Bacterial Quorum

I referred earlier to re-discovering the “myxobacter” example of simple bacteria performing some amazing feats when acting acting in unison, as an example of “emergence” of unpredictably “intelligent” phenomena from complex systems of simple units.

Well, here Johnnie Moore picks up a link to another example – cholera bacteria reaching a “quorum” before “deciding” to release toxins. Equally relevant to my agenda is Johnnie’s point in linking to the piece – the self-doubt of Bonnie Bassler, the scientist involved in the work.

Trail Of Tears

Updated my gallery with some photos taken at yesterday’s “Trail of Tears” motorcycle rally, (some 10,000 bikes, up to 200 per minute for almost an hour) which follows part of the route from Ross Landing (in Chattanooga, TN) to Waterloo (beyond Florence, AL), taken in 1838 by Cherokee Indians en route to being deported the other side of the Mississippi. It comemorates a particularly sad piece of history because for some three generations or more they had been living in relative harmony amongst the European settlers, trapping and trading, and even taking on homestead life-styles, before civil wars amongst those indian tribes rejecting the expansion of white-men into their lands, led to congress taking action.

The route to the Mississippi used the Tennessee River, except for the section through what is now Huntsville, beyond the shallows at Muscle Shoals, round which they were marched during time of drought, many to their deaths.