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Caltech Researchers Find Pulsating Response to Stress in Bacteria

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Published on Nov 2, 2011

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have found a new kind of stress response in a bacterial species called B. subtilis. Instead of just shifting from one steady state to another and staying there, the cells deal with stress—such as the lack of food—by activating a regulatory protein in steady pulses. The cell cranks up the frequency of the pulses if there's more stress. By attaching fluorescent proteins to the genetic circuit responsible for B. subtilis's stress response, the researchers can observe each pulse as a green flash. This video shows the pulsating cells as they multiply over the course of more than 12 hours. To read more on the research, go to http://media.caltech.edu/press_releas.... (Credit: Caltech/Elowitz Lab.)

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