Posts tagged: vancouver

Microbial Mob Mentality – In The Wake Of The Vancouver Riots

Clearly, the ability of bacteria to communicate with each other is limited – their unicellular form restricts them in this endeavour.  Bacteria can, however, communicate by giving off signals called quorum sensing molecules.  These molecules are constantly released by bacteria to let each other know how many of them are in the immediate vicinity.  When they realize that they have enough of their buddies around, their behaviour suddenly changes and the whole group begins acting in a different manner, often manifesting as an infection (note: the best lecture that I have seen on quorum sensing is available for free below from TED, and it’s only 20 minutes long).  Only recently, riots quickly engulfed my hometown of Vancouver, and I was struck by how similar the two processes were.  It gives me a small measure of satisfaction to write a piece comparing mindless bacteria to the equally mindless degenerates that briefly infected our city on June 15th.

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