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Bonnie Bassler: ‘How Bacteria Talk,’ Oct. 10

Wagner College’s annual Founders Day Convocation, featuring the Kaufman-Repage Lecture, is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. in Spiro Hall 2.

The Kaufman-Repage Lecture will be delivered by Bonnie Bassler, Princeton University’s Squibb Professor of Molecular Biology. The title of her talk will be "Tiny Conspiracies: How Bacteria Talk to Each Other."

Until recently, the ability of bacteria to communicate with one another was considered an anomaly that occurred only among a few marine bacteria. It is now clear that group talk is the norm in the bacterial world, and understanding this process is important for fighting deadly strains of bacteria and for understanding communication between cells in the human body.

Bonnie Bassler has discovered that bacteria communicate with a chemical language. This process, called quorum sensing, allows bacteria to count their numbers, determine when they have reached a critical mass, and then change their behavior in unison to carry out processes that require many cells acting together to be effective.

To learn more about Bonnie Bassler:

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