Saturday, September 18, 2010

Life at a basic bio level

So, today as I surfed around I fell into reverie about life at its basic biological unit, the cell. Not just the human cell, 300 kinds on the spectrum from most structural to most signally (i.e., meso to ecto, meat/bone to brain), but this time, how foreign bits of life invade, how our culture assists this to our occasional individual detriment, how we are basically just walking condos for microbial life, how apart from just an occasional sense of dismay, I've learned to accept all this and mostly roll with it.

This story from Superbug blogger Maryn McKenna, about brain amoebas contracted by innocent transplant recipients from organs obtained from a donor who had died from encephalitis got me started. Then, I tracked through a few of the other Superbug blogposts and found this: Outbreak of superbugs: The Singing Doctors (a youtube video). Apparently these guys go on tour, putting on musical shows about the US health care system. This seems absurd to me; but then, I'm a Canadian and there are many, many things US that seem absurd to me.

If you haven't thrown up enough yet, check out this: picture of baby licking pig's snout - eyeeeeeew. Talk about exposing your immature immune system to all sorts of adventure so that it can develop itself into something robust...

Microbes certainly have a way of having their way. I have a feeling long after we're gone (as a species) they'll still be around, no doubt inventing new forms of warm, anaerobic habitat they can drive around and symbiose with, completely supported by evolution, respecting all the laws of thermodynamics.

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