Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Communicating With The Underworld

Microbe photo by Hassan Sakhtah
Regular readers know that the Dredd Blog System has advocated a new way for dealing with the microbial underworld of bacteria and viruses.

That new way is diplomacy via communication, yes, striking up a conversation with them rather than trying in vain to utterly destroy them.

Yes, I know that it would be like the old musical Dr. Dolittle which had a song in it about a person who wanted to be able to "Talk to the Animals."

Regular readers who read Dredd Blog posts also know by now that microbiologists are beginning to learn how to communicate with "the Underworld" where the millions of microbe species thrive:
Living in harmony with the nature around us and in us is a fundamental prerequisite --because if we make critical life forms extinct, we thereby make our species extinct at the same time.

Living in harmony may also require us to do "remedial rehabilitation of the unseen", as the title of today's post suggests.

By that I mean to rehabilitate the microbes that have experienced past mass extinction events that utterly upended their world.

Which may have caused some of them to thereby end up going rogue and to then eventually become ill behaved parasites (Are Microbes The Origin of PTSD?).

Perhaps by learning to communicate with the rogues among them we will thereby be able to talk sense into some of the microbes that have become killers, maimers, or otherwise harmful?
(Microbial Languages: Rehabilitation of the Unseen). Researchers have discovered that some species, which were once parasitic or pathogenic microbes, have changed their behavior to become symbiont once again, to give up the parasitic or pathogenic lifestyle and return to a mutualistic type of behavior:
Like pretty much all multi-cellular organisms, humans enjoy the benefits of helpful bacteria. (As you may have heard, there are more bacteria in the human body than cells.) These mutualistic microbes live within the body of a larger organism, and, like any good long-term house guest, help out their hosts, while making a successful life for themselves. It’s a win-win situation for both parties.

Scientists still don’t understand exactly how these relationships began, however. To find out, a team of researchers from the University of California, Riverside, used protein markers to create a detailed phylogenic tree of life for 405 taxa from the Proteobacteria phylum—a diverse group that includes pathogens such as salmonella as well as both mutualistic and free-living species.

Those analyses revealed that mutualism in Proteobacteria independently evolved between 34 to 39 times, the researchers report in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.  The team was a bit surprised to find that this happened so frequently, inferring that evolution apparently views this lifestyle quite favorably.

Their results also show that mutualism most often arises in species that were originally parasites and pathogens.
(Microbial Languages: Rehabilitation of the Unseen - 2). That is probably going to be considered a bad thing by Big Pharma, which like Big Military, would rather just cut them down with chemical warfare.

Yes, kill, maim, and destroy has been the "medical treatment" of choice for our unaware world of yesteryear ideology, which continues, for the most part, unabated.

But, inventions and techniques are being implemented that promise to give us yet another way to enter into a diplomatic phase with them:
Now, scientists are turning that optics-based imaging approach on its head, instead developing a chip based on integrated circuit technology that lets them not only electrochemically image bacteria, but listen in on them as well.

The chip "is an 'active' glass slide, a slide that not only forms a solid-support for the bacterial colony but also 'listens' to the bacteria as they talk to each other," Columbia University engineering professor and research head Ken Shepard said in a school news release.
(Scientists Listen in on Bacteria). Learning the language of the most abundant life forms on Earth, the oldest life forms on Earth, the life forms in us, on us, and around us no matter where we go, is a new approach for scientists:
In the first post of this series we learned that microbes signal one another, that is, they communicate with each other.

In that post we also covered the issue of signal interpretation, that is, discerning which signals to listen to and how to interpret them.

In this post we will take that a bit further, and discuss the findings of science teams we have not yet considered, to learn that microbes actually communicate via a language all their own.

Their language is composed of molecules as words, molecules which the microbes construct within themselves, then broadcast for other microbes to receive, then interpret and act upon.

The importance of this reality cannot be underestimated.

I say this because one of the types of activity that microbes perform is to shape humans in various degrees, both in physical shape and size, including our brains, as well as to influence and/or control some of our behavior, including activating the most extreme behaviors (see Hypothesis: Microbes Generate Toxins of Power - 6).
(Microbial Hermeneutics - 2). Heretofore we have been acting like an alien species that does not want to protect and preserve the Earth, the only planet we can now exist on (Maybe Human Civilization Is From Mars & Venus?).

We are like the two ants in the cartoon who were observing a golfer trying to hit his ball, but was missing every time and cratering the place up dangerously close to them.

One ant said to the other, "if we are going to survive we had better get on the ball."

CF: The Real Dangers With Microbes & Viruses

Further explanation by Dr. Bassler about why this scientific diplomacy is a good endeavor:

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