Wherever the Gulf Wind Blows and the Gulf Water Flows
Sunday March 1st 2015

MMS: Miracle Mineral Supplement or Chemotherapy?

Many people along the Gulf of Mexico have been using a product known as Miracle Mineral Supplement (MMS) for detoxification. In the interest of my fellow Gulf Coasters, you should know what this “snake oil” is before being coerced into buying it as a magic miracle solution for the Gulf Blue Plague.

by Mark Sircus Ac., OMD
Director International Medical Veritas Association

The truth is that MMS is a dangerous poison, and as such it has no business whatsoever in the alternative health arena. Many people do not know that MMS is essentially bleach. It’s very effective for killing bacteria in toilets, but you certainly shouldn’t be swallowing it. Dr. Gabriela Segura

Magical or not it’s sometimes called Miracle Mineral Supplement or the master mineral supplement. No matter what it’s called one does have to be careful when using a substance like MMS. And whether its main proponent Jim Humble is going out of his mind or not we have to be clear about what this substance can do safely and what it cannot. I say out of his mind for now he has invented, out of the pocket of his imagination, the new profession titled “Doctor of MMS”, which anyone can become. “Americans can afford the training of less than two weeks, or buy the new book, “The Master Mineral of the Third Millennium”. In an email he recently said, “We thought you might like to see the difference in a MMS doctor and a Medical doctor.”

Almost five years ago I wrote in my Survival Medicine for the 21st Century compendium that: There has been a lot of commotion in health circles about a product called Miracle Mineral Supplement (MMS). It is being advertised as the answer to AIDS, hepatitis A, B and C, malaria, herpes, TB, most cancer and many more of mankind’s worst diseases. The claim about how the chlorine (a poison that would not be considered a mineral for health) interacts with pathogens is the same claim we can make about iodine (a safe nutritional mineral), which is known to also kill pathogens of all types on contact. Iodine is not normally thought to have this action when taken internally but in high enough doses it does. I personally know of a missionary in Africa who uses iodine instead of MMS to treat malaria.

Chlorine dioxide is formed from the chemical combination of sodium chlorite and acetic acid (vinegar) or citric acid. Chlorine dioxide is dangerous to handle and use. After searching for and reviewing material safety data sheets I am convinced of the risk of using this substance. Now whenever someone mentions MMS I recommend iodine instead.

Chlorine dioxide: May decompose explosively on shock, friction or concussion, or on heating rapidly. Strong oxidant: reacts violently with combustible and reducing materials and with mercury, ammonia, sulfur and many organic compounds. A strong irritant of the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract, and a strong oxidizer that promotes combustion; concentrated solutions may be corrosive to the skin and eyes; harmful if swallowed and can cause irritation to mouth, esophagus, stomach, and mucous membranes. Eye contact: contact causes redness, irritation, pain, blurred vision, tearing, corneal injury and burns. Inhalation: harmful if inhaled; coughing, headaches, labored breathing, nausea, shortness of breath may occur resulting in chronic bronchitis and permanent lung damage with chronic exposure.

In July 2010, the FDA issued a warning[1] about Miracle Mineral Supplement (MMS):

Consumers who have MMS should stop using it immediately and throw it away.

MMS was then rebranded with the new name, “Advanced Oxygen Therapy.” Since then, the product’s salesmen have continued pushing their concoction onto some of the world’s most desperate and hopeless populations. Sylvia Fink, a Mexican woman visiting Epi Island with her husband in a Least Developed Country, Vanuatu, a South Pacific Island nation, died 12 hours after ingesting MMS.

From almost the moment Silvie drank the mixture of MMS and lime juice—which she’d brewed up according to the instructions of Jim Humble, the principal proponent of the stuff—things went wrong. She became nauseated, and was soon both vomiting and suffering from diarrhea. But since the MMS literature emphasized that this was a normal reaction, she assumed it would pass. It didn’t. It turned into a day of torture, with Silvie gradually getting worse, to the point of having severe abdominal pains, then urinary pains. I helped her all day, bathing her, comforting her and trying to get liquids into her. But she couldn’t keep anything down. About the time it started to get dark, she began to feel faint. That’s when I became fully alarmed. She fell into a coma while I was on the VHF calling for assistance. With her unresponsive, I put out another radio call, this time for immediate emergency care. Fellow cruisers rushed to our boat within minutes. For over an hour we administered CPR and oxygen. But neither they nor an adrenalin shot administered by a physician from the village were able to revive her. Sylvie died aboard Windcastle around 9 p.m., just 12 hours after she’d taken that fatal drink of MMS.

