According to the FBI, the pandemic caused by covid originates from an alleged accidental leak from the laboratory in Wuhan. At the moment it’s just a hypothesis; an assumption that will have to be tested before it becomes a certainty.
However, no matter how relentless viruses accidentally escape from the laboratories that are arranged throughout our world, life would continue on the planet despite the fact that, with it, the human being has become extinct in its entirety.
On the contrary, if bacteria disappeared, life on the planet would soon become extinct. Perhaps in a few years. Because thanks to bacteria, the world we inhabit makes our lives possible. Steven Johnson tells us in his book titled the ghost map (Captain Swing, 2020), a work in which the American science popularizer tells how the cholera epidemic of 1854 devastated the city of London.
When we recycle our everyday waste, we mimic the work nature does at the microbial level; a cycle that is part of the natural recycling process that keeps us alive
It’s funny, but when we recycle our everyday waste, we are mimicking the work that nature does at the microbial level; a metabolic cycle that we can identify as part of the natural recycling process that keeps us alive. Without going any further, in London where Steven Johnson puts us, the human excrement that clogged the sewers formed pockets of methane produced by the decomposition of organic matter by bacteria. In fact, methane bags can be deadly when sewer scavengers approach their lamp flames in search of a valuable piece.
These were difficult times for a proletariat sunk at the bottom of a submerged economy. The characters in Dickens’s novels were as real as the life described by the author who best portrayed the fringes of Victorian London; the sordid landscape where even dog excrement has value, as waste is not only part of the metabolic cycle of organic matter, but also of the metabolic cycle of an economic system whose dominant categories are productivity, exploitation and consumption.
Returning to the pandemic and microbiology, it is worth remembering the confinement diary written by Antonio Muñoz Molina with the title back to where (Seix Barral, 2021). Among its pages we find a note that is peculiar for what it has to be scientific and literary at the same time, since its protagonist is a microorganism, a parasite known scientifically as toxoplasma gondii which transforms the brain of mice making them reckless, eliminating fear of cats and turning them into “tame prey” for cats. Once hunted and ingested, inside the cats’ intestines, the parasites “will enjoy the necessary conditions for their reproduction”.
The parasite ‘Toxoplasma gondii’ transforms the brain of mice: it eliminates the fear of cats and transforms them into “docile prey” for cats. Inside cats, parasites reproduce
Antonio Muñoz Molina is told by Dr. Bouza, a retired doctor who, among other occupations, dedicates his time to recycling old fountain pens, transforming them into useful objects, ready to fulfill their destiny as one of those daggers that Borges refers to. their story and who dream of a “simple tiger’s dream” by which they are encouraged to kill.
If we look at it like this, every self-respecting object fulfills its metabolic cycle of profit and evil in equal parts. It’s not something new. It is to imitate the microscopic life of nature.
the stone ax is a section where Montero GlezWith a desire for prose, he exerts his particular siege on scientific reality to show that science and art are complementary forms of knowledge.
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