Bonnie Bassler on Learning To Speak Microbe

By Carl Zimmer | July 1, 2010 11:55 am

mtsitunes220Princeton biologist Bonnie Bassler studies the chemical conversations bacteria use to work together and (sometimes) to make us sick. She joined me for my latest podcast, bringing her trademark enthusiasm and rare skill at telling a good scientific story. Check it out.

And if you crave more, check out her excellent TED lecture last year.


Comments (2)

  1. interested bystander

    I just listened to the podcast and think that someone should clone Bonnie Bassler and send her into every science classroom from grade school to middle school to high school. Seriously she has exciting research to talk about and she is able to make it understandable. It makes me want to go back to college and study microbiology. I am a science loving layperson and I would gladly go to hear her in person. It sounds like learning to understand the complicated “chemical lexicon” of bacteria is leading to fascinating research that has implications for health care and also industry in learning how bacteria that are really “just a bag of liquid” can perform engineering feats such as molecular filtering and feedback loops with amplification etc.
    It sounds like she will be a wonderful spokesperson also in her role as president-elect of the American Society for Microbiology. She said she has two missions, one to continue her research and encourage the work of the young researchers working with her and two to tell people “not to be afraid of science” as it is filled with wonder. I wish her all the best with both missions.

  2. You are so right, Interested Bystander. This woman is a gem!


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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.


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