Monday, November 18, 2013

A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine lost his father quickly to an unexpectedly aggressive batch of cancer, and then a few days after that in a different part of the country another friend's wife had their first child. Sometimes I wake up wondering about their molecules and if they crossed, these two people who would never have known each other, related to two people who will never meet. I wonder if wondering makes it easier or harder.

Recently there was an article about how some Civil War soldiers after the Battle of Shiloh were surprised to find their wounds glowing softly in the dark. The soldiers with glowing wounds tended to heal better than the average Civil War wounded, and so the mysterious light was nicknamed "Angel's Glow" and everyone left the story there for 140 years. It turns out that the soil at the Battle of Shiloh had a kind of nematode living in it that hosts a bioluminescent bacteria that could live in a hypothermic body long enough to scare off the pathogens growing there. And so while falling wounded in Tennessee is not the best outcome that could have happened, it turned out to be better than most. A glowing wound is better than a dark one.

1 comment:

jon said...