Science Living: True Lookenott, Microbiology Researcher
True Lookenott (2020) is a junior biology major at Truett-McConnell University. Along with his professor, Dr. Diby Paul, and a fellow student, True is researching ways to prevent the formation of biofilms.
A biofilm is a thin, slick layer of bacteria and secretions that can develop on all kinds of surfaces. To form these films, bacteria “communicate” as they multiply by releasing and sensing signal molecules. One sensing mechanism that allows bacteria to cooperate in forming a biofilm is called “quorum sensing” (QS). Quorum quenching (QQ) is the disruption of QS by inhibiting the signals to slow or prevent the formation of biofilms.
Although not all biofilms are pathogenic, some contaminate medical equipment or water treatment systems, and some are involved in recurrent bacterial infections. Learning more about quorum quenching might help researchers prevent contamination and treat infections.
True and his partner hope to publish their findings and present them at a conference. Read more.