the Khorana Auditorium of the HFD Biochemistry Laboratories.