Skip to main content

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

Comment Preferences

  •  The details arent important (0+ / 0-)

    and you can geneticall test every microgram of one psuedo-organism/symbiotic form and find nothing.. and another one will have evolved thousands of mammal, fish or human infectious virii or bacteria.

    Why is it "we" only consider evolution to be something that happened in the past?

    •  I'm not sure I follow you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cdreid, Kimball

      I think the details are actually pretty important.  We all have billions of E. coli in our GI tract every day.  But there are only a very few strains that cause us to be sick.  The rest are what we need to help digest our food.  But they all fall under the category "coliforms".

      So the details of which coliforms they found are quite important... if they are claiming to have found pathogens.

      And, as I said in other comments, the genetics of human pathogens are the best understood of any bacteria.  So its straightforward to test for those strains.

      And I'm really not sure where you're going with the evolution question. I study environmental microbes... as communities that are constantly evolving (including genetic exchange between species).  So I'm quite aware that evolution is NOT only a thing of the past.  However, it's a relatively slow process... so you will not see "thousands" of new pathogens arise overnight (lucky for us!).  That's why scientists have a pretty good handle on which bacteria are pathogenic and which ones are not.

      "My greatest strength, I guess it would be my humility. Greatest weakness, it's possible that I'm a little too awesome." -Barack Obama 10/16/08

      by Hopeful Skeptic on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 05:31:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right now you dont (0+ / 0-)

        see rapid evolution. That was my point.

        You want to develop a deadly new bioweapon? You dont inject humans with something, try to flip a gene here and there, do it again.. You put organisms that can survive inhumans in 10,000 petri dishes . You slightly raise the radiation level to radically increase the mutation rate. You inject 100 monkeys with the results after a while. You draw blood from monkeys who do less well and repeat.

        These things are biofactories. No the organisms they evolve may not be directly harmful to humans.. ever even. But they may be lethal to fish. Or worse... something like Plankton. We both know how horrific that would be.

        Its not always about pathogens. Or even human pathogens. A simple lifeform that outcompetes the wrong thing on the bottom of the food chain and humanity is history. And you know this.

        •  the key to that kind of rapid evolution (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cdreid, Kimball

          is a mutagen (like the radiation you mentioned).  That's necessary to cause more changes in the DNA than would normally occur in nature.  

          There is no such mutagen in the mucus.  So I would not expect them to be factories for pathogens (or any other rapidly evolving organisms), any more than any other microbial aggregate.

          "My greatest strength, I guess it would be my humility. Greatest weakness, it's possible that I'm a little too awesome." -Barack Obama 10/16/08

          by Hopeful Skeptic on Wed Oct 14, 2009 at 03:03:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

  • Recommended (180)
  • Community (72)
  • Civil Rights (51)
  • Baltimore (44)
  • Elections (40)
  • Bernie Sanders (38)
  • Culture (38)
  • Economy (34)
  • Texas (32)
  • Law (31)
  • Labor (29)
  • 2016 (29)
  • Environment (27)
  • Hillary Clinton (27)
  • Education (23)
  • Rescued (22)
  • Freddie Gray (21)
  • Barack Obama (21)
  • Politics (21)
  • Health Care (20)
  • Click here for the mobile view of the site