Re: eyelash bugs

Anders Sandberg (
Thu, 22 May 1997 15:57:52 +0200 (MET DST)

On Thu, 22 May 1997, Thom Quinn wrote:

> Its true. The human body is more than just human cells---it a symbiosis
> with several other species in benign interactions like these.

Yes, we are filled with symbiotes. But I seriously doubt that the
mites living in our follicles are as essential for them as the
original poster suggested; in that case mice bred in sterile
environments would be hairless. But I wouldn't be surprised if the
mites actually have co-evolved some useful functions, like keeping
away certain bacteria.

This brings up an interesting idea that was discussed a few months
back: how we can improve our symbiotes, or even make artificial ones.
Purely aesthetically I have always wanted tailored skin bacteria
making sweat smell like perfume.

Another fun idea I read about in _The Biomechanical Engineering
Handbook_ (Ed Joseph Bronzino, CRC 1995) is to encapsulate
hormone-producing cells in semi-permeable capsules which lets small
molecules through but not antibodies, cells or similar stuff. This
way xenografts could be used to produce hormones, neurotransmittors
or whatever with no danger of immune reactions to them.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y