BPoD has moved!

BPoD has recently changed our domain name - we can now be found at bpod.org.uk

Please update your bookmarks!

Now in our 12th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Search the archive of over 4000 images

Looking for Weaknesses

Insight into the dynamics and architecture of multi-species communities of bacteria

01 March 2023

Looking for Weaknesses

No-one wants to be eaten, and here two types of bacteria, Vibrio cholerae (highlighted in red) and Escherichia coli (yellow) do their best to avoid a predator. A third bacteria called Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus (blue) stalks the perimeter of these bacterial colonies or biofilms, picking off stray E.coli. Researchers watching these tiny sieges spot that V. cholerae are usually able to defend themselves by arranging defensive ‘walls’, but adding em>E.coli. to the mix disrupts these defences. This mixed biofilm give E.coli. sanctuary – they’re more likely to survive attack – but leave V. cholerae more vulnerable – a heroic sacrifice to protect the weak perhaps? The success of these sprawling communities (each around one billion times smaller than a medieval city) also depends on where they grow. As these microbes are potentially hazardous to human health, scientists use clues in these predator-prey studies to spot weaknesses in biofilms in hospitals and public places.

Written by John Ankers

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

Follow on Tumblr

Follow on Instagram

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.