Unraveling Bacteria's Dependable Homing System

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Science  02 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5411, pp. 82
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5411.82

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Microbiologists have never quite understood how bacteria can home in on a food source and navigate toward it reliably in spite of variations in the microbes' own genetic makeup or in their environments--until now. A pair of physicists-turned-molecular biologists has mathematically represented how this robust behavior arises from the complex interactions of proteins and pathways rather than from precisely controlling the concentrations and activities of proteins.