Fatima’s talk is now on TED.com

Fatima AlZahra’a Alatraktchis talk on bacteria’s secret communication at TEDxAarhus 2018 has now been included in the popular TED Talks on TED.com. This helps spread the news about the ground-breaking research on early detection of bacterial infections become internationally.


By Carina Britorn Vestergaard, photo by Daiki Miyanabe

Bacteria are not as primitive as you would expect. They live in cultures, the breed, they fight with rivalling cultures, and they communicate and plan attacks on their host. By use of a new method, this communication can be detected before the attacks really set in and become dangerous infections.  

This was part of Fatima AlZahra’a Alatraktchi’s talk “Hacking into the secret communication… of bacteria” at TEDxAarhus 2018.  Fatima AlZahra’a Alatraktchi is a Civil Engineer with a PhD in Nanophysics. In 2017, she founded the medico company PreDiagnose in connection with her research projects measuring bacterial communication.

As of today, March 27, her talk can be experienced on TED.com.


Ground-breaking knowledge for treatment of bacterial infections

Science projects show that bacteria at an early stage of their communication use signal molecules to tell that they want to attack the body. When the signal molecules accumulate, the bacteria know when they are strong enough to form an attack.  

Fatima AlZahra’a Alatraktchi observed the behavior of the bacteria by shooting electrons into a sample thereby mapping the amount of communication. The whispering bacteria – as she calls them – can be detected by use of the translation tool she is developing. This method can be used to detect an upcoming infection at a much earlier stage than commonly known methods. The science means that it is now possible to detect harmful bacteria early in the process and initiate early treatment of patients who would otherwise get serious infections of invalidating or even fatal character.  

TED as a communication channel

On the fact that her talk has been chosen for the website and the YouTube-channel of the TED organisation, Fatima AlZahra’a Alatraktchi says :
”First of all, it is a great honor to be part of the league where less than 1% of all TEDx Talks are selected.  Also, it is satisfying to see all the energy I put into making a story worth listening to now pays off – and I reap the best possible I could from this TEDx Talk.”

She praises TEDxAarhus for helping bring her message to the public.  
“TEDxAarhus has been extremely professional. I’ve spoken to several people who mentioned that the quality of their event was just as high as the big TED conferences. Big credit for that,” she says.    

Lead Organizer of TEDxAarhus, Anne Skjelborg, is proud that TEDxAarhus 2018 helped promote a skilled scientist with such an important idea: “Fatima is an extraordinary young scientist. We were so proud to have her on our stage at TEDxAarhus and to give our audience the chance to hear about her groundbreaking research. The work she does is incredible, and will no doubt have a huge impact on the future of medicine. The fact that her talk caught the attention of TED and that it will now reach a huge global audience is really exciting.”

Big potential for international impact

With the distribution of Fatima AlZahra’a Alatraktchi’s talk from TEDxAarhus 2018, her research has the potential to make a real difference to medicine seen from an international perspective.  

“The global distribution of my research by use of TED means that I can reach the leading people and organizations within this field. I can use the link to my talk at TED as my business card when I need to get in touch with the most skilled people in the world within nanotechnology, microbiology, and doctors with an interest in infections, as well as industrial players in the field”, she says.