Friday, December 9, 2011

Bacteria being naughty

 

This is nothing more than a pre-weekend, "isn't that interesting", eye-candy, filler post. It is a video I saw about a month ago that shows flashing bacteria.

Basically it shows bacteria that spontaneously flash (hence why they're being naughty... oh nevermind). Here is an article that explains what they're doing in more depth.  When on their own, this flashing is mostly random. In fact, even when they are in small bunches they appear to flash randomly. However, when in large packs they all flash in unison.

I suppose it is somewhat aesthetically pleasing just on its own, but the thing that drew my attention was how fascinating it was that the individual bacteria behaved differently when a part of a large collection as opposed to when on their own. It appears groupthink exists even at the microscopic level of life.

3 comments:

  1. Actually, having written that about groupthink... if you look closely at the video, it also appears that even at the microscopic level, there are always a few rebels.

    They flash according to their own time-frames. The pack isn't going to tell them when and how to flash.

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  2. What does the flashing mean? As individuals they look like fireflies to me, and en mass like water.

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