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Could Bacteria Have The Ability To “Predict” The Future? Yes, Thanks To The “Experience”

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Bacteria are organisms with incredible variety and different qualities. These provide micro-organisms with considerable resistance to extreme environments, allowing them to conquer the most remote corners of the planet. A new search also gives this living kingdom the possibility of understanding the past and \”predicting the future.

A research team from the Washington University of St. Louis, led by Mikhail Tikhonov, co-author of the study, using computer simulations, identified the ability of bacteria to adapt to the changing environment, implementing mechanisms of the bacterial system.

According to Tikhonov, “The evolutionary “learning” is on the agenda. For example, many organisms have evolved a circadian clock to follow the 24-hour day and night cycle” and continuing “But evolution takes place over many generations. We show that bacteria could, in principle, do what we do: learn correlations from recent experience and adapt their future behavior accordingly, even during their lifetimes.

The bacteria are simple monocellular organisms and, not being equipped with the nervous system, conferred by the plurality and specialization of the cell, act by means of a series of receptors (mainly chemical, known as chemoreceptors), establishing specific circuits.

Researchers have identified a kind of learning, resulting from this approach, found in those microorganisms that have three fundamental prerogatives: supernumber of regulatory molecules, self-activation of the same and the ability to adapt to conditions of the real environment.

The study analyses the control systems used by some bacteria, not only to react to the onset of a stimulus, but in preparation for it.

The aim of the research is to introduce a new approach to the study and analysis of bacterial species, so as to provide research with a tool to overcome theoretical models and reveal the specific characteristics of the real environment under consideration, in which microorganisms are swarming (a)

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