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MC&G JP student Laura Hmelo.

Bacterial conversations

Holding up a culture plate, Joint Program student Laura Hmelo checks the growth of bacterial colonies. Hmelo is studying a phenomenon called bacterial "quorum sensing"— how marine bacteria found in slimy coatings on hard surfaces (biofilms) use chemical signals to communicate with each other. This communication tells the bacteria when they reach large numbers and enables them to do more together than they could individually. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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