Biologists Turn Bacteria Into 'Swarmbots' 

Biologists Turn Bacteria Into 'Swarmbots' 

We’re covered in bacteria every day. They help us digest our food and protect our skin, and they’re potentially a great medical tool—but only if we can control them. Scientists think they’ve taken the first step by engineering bacteria that can live in a swarm, but die when they try to escape individually to new areas.

The right bacteria can help treat infections, out-breed bad bacteria, and help regulate functions like digestion. Scientists at Duke University have taken advantage of the fact that bacteria can change their behavior when they’re in large enough concentrations, and have engineered bacteria that rely on dense populations (often in enclosed spaces) to survive. Their findings are published in the latest issue of Molecular Systems Biology.

To make…

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