Tuesday, 22 April 2008

The most common life-like thing on earth :-)

The folk at Astronomy Picture of the Day have this crazy photo of some bacteriophage viruses attacking a bacterium.

And these bacteriophage ("bacteria-eating") viruses are everywhere!

"A pinch of soil or drop of seawater, for example, contains many millions of bacteriophages."
"They're nature's most successful experiment," says Marisa Pedulla of the University of Pittsburgh. "They outnumber all the bacteria, all the humans, whales, trees, et cetera, put together."

They're "the pinnacle of creation," adds Graham Hatfull, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of Pittsburgh. "Phages represent the major form of life in the biosphere."

Read more in an intriguing Science News article on phages, wittily titled, All The World's a Phage.


Mekayla said...

Are you sure this isn't one of those cool images that your friends will say they wish you never showed them?

Grace Dalley said...

Hmm, I can't see pictures of viruses or bacteria as being big sellers in a greeting-card context! :-)

Except perhaps for eccentric microbiologists to send to other eccentric microbiologists.