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Microbes grow electrifying whiskers

Some bacteria grow electrical hairs, known as nanowires, that let them link up in big biological circuits.The discovery suggests that microbial colonies may survive, communicate, and share energy in part through electrically conducting hairs.

The finding is reported this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Knowing how microbial communities thrive is the first step in finding ways to destroy harmful colonies, such as biofilms on teeth. Biofilms have proven highly resistant to antibiotics.

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