Learning physics from migrating bacteria



-->Droplet-like fruiting bodies of the bacterium M. xanthus. Each fruiting body contains hundreds of thousands of bacterial cells and is tens to hundreds of times taller than a single cell. (Courtesy: Cassidy Yang)
Myxococcus xanthus is a rod-shaped soil bacterium with the ability to move on surfaces. Under starvation conditions, individually migrating bacteria switch their motile behaviour and cooperate to form dome-shaped multicellular structures known as fruiting bodies. The physics behind the creation of these multilayer structures, however, is not well-understoo