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Biofilms
 

Biofilms

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    Biofilms Biofilms Presentation Transcript

    • Biofilms Jim Goebl
    • A Biofilm
    • 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
    • More about Biofilms
      • Over 90% of all bacteria live in biofilms
    • 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
    • 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.
    • Formation of Biofilms
      • Form in places with access to water
      • Attach to a solid surface using several means:
      • Flagella
      • Hydrophobic Cell Walls
      • Sticky Polymers
    • 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
    • Altruism continued
      • Biofilms like small cities
      • Have many very close neighbors that remain together for extended periods of time
    • Simulation
      • http://www.theobio.uni-bonn.de/people/jan_kreft/bacsim.html
    • 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.