On 19 Jul 1999 09:11:16 -0700, "David B. Hedrick"
<davidbhedrick at icx.net> wrote:
>My goodness, Cindy.
>We have a large number of bacteria, and other organisms, attached to a
>surface. What else is required for it to be considered a biofilm? I
>think your response was rather arch and superior.
Hear hear! I think YOUR original response was first-class. If it
lacked anything, IMHO, it lacked only inasmuch as it sketched the
definitional boundary of a biofilm _insufficiently_ broadly.
Cindy had written (in part):
>> Furthermore, DB Hendrick also insinuates that microbial community =
>> Perhaps it is very likely that the organisms assembled in a biofilm
>> as a community; but just because that organisms function as a community
>> does not imply that they are biofilms!!
>> Sorry to be so severe, but I think that a professional technical writer
>> should be a bit more careful in use of terminology.
As a professional mathematical modeller, I have a passing interest in
biofilms in the very broadest sense of the word (I personally have no
qualms about thinking about e.g. life on the surface of a planet, as a
biofilm). This interest has been catalysed by a friend and
ex-colleague of mine, who has been working in the area for several
years since obtaining his PhD in the subject. I rate his intellectual
capability for deep and questioning thought very highly, and when he
tells me that he has one biofilm-related question which to date no-one
who purports to be expert in the field has been able to answer to his
satisfaction, I rate that as a fairly telling observation. The
question is this:
"How is membership of a biofilm defined?"
It seems to me that the answer to this question is intimately related
to the answer to the question:
"How is a biofilm defined?"
and it in turn seems to me that the dogmatic Cindy ought to be
admirably placed to answer both these questions satisfactorily. If she
cannot, then I venture that she should think a little more carefully
before admonishing others for insufficient terminological caution.
Speculate to accumulate; catabolize to anabolize; reculer pour mieux sauter.
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