Eavesdropping on Bacteria
Dr. Jon Clardy
All eukaryotic organisms, including humans, have spent their entire evolutionary history in close association with bacteria, and the two forms of life have been competing, cooperating and coexisting for almost 3 billion years. As bacteria sense and respond to the world with molecules, eavesdropping on these messages – intercepting, analyzing, and interpreting the molecules that carry them – is a very active research field at the intersection of chemistry an biology. This lecture will focus on choanoflagellates, single-celled eukaryotes that are the ‘last living relatively of animals’, and the bacteria that surround them. It highlights the importance of interdisciplinary research and following up on unexpected observations.