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Exchanges at the Frontier with Bonnie Bassler

Thursday 28 November 2013, 17.00-18.30


A special event for local schools held at Haverstock School, Chalk Farm

Bonnie Bassler is a molecular biologist who has made a stunning discovery: bacteria 'talk' to each other using chemical signals that enable them to act as a unit, mount attacks and coordinate defence. This phenomenon of bacterial communication - known as quorum sensing - has exciting implications for medicine, industry and our understanding of ourselves. Bassler works on bioluminescent bacteria at Princeton University in the USA, exploiting the chemical signals for applications such as antibiotics and investigating how more complex organisms evolved. Her findings could pave the way for more potent medicines and give hope to the hunt for new weapons against drug-resistant superbugs.

The audio from this event was recorded and will be broadcast on BBC World Service at 7pm GMT on Saturday 8 February 2014. You can then listen again with the BBC Exchanges: Ideas and Argument podcast.

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