Methemoglobin found in the blood was at a “significantly high” level according to Ms. Fink’s autopsy report. “Methemoglobin basically results in the inability of blood to carry oxygen within the body causing cyanosis (lack of oxygen to the system). The [autopsy] report states that if the 45 percent saturation reading was accurate and existed at the time of death, then the symptoms could be consistent with being caused by methemoglobinemia and therefore a possible cause of death. Most cases of methemoglobinemia are caused by exposure to drugs or toxic substances[2] including chlorate and chlorite.”

Dr. Segura, who is a heart surgeon with extensive experience and interest in alternative health, research, psychology and the human condition, would agree with this diagnosis, stated,

The popularity of MMS and its fervent, almost religious marketing involved the claim of curing malaria in tens if not hundreds of thousands of people. Sounds very noble indeed, but this is only natural as MMS’ sodium chlorite is well known to cause hemolysis in red blood cells—meaning that red blood cells are ruptured and destroyed. It is actually by killing red blood cells that the malaria parasite is killed since it invades red blood cells. MMS probably kills the parasite and the red blood cells. In fact, MMS consumers may develop anemia.

The active ingredient in MMS is not a mineral, but chlorine dioxide (oxygenated chlorine), which is formed from the chemical combination of sodium chlorite and acetic acid (vinegar) or citric acid. MMS as a poison does kill intrusive germs in your body, but it would be naïve to believe it to be carefully selective in what it kills and destroys, or to think that the damage done has only limited consequences. It is shocking that MMS is recommended so widely, that it is recommended to already weakened individuals AND that it is recommended for long-term use. In truth, the potential long-term and dangerous side effects of regular MMS use should give anyone the shivers.

According to Jonathan Campbell, health consultant:

“The entire approach of Jim Humble is to treat the human body as if it were a simple plumbing system, and MMS is akin to Drano, chemically killing pathogens. But the human body does not work that way. Your body does not need toxic chemicals from a factory to kill pathogens. When fortified properly, your body has the capability to fight literally any pathogen or illness. A healthy immune system automatically and selectively targets pathogens with an array of antibodies and white blood cells. MMS disrupts this natural immunity by depleting immune-building antioxidants.

To read the entire article, go to http://blog.imva.info/medicine/magical-mineral-supplement-mms-2

[2] Most cases of methemoglobinemia are due to excessive production of methemoglobin following exposure to oxidant drugs, chemicals, or toxins. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/204178-overview

Natural Allopathic Remedies for the Gulf Blue Plague

Mark Sircus, Ac., OMD holds the honorary title of Doctor of Oriental Medicine and was one of the first nationally certified acupuncturists in the United States over 20 years ago. He founded the International Medical Veritas Association (IMVA) in 2002 and has been an essential help to many Gulf Coast Blue Plague victims.

“When exposure to toxins is dramatically increased, as is the case for people in the Gulf area, the body rapidly becomes overwhelmed and the detoxification pathways normally used to excrete toxins cannot keep up with the exposure. It is well known that airborne toxins documented to be present in a number of Gulf communities are at levels that are many times the maximum allowed by the EPA.” -http://imva.info/index.php/2010/07/medical-treatments-for-airborne-poisons/

The radio interview is available to play or download at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/wvp/2011/03/04/the-gulf-blue-plague

COREXIT: The China Syndrome

Nalco ChinaNalco has had a presence in China since the early 1980s. On June 28, 1995, Nalco joined forces with a state-owned enterprise of the Peoples Republic of China.

Nalco China is a wholly-owned operation with two main manufacturing facilities. Their original plant is located in the city of Suzhou. The 15,855 square meter space is home to offices, a production plant, warehouses, and a research and design center. The new research center in Suzhou provides technical support throughout Northern Asia. This center is developing additional capabilities in membranes, mining and petroleum refining and processing.

Radio broadcast excerpt from 2/28/11 of Michael Edward on Monday Macchiato With Robert Phoenix discussing the latest Gulf Blue Plague article, Gulf BioTerrorism: A Silent & Deadly Enemy Among Us (Part II)


“Wherever the Gulf Wind Blows and the Gulf Water Flows”

Gulf BioTerrorism: A Silent & Deadly Enemy Among Us (Part II)

by Michael Edward for http://blueplague.org

“It’s like any other product,” said Charlie Pajor, a senior manager at the Illinois-based company: “We developed them and we’re protecting our trade secret. Roughly 20-odd dispersant products exist, he said, and while they have similar types of components, they “have proprietary recipes like Coca-Cola”. (May 5, 2010 archive from deepwaterhorizonresponse.com)

Nalco Targets Growth in China with Opening of New Manufacturing Plant

The expansion includes a recently completed $25 million manufacturing plant in Nanjing. “China is a very important market for Nalco,” said Erik Fyrwald, Nalco Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “These new facilities allow us to provide better services and newer technologies to our customers faster and better than any of our competitors.”

