How do microbes see each other

Bacteria look so beautiful

According to current estimates, almost 40 trillion bacteria live in each of us. That is even more than our body cells have. That's around 200 grams of bacteria per person.

Scientifically speaking, bacteria are tiny, single-celled living things. Simply put: they eat, can move and multiply through cell division. They are found all over our body and without them we could not survive. For example, they sit on our skin. Quite a few can also be found in damp areas like our armpits. Most live in the intestines. There are three basic forms: spheres (so-called cocci), spirals (spirochetes) and rods (bacilli).

Useful for yogurt, cheese and petroleum

But there are not all good bacteria. There are also many who are not so kind to us. They transmit diseases like tooth decay or plague. But they can also be very useful outside of our body: They turn milk into yoghurt or cheese, make sauerkraut, wine and petroleum, produce medicines, break down waste in sewage treatment plants and occasionally cause bad smells in the home.

Miracles under the microscope

Scientists have found in tests that some bacteria produce flower-like patterns when combined with one another. The bio-physicists at the University of California at San Diego happened upon this change. And because it's so beautiful to look at, the scientists created a time-lapse video from the changes.