We love your comments here at TED, and often what our community has to say is as interesting as the talk or post itself. The clever quips, the personal revelations and the hot debates don’t go unnoticed — we read every one. A few of our favorite comments this week: On our home page makeover: […]Continue reading
Why you should listen
In 2002, bearing her microscope on a microbe that lives in the gut of fish, Bonnie Bassler isolated an elusive molecule called AI-2, and uncovered the mechanism behind mysterious behavior called quorum sensing -- or bacterial communication. She showed that bacterial chatter is hardly exceptional or anomolous behavior, as was once thought -- and in fact, most bacteria do it, and most do it all the time. (She calls the signaling molecules "bacterial Esperanto.")
The discovery shows how cell populations use chemical powwows to stage attacks, evade immune systems and forge slimy defenses called biofilms. For that, she's won a MacArthur "genius" grant -- and is giving new hope to frustrated pharmacos seeking new weapons against drug-resistant superbugs.
Bassler teaches molecular biology at Princeton, where she continues her years-long study of V. harveyi, one such social microbe that is mainly responsible for glow-in-the-dark sushi. She also teaches aerobics at the YMCA.
"What others say"
Bonnie Bassler’s TED talks
In 2002, bearing her microscope on a microbe that lives in the gut of fish, Bonnie Bassler isolated an elusive molecule called AI-2, which showed not only that almost all bacteria can communicate — but that they do so all the time. (Watch her 2009 TEDTalk!) The TED Blog interviewed Bassler over the phone to […]Continue reading
Bonnie Bassler discovered that bacteria “talk” to each other, using a chemical language that lets them coordinate defense and mount attacks. The find has stunning implications for medicine, industry — and our understanding of ourselves. (Recorded at TED2009, February 2009, in Long Beach, California. Duration: 18:41.) Watch Bonnie Bassler’s talk from TED2009 on TED.com, where […]Continue reading