The Atlantic

Bacteria Send Electrical Pulses as Recruitment Ads

To coordinate their behavior, the microorganisms can transmit signals much like neurons.
Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Bacteria are simple, supposedly. Each one consists of a single microscopic cell. But together, these cells have a surprisingly rich social life, and are capable of unexpectedly complex behaviors. For example, a team of scientists led by Gürol Süel from the University of California, San Diego, now has shown that groups of bacteria can coordinate their actions and bolster their ranks by sending long-range electrical signals, not unlike those that course along our neurons and power our thoughts.

When bacteria find themselves on solid surfaces, they can secrete a large, slimy framework called a “biofilm,” which they then inhabit. These biofilms are everywhere. You find them on rocks and boat hulls, on

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