A new study shows that when enough bacteria get together in one place, they can make a collective decision to grow an appendage and swim away. This type of behavior has been seen for the first time in marine sponges, and it could lead to an understanding of how to break up harmful bacterial biofilms, such as plaque on teeth…

Of course, we already know how to break up harmful biofilms in the mouth:

Okay, in fairness, there are plenty of other applications of the new biofilm findings beyond keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy. And it could lead to new, effective, drugless dental treatments. Besides, it’s pretty cool how much we’re learning about the way microbes communicate and function within the human body.

We just couldn’t resist calling attention to the unstated obvious up there.

Images by AJC1 & KayVee.INC, via Flickr

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