In this Ted Talk video, Bonnie Bassler speaks about the inter and intra species communications between bacteria and how central they are to life and death on a greater scale. Bacteria were the designers of cellular communication, organization, and cooperation that are used throughout life on the planet. After unimaginable generations of evolution, they have achieved some very effective methods; methods which could be applied to anything from communication and cooperation between tiny swarms of robots, to replicationg and self regulating software routines, traffic regulation, automated disaster response….
She is focusing on Quorum sensing, which essentially refers to chemical hormones, both general and species specific, released by the bacteria in order to give them information about things like their population density and diversity. She has been working on synthetic false signals that will either inhibit or assist in quorum sensing in order to create a new class of antibiotic and probiotic treatments.