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Biofilm Treatment with Polymers

Andy Spragg sparge at globalnet.co.uk
Tue Jul 20 03:53:08 EST 1999


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 =
biofilm. 
>> Perhaps it is very likely that the organisms assembled in a biofilm
function 
>> 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.
Andy Spragg




Speculate to accumulate; catabolize to anabolize; reculer pour mieux sauter.

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