Archive for integrated pathogen management

Alien vs. Predator

Posted in Ecological resilience, Evolution, Farming Human Pathogens book, Influenza, Sustainable farming with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2010 by Rob Wallace

Dallas: [looks at a pen being dissolved by alien’s body fluid] I haven’t seen anything like that except, uh, molecular acid.
Brett: It must be using it for blood.
Parker: It’s got a wonderful defense mechanism. You don’t dare kill it.
Alien (1979)

NASA announced earlier this month one of its research teams discovered an ‘alien’ bacterium at the bottom of California’s Mono Lake. Call off the men in black, it’s strictly still a matter for the nerds in white.

The bacterium isn’t really from another planet, even as we all are a kind of astronaut wherever and whenever we find ourselves spinning through space and time. Rather, this earthly bug showed under the kinds of stringent conditions found on other planets it could assimilate arsenic into its very cellular fabric in place of what was until now thought mission-critical phosphorous.

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