Bacterial Brains: How Bacteria Use Electrochemical Potentials to Solve Complex Problems

Dec 14, 2022, 4:00 pm5:00 pm



Event Description

Following our discovery of bacterial action potentials, we uncovered that bacteria use electrochemical potential to orchestrate stress responses at both the single cell and community levels. These dynamic behaviors in space and time revealed a surprising similarity between bacteria and neurons. In my talk, I will present our recent finding that bacterial spores residing in an extreme dormant state use electrochemical potential to integrate extracellular signals over time in order to make an informed decision about returning to life. Spores thus use an integrate-and-fire mechanism similar to neurons, but without requiring metabolic energy.