Bacterial electricity: Membrane potential influences antibiotic tolerance

The electrical potential across the bacterial cell envelope indicates when bacteria no longer operate as individual cells but as a collective. Researchers have discovered this connection between the electrical properties and the lifestyle of bacteria. Although bacteria are single cellular organisms, they form spatially structured communities, so-called biofilms. Within biofilms, bacteria behave as a collective and can protect themselves better against stresses like antibiotics.The electrical potential across the bacterial cell envelope indicates when bacteria no longer operate as individual cells but as a collective. Researchers have discovered this connection between the electrical properties and the lifestyle of bacteria. Although bacteria are single cellular organisms, they form spatially structured communities, so-called biofilms. Within biofilms, bacteria behave as a collective and can protect themselves better against stresses like antibiotics.

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