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  • 1. Biofilms Jim Goebl
  • 2. A Biofilm
  • 3. What are Biofilms?
    • Biofilms are collections of microorganisms (ie bacteria, yeasts, and protozoa) that form on a hard surface
    • Some examples of biofilms are the plaque that forms on teeth and the slime that forms on surfaces in watery areas
    • Surrounded by slimy secretions
  • 4. More about Biofilms
    • Over 90% of all bacteria live in biofilms
  • 5. Uses of Biofilms
    • Often used to purify water in water treatment plants
    • Used to break down toxic chemicals
    • Used to produce useful biological compounds, including medicines
  • 6. Problems Caused by Biofilms
    • Tend to clog pipes and water filters
    • Can cause numerous diseases, including many diseases prevalent in hospitals
    • Extra-resistant to antibiotics
    • Can form almost anywhere that water is present, including catheters, kitchen counters, etc.
  • 7. Formation of Biofilms
    • Form in places with access to water
    • Attach to a solid surface using several means:
    • Flagella
    • Hydrophobic Cell Walls
    • Sticky Polymers
  • 8. Altruism among microorganisms
    • Biofilms encourage altruism
    • Bacteria will often sacrifice their maximum growth rate in an effort to use the available community resources more efficiently
    • While individuals are disadvantaged, community as a whole benefits
  • 9. Altruism continued
    • Biofilms like small cities
    • Have many very close neighbors that remain together for extended periods of time
  • 10. Simulation
    • http://www.theobio.uni-bonn.de/people/jan_kreft/bacsim.html
  • 11. Sources
    • http:// www.edstrom.com/Resources.cfm?doc_id =23
    • http://www.biofilm.org/whatis_biofilm.htm
    • http://www.biofilmsonline.com
    • Kreft, Jan-Ulrich. “Biofilms Promote Altruism.” Microbiology (2004), 150. 2751-2760.