The new 240,000 sq. foot (22,300 square meter) plant in the Nanjing Chemical Industry Park has an annual production capacity of 37,000 metric tons. The existing facility has space to expand to 75,000 metric tons per year and the 15-acre (60,000 square meter) site is designed to allow double that capacity for a potential total production of 150,000 metric tons per year. (Source: March 30, 2009 press release at Nalco.com)

For extensive links regarding Nalco, including the excellent article Follow The Data, Forget Conspiracy Theory, go to Nalco Background Information.

Geobacillus Thermodenitrificans

Darkness Falls, written by Kyle Mills and published by Vanguard Press in 2007, is a science fiction thriller about an eco-terrorist group attempting to destroy the world’s oil supply with synthetically engineered oil-eating super bacteria. “Thriller writers pump up threats to make them bigger and scarier than maybe they really would be. In this case, the opposite is true“. Mills based his book on the bacteria Geobacillus thermodenitrificans that was first discovered and then genetically isolated in 2004 from an oilfield in Daqing, Chinas largest oil field.

At the same time Darkness Falls was published in 2007, an engineered genetic strain of Geobacillus thermodenitrificans, named NG80-2, was patented and published by the Chinese. This bio-engineered strain uses crude oil as its only carbon source and can degrade 16 to 36 different carbon alkanes (hydrocarbons).

Bacillus Cereus DQ01 & DQ02

These same Chinese scientists responsible for the NG80-2 genetically engineered strain of Geobacillus thermodenitrificans have published numerous reports and World Intellectual patents from 2007 – 2009  for other genetically isolated strains of bacteria that munch on hydrocarbons. These scientists – Hong-Qi Wang and Yan-Jun Chen of the Beijing Normal University and Bo-Ya Qin from the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection – also genetically isolated Bacillus cereus DQ01 from soil at the Dagang oil field in northern China. These synthetically engineered microbes are applied to a contamination site or spill in large but controlled volumes and digest their way through the oil, multiplying and digesting until no pollutant remains. They also point out in their papers that adding a small amount of a surfactant material, rhamnolipid, will stimulate enzyme production and greatly improve degradation efficiency.

In other words, these genetically engineered new strains of bacteria the Chinese have created multiply and eat up oil so efficiently that they only stop when their hydrocarbon food source is completely gone. It’s equally important to note that these syn-bio bacteria have to be applied in controlled volumes. No doubt! If too many were applied to an area with access to an oil reservoir, they would eat at it until there was nothing left.

They pointed out that the degradation of crude oil components by Bacillus cereus DQ01 and Bacillus cereus DQ02 were increased 8.1% and 11.6%, respectively, within 48 hours in the presence of the rhamnolipids. They further stated how reproductive growth of the two strains, as well as BATH (bacterial adherence to hydrocarbons) characteristics, greatly increased in the presence of the rhamnolipids. The BATH of Bacillus cereus DQ02 increased 44% in the presence of rhamnolipids.

Why Rhamnolipids?

Rhamnolipids are used as organic solvents for dispersing oil spills. In the studies the Chinese cited, they are used with microorganisms to predominantly remove oil slicks produced by boats and oil spills. They are also used for MEOR –Microorganism Enhanced Oil Recovery. See my It’s Not Wise to Fool Mother Nature article for MEOR background information.

Rhamnolipids are surfactants, or oil dispersants, and they are not restricted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). How interesting.

Where do Rhamnolipids Come From?

Rhamnolipids are secreted from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium. In case you don’t remember the significance of Pseudomonas, let me quote Dr. Riki Ott once again:

“To make things a little scarier, some of the oil-eating bacteria have been genetically modified or otherwise bio-engineered to better eat the oil – including Alcanivorax borkumensis and some of the Pseudomonas.” — September 17, 2010; Bio-Remediation or Bio-Hazard? Dispersants, Bacteria and Illness in the Gulf .

