Gary Borisy and his scientists have been taking beautiful images of highly organized oral bacteria colonies. By using fluorescent probes which stick to bits of RNA it was possible to take color microscopic photos that differentiate the most common bacteria types.
The structures have names such as “the corncob”, “the cauliflower” and “the hedgehog”. One of the more interesting findings is that the oxygen-loving bacteria live on the edges while the bacteria that live without oxygen tend to live in-between.
Mapping the bacteria required creating a set of tags to identify each of them. Since there may be hundreds of bacterial species living on our teeth, the researchers needed to figure out which species were most abundant.
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