[extropy-chat] Nanobacteria (was Hello Fellow Extropians...)

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 14 00:09:32 UTC 2006

I tend to agree with Robert that the case for
autonomously replicating nanobacteria is pretty weak
at best. There are fairly well characterized organisms
that could be thought of as "half way between viruses
and bacteria". These organisms are called mycoplasmas.
Mycoplasmas however are obligate intracellular
pathogens. That is to say that they can only replicate
and metabolize inside of a host cell. They then bud
from their host cells to infect other cells. They are
much smaller than bacteria and have an incomplete
genome, ergo their dependence on a host. However they
are larger than viruses and have membranes and certain
other characteritics of bacteria.

If one is looking for an etiologic agent of
artherosclerosis, I think it would be more fruitful to
explore the link between gingivitis/peridontal disease
and heart disease. There is already a statistical
relationship between the two (sorry don't have time
for a link but google and you will find tons of
references). Futhermore calculus (the stuff dentists
scrape off your teeth during cleaning) is calcified
dental plaque. Thus if artherosclerotic plaques are
also calcified, as previous posts in this thread seem
to indicate, there may indeed be a direct pathogenic
link. Maybe flossing is good for your heart!


Stuart LaForge
alt email: stuart"AT"ucla.edu

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science [...] Believing as I do that man in the distant future will be a far more perfect creature than he now is, it is an intolerable thought that he and all other sentient beings are doomed to complete annihilation after such long-continued slow progress" 
- St. Darwin

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