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a common bacterium which can cause disease in animals, including humans. The symptoms of such infections are generalized inflammation and sepsis. If such colonizations occur in critical body organs, such as the lungs, the urinary tract, and kidneys, the results can be fatal. It is also able to decompose hydrocarbons and has been used to break down tarballs and oil from oil spills.

Blood Poisoning – Septicemia

All I can say is this Chinese developed formula of synthetically engineered bacteria – along with derivatives of other bacteria and surfactants – is already becoming a very dangerous brew, especially with regards to the proven Horizontal Gene Transfer (HGT) characteristics of synthetic bacteria strains.

So now we have an engineered genetic bacterial mix that is a super-charged oil dispersing and oil munching creation. But it appears that it also has a serious down side when it comes to most living creatures, including mankind. They’re using components that are known to cause inflammation and sepsis, just for starters.

A lay term for sepsis is blood poisoning; and whenever there is sepsis, you can expect septicemia. Severe sepsis can  easily cause organ dysfunction and hypoperfusion (decreased blood flow through an organ). Septicemia is the presence of severely destructive microorganisms or their toxins in the bloodstream; characterized by chills, fever, prostration (extreme exhaustion), hypotension (abnormally low blood pressure), headache, or pain.

Hemorrhagic Septicemia

As if that’s not bad enough, bacterial hemorrhagic septicemia is usually restricted to system-wide infections by bacteria opportunists such as Pseudomonas. [It's difficult not to notice how the same names keep coming up the further these hydrocarbon eating ingredients and their resulting symptoms are defined]. Bacterial hemorrhagic septicemia is transmitted via contaminated fresh water – rivers, lakes, and ponds -  as well as by salt water or by diseased fish from either one.

In fish, vibrio septicemia is a hemorrhage in the skin of the tail and fins; ulceration of the skin; and/or hemorrhage in the muscles and serosal (ie, Gastrointestinal) surfaces. The spleen may be enlarged and bright red. With microscopic study of the cells and tissue, necrosis (cellular death) of the liver, kidney, and spleen are common. Small cutaneous (skin) ulcers and hemorrhaging can be seen in both the skin and muscle. The lesions often cause ulcerative dermatitis. There is also swelling of the liver, spleen and kidneys along with cellular death (necrosis) of the affected tissue with abundant colonies of bacteria.

Vibrio Septicemia is transmitted by contact with diseased fish or contaminated water.  The bacteria persist not only in fish, but in the birds that eat them. Perhaps now we have an explanation for why both fresh and salt water fish, as well as birds, are experiencing mass die-offs.

My question is why do all the symptoms found in the fish and birds also show up in Gulf of Mexico residents and cleanup workers?

If there was any parallel argument that Horizontal Gene Transfer (HGT) is occurring here in the Gulf of Mexico, this would be a prime candidate.

Cattle can have hemorrhagic septicemia and there are many diseases classified as both bacterial and viral hemorrhagic septicemia. My point is that this is not just a fish or bird problem. It also effects mammals. Proof is the hemorrhagic septicemia evident with the Dolphins and whales dying in the Gulf of Mexico since May 2010. After all, both dolphins and whales are mammals.

Is this just due to bacteria, or has HGT become a viral factor using genetically engineered bacteriophages (viruses) – that normally attack bacteria – as the method to transfer synthetic DNA into the natural bacteria?

Viral hemorrhagic fever – a group of illnesses caused by a viral infection. Fever and gastrointestinal symptoms are followed by capillary hemorrhage.

Ebola hemorrhagic fever – a severe and often fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates caused by the Ebola virus; characterized by high fever and severe internal bleeding; can be spread from person to person.

The symptoms don’t lie. Be it viral or bacterial or a combination of both, the synthetically engineered microorganisms introduced into the Gulf of Mexico to eat up the oil and the gas are crossing species barriers. All life from plankton to whales to humans are experiencing the same problems.

The disgusting TV and radio ads still continue in north America. The governments want everyone to come on down to the Gulf beaches; swim in our water; eat our seafood.

I can’t help but think that if there was a way to make the oil and gas disappear along with people, this would be the perfect formula.

“Wherever the Gulf Wind Blows and the Gulf Water Flows”

Additional Sources

Feng L., Wang W., Cheng J., Ren Y., Zhao G., Gao C., Tang Y., Liu X., Han W., Peng X., Liu R., Wang L. ; “Genome and proteome of long-chain alkane degrading Geobacillus thermodenitrificans NG80-2 isolated from a deep-subsurface oil reservoir”; Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 104:5602-5607(2007).

