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StaffIncremental BloggerBacteria Anticipate Coming Environmental Changes

Bacteria Anticipate Coming Environmental Changes

Princeton University scientists discovered that bacteria react to changes in their surroundings and they anticipate and prepare for them.

“What we have found is the first evidence that bacteria can use sensed cues from their environment to infer future events,” said Saeed Tavazoie, an associate professor of molecular biology, who conducted the study along with graduate student Ilias Tagkopoulos and postdoctoral researcher Yir-Chung Liu.

While higher animals can learn new behavior within a single lifetime, bacterial learning takes place over many generations and on an evolutionary time scale,

This finding may help to develop strains of bacteria to clean up environmental contamination.

The findings, reported in the June 6, 2008, issue of Science, challenge the prevailing notion that only organisms with complex nervous systems can anticipate changes in their environment.

Robert Heiny
Robert Heinyhttp://www.robertheiny.com
Robert W. Heiny, Ph.D. is a retired professor, social scientist, and business partner with previous academic appointments as a public school classroom teacher, senior faculty, or senior research member, and administrator. Appointments included at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Peabody College and the Kennedy Center now of Vanderbilt University; and Brandeis University. Dr. Heiny also served as Director of the Montana Center on Disabilities. His peer reviewed contributions to education include publication in The Encyclopedia of Education (1971), and in professional journals and conferences. He served s an expert reviewer of proposals to USOE, and on a team that wrote plans for 12 state-wide and multistate special education and preschools programs. He currently writes user guides for educators and learners as well as columns for TuxReports.com.

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