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<M>
Microbe
M
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★ Microbe

Microbe: see Bacteria & Infection & Atom & Particle & Extremophile & Evolution & Animal & Ocean & Insects & Virus & Matter & Space & Universe & Life & Panspermia & Disease & Microscope & Doctor & Hospital & Molecule

The Day the Earth was Born TV - The Universe TV - Star Trek: The Next Generation TV - Hilaire Belloc - Fyodor Dostoyevsky - David Darling - Rene Dubos - Louis Pasteur - Iain Probert -

 

 

3,962.  Imagine if our planet’s eventful history was compressed into the twenty-four hours of a single day.  At midnight the infant Earth was born ... At sixteen minutes past midnight a cataclysmic collision created our moon ... Then just before one o’clock in the morning the scene was set for ... the origin of life ... It took more than seven hours for all the iron to be removed from the oceans till one p.m. in the afternoon ... Over the next eight hours the microbes raised the level of oxygen ... It took only the last three hours of our twenty-four day for all the other life-forms on our planet to evolve.  The first multi-cellular life emerged at six minutes past nine in the evening.  The first fish at twenty-two minutes past nine ... By ten to eleven in the evening dinosaurs roamed the Earth.  The first primates appeared at twenty to midnight.  And with just thirty seconds to go, the first humans made their appearance.  Tiny microbes had ruled the planet for over three billion years - two-thirds of the history of the Earth.  (Earth & Life & Evolution & Microbe & History)  The Day the Earth was Born

 

 

3,980.  Microbes reigned supreme for much of Earth’s history.  They revolutionised the planet and paved the way for a myriad of more sophisticated species.  But it was land that gave life-forms a new home.  (Earth & Life & Evolution & Microbes & Universe)  The Universe s1e6: Spaceship Earth, 2007

 

 

24,293.  Commander Riker has become infected by an unidentified microbe.  (Star Trek & Microbe)  Star Trek: The Next Generation: Shades of Gray s2e22, Picard’s log

 

 

81,050.  The Microbe is so very small,

You cannot make him out at all.

But many sanguine people hope

To see him down a microscope.

His jointed tongue that lies beneath

A hundred curious rows of teeth;

His seven tufted tails with lots

Of lovely pink and purple spots

On each of which a pattern stands,

Composed of forty separate bands;

His eyebrows of a tender green;

All these have never yet been seen

But Scientists, who ought to know,

Assure us they must be so ...

Oh! let us never, never doubt

What nobody is sure about!  Hilaire Belloc, More Beasts for Worse Children 1897

 

 

81,051.  Some new sorts of microbes were attacking the bodies of men, but these microbes were endowed with intelligence and wit ... Men attacked by them at once became mad and furious.  Fyodor Dostoevsky 1821-81, The Brothers Karamazov

 

 

81,052.  A bewildering assortment of (mostly microscopic) life-forms has been found thriving in what were once thought to be uninhabitable regions of our planet.  These hardy creatures have turned up in deep, hot underground rocks, around scalding volcanic vents at the bottom of the ocean, in the desiccated, super-cold Dry Valleys of Antarctica, in places of high acid, alkaline, and salt content, and below many meters of polar ice ... Some deep-dwelling, heat-loving microbes, genetic studies suggest, are among the oldest species known, hinting that not only can life thrive indefinitely in what appear to us totally alien environments, it may actually originate in such places.  (Microbe & Extremophile)  David Darling

 

 

81,053.  Eradication of microbial disease is a will-o’-the-wisp; pursuing it leads into a morass of hazy biological concepts and half-truths.  (Microbe & Disease)  Rene Dubos, Man Adapting 1965

 

 

81,054.  These microscopic organisms form an entire world composed of species, families and varieties whose history, which has barely begun to be written, is already fertile in prospects and findings of the highest importance.  The names of these organisms are very numerous and will have to be defined and in part discarded.  The word microbe which has the advantage of being shorter and carrying a more general meaning, and of having been approved by my illustrious friend, M Littré, the most competent linguist in France, is one we will adopt.  Louis Pasteur

 

 

81,058.  Twas the night before Christmas

And deep in the lab

Something came crawling

From under a slab

it crawled to the agar

To take a peek

At all the bacteria

Lying asleep

it slithered through the jelly

(as icky things do)

Depositing slime

And gobbets of goo

Moving on to the ‘scope’

With a single aim

To spell out a message

Addressed to Elaine

Dear Human, it wrote

With some ink from a gland

Forgot your card,

Please understand

Having studied your kind

And obtained my degree

On a theses titled

‘Humans and their relations with me’

I find that you pry

Into all that we do

Without recognising

We need privacy too!

You took photos

of each of my chums

All of my aunties

And

Each of my sons

You sold these photos to some TV show

Keeping the money

Isn’t that so?

If you use our photos, to give others a fright

You really don’t know us

For it is simply not right!

Now that we've informed you

Please make amends

Or we’ll consult our lawyers

Messrs S Bends

Well put an end to your scary sights

By wearing bright colours

And thick woolly tights

Viruses and bacteria

Will aim to be cute

And all of your ventures

Will go down the chute

But heck, as it’s Christmas

We’ll give you a break

Here is one scary picture

And it isn’t a fake!

Out of pouch, it took with a sigh,

Its favourite photo

Of Elaine’s right eye!  (Microscope & Microbe & Photograph)  Iain Probert, A Christmas Ode for the Scientifically Minded, to sister Elaine Humphrey after her photos used on TV show X-Files 1997