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Re: [BKARTS] Patriot act takes an artist (good!)

On Wed, 9 Jun 2004, Edward Stansell wrote:

> I don't believe that there is any e. coli that can be considered harmless,
> unless it's being compared to a particularly virulent strain.

That's a common misconception, and not surprising given all the "bad
bugs" that have been in the news. But ask your friendly local librarian
for some reliable sources of information on E. coli, and you'll learn that
the vast majority of strains of E. coli are harmless or even beneficial
enteric microorganisms. In the words of Dr. Jack Brown, "We pretty much
depend upon E. coli in our intestines for our source of Vitamin K and
B-complex vitamins." (For more on E. coli, see
http://www-micro.msb.le.ac.uk/video/Ecoli.html ,
http://people.ku.edu/~jbrown/ecoli.html , and a zillion other
academic webpages.)

The harmlessness of most E. coli strains is one reason why it's a model
organism. I've handled it myself, as has just about anybody else who's
taken an introductory genetics lab course in the last fifteen years.

There's nothing technical going on in this art project that I'd be
surprised to see done by a bright teenager working on a science fair

-- Cam Larios


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