Wednesday, March 19, 2008


"Pleomorphism" is the term used to discribe the fact that some microorganisms can change form. At its most conservative sc ientists discovered in the last century that some fungi might in some conditions manifest as molds (filaments) and in other conditions manifest as yeasts (blobs).

So "thrush" might be a mold (Monila [or a name very similar]) or a yeast (Candida) and it wasn't till about fifty years ago that they realised that Candidiasis and Moniliasis were the same disease. "morph" refers to shape/form.

"pleo", I have to look up
(at the office -can't find it on-line!)

The more radical pleomorphic "theory" of Enderlein imagines that there are really only two species of microorganism that transmogrify. One includes tuberculosis. The other includes the black mold "mucor". In this therory the most basic form are little white specks he called protids. When you are healthy, they help. When you are ill, they are the pathogen.

It's rather wild. Hockstra (see below) cannot believe that microorganisms change their DNA. Me neither. T's not credible. But... something strange is going on. However, nobody has a handle on it.

One of the first scientists who talked about pleomorphism was Béchamp, a contemporary and rival of Pasteur. He called the little bodies he observed "microzymes".

It seems that there may be some rather special organelles... (the hourglass icon flashes now with each key stroke, save, and restart )

Not all the little white specks are microzymes. Most of them are fats.

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