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Sigh. Apparently I did not proofread my initial post as well as I should have, making a very ironic error. Allow me to repost:
Historically, people have focused on negative microbial interactions as they relate to humans; consider how far Pasteur and Koch took the field, initially, all in the laudable service of reducing human disease. And so it became with biofilms, as the paradigm persisted---though there is a lot of interest in nonpathogenic biofilms, there is a an obvious focus in learning how to "fight" biofilms responsible for disease.
Still, there is quite a bit of evidence of beneficial human-associated biofilms.
In terms of the treatment of disease:
Also, I consider the mucosal biofilms of the gut---associated with health issues, good and bad---to be another example. I'm sure that Jeff Gordon could describe this much more eloquently than I can! In addition, there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that biofilm-associated microbes interact with our own immune system in positive and mutualistic ways.
Speaking of which, here is a meeting I *wish* I could attend, for exactly the reasoning behind this Talmudic Question!
Sigh. Just look at the preliminary schedule. I wish I could go!
Posted by: Mark O. Martin | July 29, 2010 at 07:01 PM