Quotes by Bonnie Bassler

Bonnie Bassler

American molecular biologist

Category: Science

Quotes 1 till 15 of 16.

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  • Bonnie Bassler
    Bonnie Bassler
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    Think about multicellularity on this Earth. Every living thing originally came from bacteria. So, who do you think made up the rules for how to perform collective behaviors? It had to be the bacteria.
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    All these bacteria that coat our skin and live in our intestines, they fend off bad bacteria. They protect us. And you can't even digest your food without the bacteria that are in your gut. They have enzymes and proteins that allow you to metabolize foods you eat.
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    As a kid, I loved doing puzzles, solving riddles, and reading mystery books. I also loved animals and always had pets.
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    Bacteria are single-celled organisms. Bacteria are the model organisms for everything that we know in higher organisms. There are 10 times more bacterial cells in you or on you than human cells.
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    Everybody, as soon as they do a good experiment, their first thought in this lab is, 'That can't be right. I must have screwed it up. What did I do wrong?' And that's the best kind of scientist because they're filled with this self-doubt. And if I'm going to be honest, that's who I am. And it's what drives me.
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    In my lab, we are always thinking about how cells, bacterial cells, can talk to each other and then organize themselves into enormous groups that function in unison.
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    It's incorrect to think of bacteria as these asocial, single cells. They are individual cells, but they act in communities, exactly the way people do.
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    Most bacteria aren't bad. We breathe and eat and ingest gobs of bacteria every single moment of our lives. Our food is covered in bacteria. And you're breathing in bacteria all the time, and you mostly don't get sick.
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    Science is difficult and slow no matter who you are. The hours are long, and the glorious 'aha' days come only very infrequently. You have to keep believing that if you put in the hours, those days will indeed come!
  • Bonnie Bassler
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    So, okay, I'm not a genius. Vincent Van Gogh and Albert Einstein were geniuses.
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    The goal of scientists is you hope that the thing you're working on is bigger than the thing you're pipetting into that tube at that moment.
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    We've all been sick; we're all afraid of infection. I think the easiest application to help people understand what quorum sensing is and why it's important to study is to tell them that if we could make the bacteria either deaf or mute, we could create new antibiotics.
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    What's great about bacteria is you have a surprise every day waiting for you because they're so fast, they grow overnight.
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    When antibiotics became industrially produced following World War II, our quality of life and our longevity improved enormously. No one thought bacteria were going to become resistant.
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    When antibiotics first came out, nobody could have imagined we'd have the resistance problem we face today. We didn't give bacteria credit for being able to change and adapt so fast.
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