Bacteria in solitary confinement.
670 - 671
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Even in clonal bacterial cultures, individual bacteria can show substantial stochastic variation, leading to pitfalls in the interpretation of data derived from millions of cells in a culture. In this issue of the Journal of Bacteriology, as part of their study on osmoadaptation in a cyanobacterium, Nanatani et al. describe employing an ingenious microfluidic device that gently cages individual cells (J Bacteriol 197:676-687, 2015, http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JB.02276-14). The device is a welcome addition to the toolkit available to probe the responses of individual cells to environmental cues.