Tag Archives: Crystals

Physics – Focus: Bacteria Stick Together as Living Crystals

A new form of life is discovered – living together as crystals. These may give hints to new forms of life in space.


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A solid crystal is an array of atoms held in a precise geometric arrangement by electromagnetic attraction, but now researchers have discovered a kind of crystal made of living bacteria. The cells are held together by the hydrodynamic suction the bacteria generate with their flagella. The 2D “bacterial crystals” formed on the surface of a glass slide, but the researchers don’t yet know whether such crystals form in the natural world or what function they might serve. The team mathematically modeled the behavior of the crystals and identified three characteristics of the cells that allow them to crystalize.

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