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Eukaryotes

15 February 2008

Two things in my refrigerator are making me curiously happy these days: Fresh homemade yogurt and bubbling sourdough starter.

What pleasure to know that I can make food from hungry burpy things. My yogurt is fresh and not too tangy, and my sourdough tastes mildly mustardy, especially toasted with a slice of cheese.

Unfortunately, not all fungi are so benign. It seems there is a die-off of bats in New York and Vermont. The only clue they have is the ring of white fungus around the poor creatures’ noses. They think whatever this virus is may have been brought by a caver with exotic mud on their boots.

When the immigration forms we fill out upon a return to the US asks if we have visited a farm or otherwise are bringing back soil or plants from abroad? Don’t lie. It’s just an inconvenience for the traveler. But it can mean the destruction of a species or an ecosystem.

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