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Researchers: Bacteria can make individual decisions

At least, that’s the implication of the results of a maze test: How do the ETH Zurich researchers know this? They constructed a downward sloping maze with either more or less nourishment (chemoattractant) at each junction and most of it at the bottom. Each bacterium (wild Marinobacter adhaerens) had to make an individual decision at each junction. But they didn’t all go with the stronger smell, as expected. Even genetically identical bacteria (clones) made different decisions which way to go. Those who followed the crowd toward the stronger scent found more food but also more competition; those who took the road less traveled found less of both. And what does it mean? Well, two things. First, the researchers say, individual Read More ›