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View Diary: Fetid Mucus Slime Spreading in Oceans, Warming Implicated (218 comments)

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  •  well that's actually part of the problem... (1+ / 0-)
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    Hopeful Skeptic

    There's no evidence presented in the paper that the mucilage truly is an enhanced vector for pathogens or a health problem for humans or marine animals.

    For the latter, the enrichment in V. harveyi  may be inferred to be a health concern as animals swimming through one of these would likely have an enhanced risk of infection. For that matter, I wouldn't ask a human to swim through this with an open wound and certainly not to drink the water (apart from it being seawater). Like skeptic, I simply think the authors somewhat overreach - and I'd like to avoid certain misconceptions on this matter.

    Take the viruses for example. Swine flu infrequently evolves into a form that passes between humans. The last common ancestor of pigs and humans lived about 100 million years ago. Our last common ancestor with a bacterium? More like a few billion.  

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