Bacteria scream as they die: they emit chemical signals that resemble screams

Bacteria scream as they die

Wiping the kitchen table, cleaning it of bacteria, you can imagine how microscopic living organisms emit distress signals, dying under the influence of antimicrobial agents. And no matter how fantastic it may seem, bacteria really scream when they die. During the research the scientists came to the conclusion that microbes emit special alarm signals that alert other bacterial formations of impending danger.

Associating these signals with the outside world, one can imagine that microbes, dying, scream. An experiment confirming the fact, the scientists conducted using the E. coli bacteria. They have the unique ability to detect the presence of a hazard.

For example, they can regard antibiotics as a danger. A chemical signal emitted at that moment by E. coli calls a colony of homogeneous microbes to begin a mutation process in order to form resistance against the drug.

The experts from the University of Texas are researching that unusual phenomenon. The reason for studying this issue was the fact that antibiotics can eliminate only part of the bacterial formation in the body.

Examining the mechanism of interaction of bacteria with the body, the scientists found that when antibiotics press the process of defeating the bacterial focus, some of the bacteria begin to send chemical signals that prompt the surviving bacteria to adapt very quickly to the threat, and thereby increase their chances of survival even under the influence of powerful medicines.

The scientists called that microscopic example intriguing. Bacteria have prosocial behavior, a special form of adaptation that does not help to survive, but allows to use the personal factor of death to save others from it, thereby increasing the likelihood of survival and reproduction.