Skip to Content
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/microbiana/microbiana.org/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/microbiana/microbiana.org/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/microbiana/microbiana.org/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/microbiana/microbiana.org/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 149.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/microbiana/microbiana.org/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/microbiana/microbiana.org/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/microbiana/microbiana.org/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/microbiana/microbiana.org/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 745.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/microbiana/microbiana.org/modules/views/views.module on line 879.

How useful do you perceive the war metaphor to be as a way of understanding our relationships with bacteria?

We have the common perception that bacteria are the enemy. In fact, there are only some bacteria, in fact very, very few bacteria, that are dangerous to humans. The vast, overwhelming majority of bacteria are actually good for us. If bacteria were to disappear from human environments, everything would close down - everything would stop. Our health is dependent on the bacteria in us and on us. Our food production is dependent on bacteria: in fermentation, to make bread, coffee, chocolate and beer etc. Almost everything we eat has bacterial or fungal action on it before we eat it. All the food crops in the ground rely on fungi that are what we call symbionts with the plants. So, to me, the war metaphor is not a good one because it casts microorganisms as the enemy when they are extremely beneficial for humans and the rest of the organisms on the planet.

Tagged in: