Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Bacteria will suffer in silence no more.
For over a century now we've thought of bacteria as asocial, single celled organisms. Loners, renegades, rebelling against the oppression of "the man."
It turns out they are far from asocial. They talk with their own species in a special chemical language only they can comprehend. They are even multilingual, talking in a universal language that all bacteria can understand.
So what's the point?
Revenge. When a few bacteria enter the body, they eat and grow, multiplying and releasing small amounts of the harmless communication molecules. When these molecules are at significant concentration the bacteria grab hold of them and that signals the community to change behavior, or attack.
That's when they start releasing toxins which are the source of the sore throat, runny nose, or even open sores on your "special purpose."
If they were to start releasing these toxins immediately, the human immune system would bust the door down and kick them in the throat.
But by waiting until their numbers are high enough to fend off the Federalli, they can successfully remain long enough to waste a few of your vacation days, and probably a few bucks to see the doctor and get some medicinal help.
Now scientist are working on ways to mess with the communication of bacteria.
One option is to make them silent so they become harmless, multiplying and never releasing their toxins.
The other is to make them talk all the time thus releasing their toxins while at lower concentrations making them an easy target for the troops.
It's only a matter of time before we see bacteria rights group protesting single cell freedom of speech.
For the whole story [Click Here]