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Mighty mesh
Date:1/23/2012

welling and spreading, they were able to find the "critical" time at which horizontal outward motion begins.

"This work is led by theoretical predictions which were tested by experiment and proved to be correct," reflects co-principal investigator David Weitz, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at SEAS and Co-Director of the BASF Advanced Research Initiative at Harvard. "The results also demonstrate how simple physical principles can provide considerable insight into the behavior of biofilms."

The motion of biofilms represents only a small part of a complex subject. Further research will investigate how biofilms adapt and possibly manipulate their environment. The ultimate goal is to alter biofilms' behavior to minimize their harmful effects.

"The natural question at this point is: do cells actively control biofilm expansion and can they direct it toward desired targets?" says Seminara. "This is a first step toward understanding the striking evolutionary success of these ubiquitous organisms, and it may open the way to unconventional methods of biofilm control."


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Contact: Caroline Perry
cperry@seas.harvard.edu
617-496-1351
Harvard University
Source:Eurekalert  

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