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To detect diseases earlier, let’s speak bacteria’s secret language | Fatima AlZahra’a Alatraktchi

Bacteria “talk” to each other, sending chemical information to coordinate attacks. What if we could listen to what they were saying? Nanophysicist Fatima AlZahra’a Alatraktchi invented a tool to spy on bacterial chatter and translate their secret communication into human language. Her work could pave the way for early diagnosis of disease — before we…

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Bacteria “talk” to each other, sending chemical information to coordinate attacks. What if we could listen to what they were saying? Nanophysicist Fatima AlZahra’a Alatraktchi invented a tool to spy on bacterial chatter and translate their secret communication into human language. Her work could pave the way for early diagnosis of disease — before we even get sick.

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The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more.

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26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Ngoc Pham

    April 20, 2019 at 2:54 am

    It’s amazied talk. Her voice is cleanly and interresting. She is considering and activity.

    • Avatar

      Dominik S

      April 20, 2019 at 9:36 am

      what

  2. Avatar

    Doogy Dog

    April 20, 2019 at 3:07 am

    Because lyme is such a tricky infection to detect, perhaps this could help with earlier diagnosis. LYME must be treated almost immediately after infected, so this could be ground breaking!

  3. Avatar

    Has Hazer

    April 20, 2019 at 3:27 am

    BACTERIA HAS SWORDS

  4. Avatar

    Extreme

    April 20, 2019 at 3:46 am

    Wonderful work

  5. Avatar

    rifattigli23

    April 20, 2019 at 5:06 am

    very good work!

  6. Avatar

    l96ai

    April 20, 2019 at 5:33 am

    That last 6 minutes is heartbreaking!

  7. Avatar

    A. Latiwala

    April 20, 2019 at 5:50 am

    Your monologue though ?

  8. Avatar

    Stephane Dorion

    April 20, 2019 at 6:45 am

    What a good intro…
    Just look at the headdress and you’ll know who’s sick.

  9. Avatar

    El Kudos

    April 20, 2019 at 8:49 am

    About Jews?..

  10. Avatar

    judyslome1

    April 20, 2019 at 9:02 am

    This says that bacteria release signals before they seriously attack, and this women has tests that uncover bacteria’s early signalling before the culture is positive. Her reaction is to treat early with antibiotics. Antibiotics results in microbiome responding with more virulent strains. Perhaps there is an alternative to antibiotics. Maybe intermittent fasting- not eating for 12- 16- 20 ? hours per day, keeps the bacterial microbiome from fighting, or becoming virulent by making them thin out on a daily basis- instead of them reproducing more by making their food constantly available in high amounts. Could this explain why under-eating has always been associated with longevity?

  11. Avatar

    John Farris

    April 20, 2019 at 9:35 am

    SmarterEveryDay last two videos.

  12. Avatar

    Dominik S

    April 20, 2019 at 9:40 am

    Fatima AlZahra’a Alatraktchi… I hate when my cat walks on my keyboard.

  13. Avatar

    Ti Mo

    April 20, 2019 at 9:47 am

    How can you dumb down a topic that much

  14. Avatar

    RechanRechan

    April 20, 2019 at 10:32 am

    This is so cool! Imagine if the devices are used in most hospitals, there would be many lives we could save!

  15. Avatar

    Muslima Hafiz

    April 20, 2019 at 10:45 am

    Truly astonishing! Such a breakthrough to medicine! Fatima, you made a mesmerizing research, which may help a billions of people with bacteria diseases to get a remedy?

  16. Avatar

    Haidy A.

    April 20, 2019 at 10:49 am

    That’s truly astonishing! Ma shaa Allah to you, what a great role model you are ?

  17. Avatar

    hashknight1

    April 20, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    amazing! we need more scientists like her to improve our current medical care. And also more budget towards medical research and not military &weapons development.

  18. Avatar

    FaithLehane

    April 20, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    Not only is the information in the lecture amazing but this is actually one of the best talks ever – easy to understand and remember and something we should all care about.

  19. Avatar

    taha pipino

    April 20, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    9 Things in the US That Puzzle Most Foreigners

  20. Avatar

    Mogul DaMongrel

    April 20, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    Why dont you just create a beneficial bacteria like penicillin that can reside within the human body preventing future diseases… you know like the ancients did before your time. Or is that to much in the way of your employeers big pharma

  21. Avatar

    Last Destroyer

    April 20, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    I can only focus on her not on what she talking ?

  22. Avatar

    Anshu TM

    April 20, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    I am grateful to you.
    Thank you.

  23. Avatar

    mohannad aljabri

    April 20, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    I watched this several months ago somewhere and good that this made it here! Good Job Fatima!

  24. Avatar

    HANS ARMSTARK

    April 20, 2019 at 8:49 pm

    Muslims are not welcome

  25. Avatar

    Alpha Centauri

    April 20, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    Send this tool to India. We need this. Congratulations for this breakthrough!

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The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more. You’re welcome to link to or embed these videos, forward them to others and share these ideas with people you know.

TED’s videos may be used for non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons License, Attribution–Non Commercial–No Derivatives (or the CC BY – NC – ND 4.0 International) and in accordance with our TED Talks Usage Policy (). For more information on using TED for commercial purposes (e.g. employee learning, in a film or online course), please submit a Media Request at

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The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more. You’re welcome to link to or embed these videos, forward them to others and share these ideas with people you know.

TED’s videos may be used for non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons License, Attribution–Non Commercial–No Derivatives (or the CC BY – NC – ND 4.0 International) and in accordance with our TED Talks Usage Policy (). For more information on using TED for commercial purposes (e.g. employee learning, in a film or online course), please submit a Media Request at

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TED’s videos may be used for non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons License, Attribution–Non Commercial–No Derivatives (or the CC BY – NC – ND 4.0 International) and in accordance with our TED Talks Usage Policy (). For more information on using TED for commercial purposes (e.g. employee learning, in a film or online course), please submit a Media Request at

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