Working together, bacteria and other microbes can accomplish much more than they can alone. Now scientists hope to harness that ability by engineering their own microbial consortia.
Bacteria aren’t loners. In fact, they are quite social: These single-celled creatures band together to form sophisticated communities. They can even call out to each other to congregate, conspire and coordinate. Highly developed communication skills allow them to orchestrate small acts of cooperation and tackle big jobs as a unified force. For life’s tiniest players, living and working is a team sport.