Bacteria Cover Image
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Author(s): Massimo Leone
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Semiotics / Semiology
Published by: Tartu Ülikooli Kirjastus

Summary/Abstract: How to understand this quote by Jesper Hoffmeyer? According to current microbiological knowledge, the motility of a bacterium such as Escherichia coli can be described as follows: the bacterium is able to make two movements: keep moving in the same direction, or change directionality. Through a complex system of receptors, the bacterium periodically monitors the concentration of a certain chemical element in the surrounding environment. If the bacterium ‘realizes’ that it is moving along a positive gradient, then it keeps moving in the same direction; if, on the contrary, it ‘realizes’ that it is moving along a negative gradient, for instance from areas with more food toward areas with less food, then it changes direction.

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: 10
  • Page Range: 33-36
  • Page Count: 4
  • Language: English