“Degradability of n-hexadecane by Bacillus cereus DQ01 isolated from oil contaminated soil from Daqing oil field, China” in Int. J. Environment and Pollution, 2009, 38, 100-115.

Huan Jing Ke Xue. 2007 Sep;28(9):2117-22. Chen YJ, Wang HQ, Wang R, Yun Y.  Key Laboratory for Water and Sediment Sciences of Ministry of Education, College of Water Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China.

A. Y. Itah and J. P. Essien, Growth Profile and Hydrocarbonoclastic Potential of Microorganisms Isolated from Tarballs in the Bight of Bonny, Nigeria, World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, Volume 21, Numbers 6-7, October, 2005, doi 10.1007/s11274-004-6694-z, p 1317-1322

“Bacterial Diseases of Fish” by Robert B. Moeller Jr., DVM. California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System; University of California







Gulf BioTerrorism: A Silent & Deadly Enemy Among Us (PART I)

by Michael Edward

The Gulf Blue Plague is Sanctioned Bio-terrorism

While the vast majority of Americans were deceived into focusing their attention solely on BP’s underwater “dog and pony video show” and professed chemical “dispersants,” the biological war initiated within the Gulf of Mexico battleground was already a raging bacterial inferno.

Those of us who live on the Gulf Coast have always hunkered down and survived deadly storms, such as hurricanes Charley and Katrina.  We have always picked ourselves up from out of the rubble and rebuilt.  We are survivors.  It’s a part of what living in “hurricane alley” is all about.  But we have never faced an invisible storm that attacks in absolute silence with no advanced warning.  We have never confronted an engineered biological terror that can’t be seen nor heard.

We are on the vanguard of the largest cover-up in American history.  More than a week after the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster began, District of Columbia military Commander-in-Chief Obama emphasized how nothing would be done by British Petroleum or any other group without it being cleared and approved by his Executive office. I presume this was previously agreed to on February 13, 2010 at the White House meeting between Obama and BP since this happened to be the same day BP was granted a U.S. Government permit to abandon a Mississippi Canyon 252 well that was fracturing and had uncontrollable gas bursts.

This new “Gulf War” will linger on for centuries as it alters the entire biosphere.  It’s destroying our families, friends and neighbors from the inside out because it’s a genetic war. This purposefully engineered biological war will soon become a world war as the horizontally transferred synthetic genes extend their silent tendrils through the water and air. It’s already begun to abruptly manifest in fish, birds, mammals, and humans.

What’s taking place in the Gulf of Mexico is nothing less than officially authorized bio-terrorism for those of us who live on the Gulf coast. The Gulf Blue Plague is Sanctioned Biological Terrorism.


Who has raged this war against not only humanity, but against our entire earth and all life that dwells on this planet?

Our enemy is whoever (pronounced “POTUS”) ordered the use of synthetic genomics in the Gulf of Mexico for the purpose of crude oil bio-remediation… joined in locked arms by those in authority (pronounced “Governors”) who have knowingly allowed it to take place… while usually accepting free money (pronounced “bribe”) for advertising deliberate lies to the public about the safety of Gulf seafood, water, beaches, and air.

By their actions, they have declared war against all of us. Call it whatever you wish, but in my opinion this is sanctioned terrorism. I take it personally because it just doesn’t affect me; it touches every member of my extended family, my friends, and my neighbors here on the Gulf coast.


The present syn-bio weapons of our enemy are outlined below along with evolving horizontal gene transfer contamination of the natural microorganisms that have been the basis of our entire world… until now. The biological ecosystem of the earth we knew a year ago is now rapidly changing.

In just a few months, we will know if orders have been given allowing hurricanes to enter the Gulf of Mexico or if they will all be purposely steered away as was done in 2010.  This will dictate how fast the world biosphere will be further affected. However, it will not change the present bio-genetic war for those of us living along the Gulf coast no matter which option is taken.


I have previously explained how synthetic gene bioremediation has been used and how it works in numerous articles and radio broadcasts, as well as in YouTube videos, since early August, 2010. Take the time to read and listen to what has already been revealed beginning with The Gulf Blue Plague (BP) is Evolving to the more recent Permanent Biological Contamination of the Gulf – Synthetic Genes Are Crossing Species Barriers.

A week ago, scientist and human rights activist Dr. Riki Ott publicly agreed with me that genetically engineered bacteria are being used within the Gulf. This comes on the heels of Dr. Máximo Sandín of Spain, a well respected European biology professor and scientist, confirming two weeks earlier that the horizontal transference of these synthetic genes was creating a “permanent biological contamination” in the Gulf.

