Abstract: The recent findings confirm that bacteria communicate each other through chemical and electrical signals. Bacteria use chemical signaling molecules which are called as quorum sensing molecules( QSMs) or autoinducers. Moreover, the ion channels in bacteria conduct a long-range electrical signaling within biofilm communities through propagated waves of potassium ions and biofilms attracts other bacterial species too. The patterns formed in biofilm can be explained using nonlinear equation depending on the kinematic viscosity. This kinematic viscosity has been shown to be related to the internal noise associated to the size of the bacteria like size of the granules in a granular medium. This can be tested in laboratory experiments.
These findings clearly demonstrate that microorganisms or bacteria orient themselves, they work together to make structures. This ability to respond specifically to the environment and to act creatively, in the sense that that precise action has never been taken before, is a property of life. Of course, it has to be moving life, or you can’t tell. You can’t tell if a plant is thinking, but in organisms that move, you can tell their intelligence.
About the speaker: Sisir Roy is currently Senior Homi Bhabha Fellow and Visiting Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru. Formerly he was Professor, Physics and Applied mathematics Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata.