• Strategy

Colonies self-assemble: bacteria


Stromatolites growing in Yalgorup national park in Australia / C Eeckhout / LicenseGFDL - Gnu Free Document License

Bacterial colonies that form stromatolites self-assemble by making independent decisions while maintaining communication.

"Stromatolites are colonies of bacteria that self-assemble into rock formations in tidal salt flats. Each stromatolite can make independent decisions, while maintaining communication with the colony. The workload is shared among all colony individuals. Stromatolites breed rapidly, and quickly develop resistance to antibiotics and other threats by developing new genes. Ian Marshall plans to incorporate these principles into the next wave of BT network management. Like the stromatolites, each element of BT's [British Telecom] network will be able to make independent decisions, yet will remain fully communicative with neighbors. Workload--i.e., incoming calls--will be spread evenly through the network. And in a process mimicking natural selection, desirable services will be quickly distributed to BT customers, while undesirable services die out." (Courtesy of the Biomimicry Guild)
About the inspiring organism

Learn more at EOL.org
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Mimicking quorum sensing and natural selection to efficiently route telecommunications.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Communications

Environmental Informatics
Ian Marshall
University of Lancaster
Centre for Biomolecular Sciences Quorum Sensing Research Group
Paul Williams, Steve Atkinson
University of Nottingham
Atkinson S; Williams P. 2009. Quorum sensing and social networking in the microbial world. J R Soc Interface. 6(40): 959-78.
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over 3 years ago
Thanks to Duarte Miguel Prazeres and Enrique Roitman for finding and uploading these amazing photos.
over 4 years ago
This comment was removed by a AskNature editor for the following reason:
over 5 years ago
resistance to anitbiotics... it would be wonderful if a BT network can develop resistance to viruses, perhaps by sharing and distributing a pool of genetic or other algorithms that weed out harnful viruses...
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