“And it’s not just dispersants; it’s also genetically engineered bacteria… with absolutely no thought on what this will do to the populations of humans living in this area, let alone the ecosystem.  So, we need Cease and Desist orders across the Gulf.” - Dr. Riki Ott, February 10, 2011, KALW radio, San Francisco, California.

In an earlier September 27, 2010 interview, Dr. Ott said pretty much the same:

“There are naturally occurring bacteria [in the Gulf]: Alcanivorax borkumensis, for example.  The problem is that, in their wisdom, some of our scientists have decided to see if they can tinker with the genes of these bacteria to see if it could eat oil better.  So, now we have bio-engineered bacteria out there chomping oil.  Does anybody have any idea what this does to people? Some of the medical community has found that these gram negative bacteria, specifically Alcanivorax – the super bug – can cause a MRSA-like [Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus] infection.”


There are new species or strains of bacteria now present in the Gulf of Mexico that very closely match the single strand DNA of known natural oil and gas munching bacteria. Three of these are hydrocarbonoclastic (oil eating) bacteria while one is an anaerobic bacterium that thrives on gas, especially methane. All are genetically modified and altered.

All these bacteria are Gram-negative and join together to form antibiotic resistant “bio-films” which colonize both within and on people. The skin ulcers, boils, rashes, pneumonia, lesions, internal hemorrhaging, along with many more symptomatic results, are directly tied to these synthetically DNA altered bacteria. They are responsible for new and unknown pathogenic diseases where current antibiotics have very little or no effect.

1. Pseudomonas alcaligenes is a Gram-negative bacteria used for bio-remediation purposes because it can degrade aromatic hydrocarbons such as benzene or methane.

2. Alcanivorax borkumensis is a Gram-negative bacteria used for bio-remediation purposes because it can degrade oil hydrocarbons.

3. Oleispirea Antarctica is a Gram-negative hydrocarbon degrading bacteria only found in Rod Bay and the Ross Sea, Antarctica.

4. Oceaniserpentilla Haliotis is a Gram-negative hydrocarbon degrading bacteria found only in the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand.

“To make things a little scarier, some of the oil-eating bacteria have been genetically modified or otherwise bio-engineered to better eat the oil – including Alcanivorax borkumensis and some of the Pseudomonas.” — Dr. Riki Ott, September 17, 2010; Bio-Remediation or Bio-Hazard? Dispersants, Bacteria and Illness in the Gulf

Gram-Negative Consequences

The outer membrane protects gram-negative bacteria from typical antibiotics that would normally damage the inner membrane or cell wall.

Bio-Film Bacteria Colonies

Bacteria living in a bio-film usually have significantly different properties from “free-floating” bacteria of the same species because the protected environment of the film allows them to interact in different ways. This environment brings about increased resistance to detergents and antibiotics.  Antibiotic resistance of bacteria in a bio-film provides a pathway to chronic infections.  In some cases, antibiotic resistance can be increased a thousand fold.

“The recent dramatic decline in the cost of DNA sequencing has made it possible to detect microbes with the ability to degrade oil even when they make up only a small percentage of the initial microbial community.  Computer programs have been designed that allow scientists to search meta-genomes for gene sequences associated with the enzymes involved in oil degradation. Because microbes can grow rapidly and have only a single copy of DNA, mutations and gene transfer events that improve fitness have an immediate effect.

Microbes can also evolve enhanced capabilities for degrading oil. One of the most rapid ways this can happen is by horizontal gene transfer (HGT). HGT is a mechanism whereby microbes can share genes with each other—with HGT, a microbe that has the genetic instructions for producing oil-degrading enzymes can transfer copies of those genes to other microbes—even microbes of different species previously incapable of degrading oil components. In this way, microbes that were unable to use oil as a food source acquire that capability. The ability to share genes can greatly promote a local microbial community’s capacity to clean up an oil spill. Although the process is well established, the extent to which it takes place after an oil spill is unknown.” — Microbes & Oil Spills FAQ, published February 17, 2011, American Academy of Microbiology, American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC; http://www.asm.org

Additional References

Stewart PS, Costerton JW (July 2001). “Antibiotic resistance of bacteria in biofilms”. Lancet 358 (9276): 135–8. PMID: 11463434. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11463434
Dr. Riki Ott, February 10, 2011, KALW radio, San Francisco, California

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