Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bad News for the Microphobic

Recently I learned of this phenomena, described below, and as surprising as it is, it also seems completely predictable. (Is there a word for that?) The life cycle of these bacteria, if they have any sentience, must be one of the most thrilling joy rides ever.

From Science Daily:"Biological precipitation, or the "bio-precipitation" cycle, as David Sands, Montana State University professor of plant sciences and plant pathology calls it, basically is this: bacteria form little groups on the surface of plants. Wind then sweeps the bacteria into the atmosphere, and ice crystals form around them. Water clumps on to the crystals, making them bigger and bigger. The ice crystals turn into rain and fall to the ground. When precipitation occurs, then, the bacteria have the opportunity to make it back down to the ground. If even one bacterium lands on a plant, it can multiply and form groups, thus causing the cycle to repeat itself.


Yesterday's impending torrent curtailed our visit to the Salt Marsh so we headed home down Ocean Avenue, which must be one of the least commercial streets in Brooklyn, as the sky darkened, drops dropped, laquering the Avenue with distracting color bleeds, tapping out code on the windshield. Block after block the large apartment houses of various styles and eras seemed inviting in the gloom, aggregates of so many lives, refuge for so many people, each catalyzing infinite orders.


Matthew said...

Bacteria is the true "alpha and omega," the beginning and the end of life on this planet. We're crawling with the stuff inside and out and wouldn't be alive if we weren't. Tonight, I drink my homemade ginger beer, orange juice, and beer cocktail in honor of bacteria.

Marie said...

So interesting. I drink rain quite often, open mouthed. Guess I have a nice immune system...