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How a Biofilm Forms in the Sea

How a Biofilm Forms in the Sea

Biofilms form when bacteria settle onto a hard surface (1), where they proliferate and produce slime (2). Most efforts to fight biofouling have targeted these steps. WHOI biochemist Ben Van Mooy thinks a better approach might be to enhance the processes that naturally reduce the size of biofilms: detachment of some of the bacteria (3) and predation by protists (4).  (Illustration by Jack Cook, Wood Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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