Project with Crys Moore, Heather Velez, Tak Cheung and Kate Tibbetts.
The structure of this 2 week assignment was to involve the public. We’ve been reading a lot about plants and fungus, with videos lecture of Paul Stamets, Michael Pollan’s Botany of Desire and more Jane Bennett.
We were all very excited to learn about the functions of fungus and microorganisms. Mycelial structure of the fungus are the crucial actants in providing nutrients in the forest. And we have about 4 pounds of foreign microbes in our body helping us to digest. So we wanted to share this with the world. We decided to dress in costume and be the microbes. Our public debut was on the Highlines Park on a Saturday before Halloween.
We selected 4 different microbes to portray:
is an oil-collecting marine bacterium that has been implemented in the Deep Horizon oil spill cleanup. Alcanivorax has
enzymes that help break-down the pollutants in the water and help restore the marine ecosystem.
likes iron, plutonium, and uranium to metabolize food. In consuming the plutonium and uranium, Geobacter Metallireducens essentially eats away the contaminants. Field studies are under way to see if we can use Geobacter Metallireducens as a remediation tool to cleanup old uranium mines as well as uranium-polluted ground water.
may help scientists develop a new cancer treatment. The compound makes selenium, a mineral essential for good health. It boosts the immune systems as well as protects it from viral infections.
lives inside our gut. It helps us break down foods, take in nutrients, and fight off harmful bacteria. We can consume Bifidobacteria through such foods as yogurt and cheese. In some cases, fecal transplants are performed to deliver healthy microbes to individuals with an imbalance of healthy micro-flora.