Monday, August 31, 2015

Microbes can reproduce a million times as fast as humans - or a thousand times as slow

Wait, wait a minute - you ain't seen nothing yet folks - there's more, lots more !

They can live almost without water, live in salty brine or strong acid, resist radiation, survive extreme hot and cold, and the high pressures of the deep underground, live in the dark, live inside incredibly tiny holes in rock.

They can share all their billions of different genes through the process of horizontal gene transfer, HGT, a sort of loosey goosey world wide library system where everyone is both author and patron.

No globe wide catastrophe in four billion years has been able to kill them.

No wonder, if we recall they can remain in suspended animation for perhaps millions of years, without any food or water, inside extremely hot or extremely cold bare rock, just patiently waiting for Churchill's broad sunlit uplands to reemerge.

Of course, on October 15th 1940, almost no one would have believed any of this, even if it had been gathered in one popular account for all to read.

For "The Symmetry of Progress and Manichean Modernity", circa 1940, simply demanded that the brilliance of civilized Man is to be balanced and framed by the stupidity of the primitive Microbe.

Martin Henry Dawson's pioneering injections of mold-made penicillin into patients on October 16th 1940 began the slow drip drip drip that eventually ended that delusion.

Of course the many war time activities of Europe's biggest civilization also helped...

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