Are you aware that the bulk of current scientific knowledge has been discovered in the past ten years? And that many of the most original results have appeared in the last year? Can you imagine where we will be ten years from now? This blog is intended to be an exploration of a paradigm shift I expect to see in the scientific understanding of the connection between mind and the material world. Posts will look at scientific discoveries, as they appear, in the fields of neuroscience, animal behavior, microbiology, molecular biology, evolution and biophysics, and explore their relevance to the emerging view of mind as an integral aspect of nature.


Biofilm Geo Politics

B0008255 Confocal micrograph of Bacillus subtilis

Biofilms are major causes of severe infections because microbes are able to protect themselves in a tough 3-D matrix that is difficult for the cell to attack. Until recently, it was thought that one dangerous microbe builds a biofilm. As has been found with most microbe activities, their strength derives from back and…


Microbe Geo Politics in the Gut

B0003777 Villus from the human duodenum

With trillions of microbes comprising thousands of species or more, it has been impossible to fully study their composition or exact locations in the gut. Even more complex is their back and forth chatter between multiple Kingdoms such as bacteria, viruses, archaea, fungi, and eukaryote human cells in the lining and immune…


The Politics of Gut Microbe Kingdoms

PD FEATURE WIK 800px-SalmonellaNIAID

It was once thought that to prove the cause of an infection, a microbe is found. The microbe is isolated from the unhealthy person. Later, this infection is reproduced in an otherwise healthy animal by injecting that particular microbe. This approach is described in Koch’s Postulates and was the dogma of microbiology…


Vast Complexity of Immune Pattern Recognition Receptors

PD sheets of dendritic cell capture HIV

Living among trillions of microbes, it is necessary to determine which are going to cause disease. This is done by recognizing patterns with special receptors on immune cells—pattern recognition receptors or PPRs. Once triggered, receptors activate powerful mechanisms to cause inflammation that is life saving but, also,…


Intelligent Microbe Secretory Weapons

B0004797 Electron micrograph of Escherichia coli, close-up

Microbes demonstrate incredible sophistication in making effector molecules that have multi-layered effects. A previous post described how some of these newly created proteins are the exact shapes that alter epigenetic tags in host cells. They produce very particular genetic changes influencing cascades in the nucleus,…