Research CommentariesMicrobiology

One for All and All for One

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Science  10 Apr 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5361, pp. 226-227
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5361.226

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We usually think of bacteria as lone, unicellular organisms, competing with their brethren for food and desirable places to live. But in fact, bacteria can form organized colonies in which individual cells work together. As Kolter and Losick discuss in their commentary, a report in this issue ( Davies et al .) describes the signaling molecule that controls the multicellular architecture of one of these types of colonies--biofilms of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can form hard-to-treat deposits of infection in patients.