Biofilms Research Stream
Biofilms are communities of bacteria, which is the natural way that bacteria grow and spread. Examples include the slime that contaminants water pipes and the bacteria that infect medical implants. These communities of bacteria produce a protective matrix of material that makes it difficult to eliminate them, thus the term “biofilms”. And bacteria that have developed further resistance to antibiotics are even more difficult to control. The research carried out by freshman students in the Biofilms research stream at Binghamton University addresses these issues.
A key component of the FRI program is that students learn to work in teams -- because that is how researchers tackle the complexity of understanding and controlling biofilms. The students create a research proposal, based on the protocols and equipment they have learned to use. Subsequently, they conduct the research they have proposed. This process develops interpersonal and communication skills and critical thinking, along with an array of advanced technical skills.