Excellent Paper on Metabolism dynamics + a video

Our group used this paper in a journal club a few weeks ago and they had a really innovative way to explain it

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Photo credit to Gürol Süel

Several months ago Elisabeth Bik wrote a post about a great article in Nature where Gürol Süel's group showed that bacteria can communicate through potassium waves.


Recently we had a journal club (thanks Haris Antypas for organising it) where we looked at the preceding paper which was also excellent. In the article, Süel's group showed how metabolic co-dependence between bacterial in the centre of a biofilm and those at the periphery cause measurable growth oscillations. They also show that this co-dependence and the oscillations are essential for survival when the colony is attacked by chemical from the outside (such as antibiotics). It begs the question that if this phenomenon occurs in vivo and if it can be disrupted, maybe they have found a mechanism for overcoming some antibiotic resistance mechanisms.

The techniques they used for studying this phenomenon are beautifully simple in design which allowed the group to uncover a complex biofilm signalling mechanism.

Here is the link to the paper:


For me, what was almost equally as impressive is that the group took the time to make a cartoon to explain the concepts in the paper. This reminded me very much of NIH video from the Ammons lab https://npjbiofilmscommunity.nature.com/users/5784...

The more I see these kinds of videos, the more I am inspired to do the same. What a nice way to explain your research and what a great resource to be able to put into your conference presentations.

What do you think of the video? Would you recommend that other researchers do this or is it not worth the time?

Ben Libberton

Science Communicator, Freelance

I'm a freelance science communicator, formerly a Postdoc in the biofilm field. I'm interested in how bacteria cause disease and look to technology to produce novel tools to study and ultimately prevent infection.