Nautilus

The Pretty Bacterial Dance That May Help Prevent Infections

Imagine looking down through a microscope and seeing a big mass of bacterial cells, writhing in sync, churning in circles. You can almost hear a buzz of activity. The micron-sized organisms migrate across a plate of agar, gobbling up the nutrient-rich media, recalling the frenetic activity of bees in a hive.

What you see through the microscope is called “bacterial swarming”: a phenomenon unique to a few types of bacteria, where they move in unison across a solid medium at

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