Monday, November 28, 2011
The Bug That Saved the Renaissance
One of the odder cultural moments of the late 1970s that still sticks with me is the cinematic tour de force titled The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh, the improbably story of a basketball team enjoying a renaissance after an astrologer gathers together a bunch of players born under the sign of Pisces (the “fish”), including Moses Guthrie (played by “Dr. J” Julius Erving in his finest film performance). Just as improbable as that “fish” saving a city is the idea of a bug (the bacteria Pseudomonas stutzeri, shown above) saving the Renaissance, or more specifically, the artwork of that era. If the use of bacteria to strip away the damaging grime proves to be a viable solution to previously hopeless conservation projects, saving the treasures of the past might become as easy as a slam dunk. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "The Bug That Saved the Renaissance."