Recent work, published in Nature, demonstrates that bacterial cells communicate with each other using ions and ion channels, much like brain cells. In fact, the proteins that form bacterial ion channels are homologous to those in plants and animals. This provides compelling evidence for how individual bacterial cells work in concert to form biofilms. This also provides a new mechanism for antibiotics: dispersing bacteria instead of killing them. This would lead to less bacterial resistance and prevent the destruction of healthy commensal species.