Bacteria buildups, or biofilm growth, occur in industrial and medical settings. They clog pipes and cause infections in catheters, artificial valves, and joints. Their pesky growths may be controlled by ways you wouldn't expect. Scientists David Davies and William Costerton at Montana State University (MSU; Bozeman, MT); Matthew Parsek and Pete Greenberg at the University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA); and James Pearson and Barbara Iglewski at the University of Rochester, New York, reported that bacteria speak a chemical language. Therefore, biofilms may be controlled through the disruption of this natural messaging system. "We have discovered that bacterial behavior can be modified chemically," says David Davies. "These chemicals come from the bacteria themselves." The National Science Foundation (NSF), which funds the MSU biofilm center, began funding the next step--the development of chemical messages that would confuse the bacteria and usher in a new way of treating bacterial infections, for example. The group published its findings in the April 10 issue of the journal Science. Call: (406) 994-1849
On Memorial Day, Americans remember the sacrifices the US armed forces have made, and continue to make, in service to the country. All of us should also consider the developments in technological capabilities and equipment over the years that contribute to the success of our military operations.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.