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Spying on bacterial signals Many bacteria produce small molecules for monitoring population density and thus regulating their collective behavior, a process termed quorum sensing. Pathogens like Pseudomonas aeruginosa , which complicates cystic fibrosis disease, produce different quorum-sensing ligands at different stages of infection. Moura-Alves et al. used experiments in human cells, zebrafish, and mice to show that a host organism can eavesdrop on these bacterial conversations. A host sensor responds differentially to bacterial quorum-sensing molecules to activate or repress different response pathways. The ability to “listen in” on bacterial signaling provides the host with the capacity to fine-tune physiologically costly immune responses. Science , this issue p. eaaw1629

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Journal article




American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

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