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

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  •  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 ]

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