Eye of Newt


Some politicians seem to feel we really don’t need bother with the messy unpredictable and unprofitable world of rank and file and mostly nameless creatures that unfortunately for them do not vote or contribute to campaigns or to the tax infrastructure or to the patriotic consumption of goods and services.

Might be wise to take a second look, politicos and myopic number-crunchers because the (insert the name of any unsung and obscure living species here) that you think worthless today could save your life, our lives tomorrow.

While I’m not suggesting that nature’s creatures only have a value if they can be exploited for OUR good (as some seem to have it), nevertheless, as we destroy coral reefs and rain forests, opportunities like these two examples might be lost for good. Just me thinking out loud–which is after all the nature of the blog from Goose Creek.

Alligator immunity may be the key to help us cope with the “superbugs” that are no match for antibiotics anymore.

Clams work for free to filter bird flu viruses.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Have you read “Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World”? Fungi perform some incredible functions – one kind can break down hydrocarbons into harmless substances.

    I seem to recall reading somewhere that alligators and crocodiles live to very old ages – perhaps this is related to the protection that their immune systems give them?