Bacterial Soul

The hierarchical world that we live in, makes me ask a lot of questions. Who sets the parameters for deciding what sets one life form apart from another. Why are humans considered superior? Are we setting us part to be the best without knowing the world properly?

We are complex, eukaryotic, multicellular, multifunctional life forms struggling to reign upon the primitive life forms. The question is, why we should reign upon. Are we responsible for the shift from mutualistic, commensalistic relationships  to parasitic  relationships with bacteria. The whole question lies in why does bacteria cause disease? What gave birth to pathogenic bacteria? How does a bacteria become deadly? How did  tetanus, typhoid fever, diphtheria, syphilis, and leprosy etc. come into existence?

The whole drift of bacteria from being tranquil to deadly is indeed an indication of vengeance towards the superior forms of life. This drift is seen in the genetic makeup of the bacterial genome. The genetic drift is brought to it by accumulation of mutations over the years. Just like in X –men where mutations separate them from the ordinary. If we look deep into it, it can be concluded that we have dug a huge field of science which deals with different types of mutations and how to conduct them artificially, and also the different ways of mutating selectively for economic purposes.

We also use bacteria as wheels for transforming an organism of what it is not capable of naturally. Sometimes it is as stupid as making glow fish for monetary benefits. Indeed, we have set an authorization on these indubitably small forms of life. This authorization has led to massive employment and economic boom in recent past. But humans efforts have also led to creation of more and more deadly forms of bacteria.

Our unchecked desire to kill even what is harmless using antimicrobials, antibiotics like Triclosan, Vancomycin and other antibiotics has made them resistant and more deadly. We have failed to respect nature’s healing and symbiosis. That has made bacteria growingly dangerous.

What is more interesting is the way which bacteria get dangerous over years (for ex: emergence of MRSA, VRSA, E.coli MDR). Well the entire theme lies in selection pressure, natural selection, reversal, survival of fittest, fast reproduction and other complicated terms. But we fail to appreciate the persistence and unity they show in becoming more and more dangerous to us. Scientists do say they have terrific means of communication called quorum sensing. But it is much more than just a mere term. We fail to learn how make this world a better place. We lack common sense in not understanding the basics of living in this world i.e. effective communication, brotherhood, love, unity.

We should sit and learn how this small organism is being able to merely fetch from nature and grow in millions in such a short phase of time. Although we are naturally not capable of reproducing so fast but we can learn what “ living peacefully” means.

We should appreciate the way in which bacteria behave when put in two different settings that we decide.  The difference in behavior in acquiring nutrients, proliferating, maintaining energy when put in in-vitro and in-vivo settings can teach us how to adjust , adapt and grow.

Time to shift our focus from just acquiring bacterial cultures from sources and growing them in different mediums in petri plates. It is time to observe the bacteria to learn but not to merely publish papers. It is time to see and peep into their souls. Bacteria indeed have a soul. We are not in the higher end of the hierarchical world. We are not superior to them. We need to learn from them.


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