It’s time to resurrect this blog after a long time of silence. So let’s start with a quicky. I hope to manage to write more frequently again.

Today Jean-Marc Ghigo – principal investigator at the Institute Pasteur – gave at talk at our instiute. He presented his research results which reveal that volatile molecules can mediate long-range chemical interactions between physically separated bacteria. For example ammonia was shown to lead to antibiotic resistant phenotype in E. coli [1]. Such an influence was found for many other volatile agents. I think is is quite important to keep the effect of such chemicals interference in mind when doing wed-lab work (luckily I don’t do that). Just think about the situation that just before you start your experiment you clean the desk with a detergent that contains ammonia. This sounds like a nightmare for reproducibility of biological experiments to me.

[1] Bernier SP, Létoffé S, Delepierre M, Ghigo JM. Biogenic ammonia modifies antibiotic resistance at a distance in physically separated bacteria. Mol Microbiol. 2011 Aug;81(3):705-16. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2958.2011.07724.x. Epub 2011 Jun 23. PMID: 21651627

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