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A Hypothesis for why Biodiversity is so Important

 
pollinator
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Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA - Zone 6b
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I have a Hypothesis, and I intend to test it in my vegetable garden over the next few years, but I'd like to present it to all of you so that we can all think about it together. It looks at the immune systems of organisms and their interdependence on each other. I call it Ecological Macro-Immunity. An immune system as it is commonly thought of, is a single organism. My hypothesis is that each immune system is only properly functional when bolstered by others in a guild. I call a community of interdependent immune systems a Macro-Immune System or MIS for short. I re-watched the video in my post from earlier today about the Bees and fungi. I realized that Humans and Bees are not the only ones whose immune systems benefit from coexistence with microbial life and fungi. I sort of knew biodiversity did benefit its members for a few years, but I never asked myself why it was so... Until today.

Therefore I submit to you, my hypothesis, as an open source idea. If the Immune System of a single organism is a string, then the Macro-Immune System is a rope. Which would you rather rely on to protect yourself from a fall? By combining many different types of protection that no single organism can produce on its own, the protection is much greater. To use another analogy, which has a better chance of defeating an alien invasion? One dude with a single weapon, or thousands of people with a variety of weapons working together? The answers are obvious right? So the hypothesis is that all of our immune systems are interdependent and form an MIS that protects us from pathogens and environmental stress. An example of the outcomes that are possible is apocryphal, but relevant. I had a staph infection in my armpit from high school days to recently. It never got below the skin layers, but it did cause severe inflammation of the pores and was painful. I made a full recovery due to my doctor telling me to stop washing my armpits with soap. That's not an intuitive solution. Common knowledge is that soap kills bacteria and staphylococcus is a bacteria genus. But what isn't so common is the knowledge that there are beneficial bacteria on your skin too, and the soap kills bacteria indiscriminately, as do antibacterial ointments. By not soaping my armpits and only cleaning them with water, it allowed a symbiosis between me and the beneficial microbes on my skin to develop. They consume exudates in your body sweat, and in exchange, they protect their food source from infection. The staph infection was completely gone in 2 weeks from stopping the use of soap in the affected area.  My own immune system only kept it from becoming serious all this time but couldn't destroy it. The skin bacteria destroyed it in 2 weeks. I saw my doctor afterwards and confirmed this. By using soap you are creating an environment on your skin that selects for a group of bacteria resistant to alkali conditions. I looked up a lot of skin bacteria that are known to not be harmful, and found that they tend to favor acidic conditions. Some harmful bacteria actually prosper in alkaline conditions, which is why pickling things preserves them, it is acidification that makes an environment where harmful bacteria are kept from causing illness. But it is beneficial bacteria that create the acids that are the cause for the acidification of foods. You can select for good bacteria with salt. Salt is found in sweat. Salted meats are only preserved fully if they acidify or moisture levels are very low. Salami is an example of acidification of meat in a salty environment. This also happens in no-nitrate country hams. In both cases, there are a symbiosis of bacteria and fungi that remove the carbohydrates from the meat and convert them to acids and other bio-selective compounds. The surfaces of these meats in their fully fermented states are totally covered in a white mold called Penicillium nalgiovense. It protects the meat from being colonized by Botulanum genus bacteria. These are only a few examples, and the idea needs a great deal of fleshing out.


 
pollinator
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I love this. It ties together nicely two different strands of thought I've been entertaining lately. One was from hearing an interview with Nassim Harriman where he talked about his theory that each proton contains a singularity, or black hole, and that these are nodes in a grid of the universe that connect to singularities at the center of each planet, star, and galaxy. When asked what he thought was the best practical advice for average folks from his theories he said that he thought the best bang for your buck was to spend at least a few minutes every day meditating on this lattice work we are enmeshed in. His thoughts were that by honing in on this level of entanglement we could become more resonant with the whole and thus more powerful with access to universal energy.
The other thread comes from a book I'm reading by Stephen Buhner called The secret intelligence of plants. In it he talks a lot about heart centered intelligence and the EM fields that it traffics in. He says that the EM field of our heart is the most effective way to communicate with populations out side of our human community and that by retraining ourselves to practice conscious heart centeredness we can enhance our health by allowing us access to the strength of things like forests, mountains, prairies (basically large scale natural populations) as well as the healthy and vigorous EM field of other humans.
This all ties into this idea of enmeshing ourselves into our environment (vs isolating ourselves in a combative stance, which seems to be the standard approach of modern US culture) so that we can access the strengths of the total network as we become valuable pieces instead of antagonistic nodes.
I also have a good friend who lives and works in the upper amazonian jungle. Last year he developed some crazy allergic reaction or something that caused broad scale blistering of his skin. He wasn't able to make the trek out of the jungle because of the discomfort and couldn't solve the issue for months. He ultimately was able to obtain some EM-1 and made aerated teas of it to bathe in and that cured his skin condition enough to travel. Even after getting back to the states and having all sorts of tests run on him, no one was able to tell him what exactly happened or what he reacted to. He's recovered at this point and is going back to amazonia soon. He believes that it was just an issue of transition for his skin biome and that instead of EM-1 he probably could have made an aerated compost tea of local foliage/compost and acheived a similar result bathing in them. Essentially innoculating himself with the local microamigos to protect himself since his foreign microamigos couldn't keep up
 
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