Scientists know that bacteria create their own energy, get nutrients to run their cellular processes, and multiply. But, bacteria haven’t been shown to respond to external mechanical stimulation or signals in a way that’s similar to how our bodies respond to touch, until now.

That image of bacteria changed when the University of Colorado at Boulder researchers discovered that E. coli bacteria cells get excited when poked. And they send voltage out from sensing that touch — the same way our sense of touch relays messages to our brain via an electrical pathway.

Senior author Joel Kralj, a… more

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