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Cable Bacteria (wikipedia.org)
22 points by vulkd 8 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 2 comments

> Their activity promotes the oxidation of iron at the surface of the sediment, and the resulting iron oxides bind phosphorus-containing compounds[22] and hydrogen sulfide,[23] limiting the amount of phosphorus and hydrogen sulfide in the water. Phosphorus can cause eutrophication, and hydrogen sulfide can be toxic to marine life, meaning that cable bacteria play an important role in maintaining marine ecosystems in coastal areas.

When I learn about things like this I always think about how easy for us it would be to destroy important biological processes (via pollution, climate change, &c.) that are key to life on earth (or part of it) without even noticing it before it's too late. Nature is full of intricate and interdependent phenomenons we barely know about and have a very limited knowledge of how they interact between each other.

It is quite fascinating how electricity is a fundamental part of life. For instance, the respiratory chain is all about pumping electrons. And electric communication is one of the major ways how neurons in the brain and nervous system communicate.

Nevertheless, the sheer extend or impact of these cable bacteria blows all my imagination about electricity and life. This is really on a different level.

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