By Mikelle Leow, 18 Dec 2021
In their mission to study the social behavior of bacteria, researchers stumbled upon a scenario resembling the star formations in Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night.
Scientists at Rice University and the University of Wyoming were looking at Myxococcus xanthus, a bacterium that moves and feeds in swarms. Overexpressing—that is, creating too many copies of—a certain protein in the bacterium caused the microorganisms to self-organize into swirling blobs. These findings were published in the American Society for Microbiology’s mSystems scientific journal.