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Delicate Beauty

Revelation 21:4: "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."

Bacteria and fungi form biofilms on just about every wet surface, like that bowl of water you left out all night. In this biofilm state, bacteria cause 70 percent of all human bacterial infections. On underwater pipelines, biofilms cause corrosion. Such biofilms even form on seaweed.

That is, except for the seaweed called delicate beauty. Delicate beauty, which grows off the coast of Australia, never develops a biofilm coating. Researchers have discovered that delicate beauty secretes chemicals called furanones. Furanones don't kill the bacteria, but it prevents bacteria from colonizing by repelling them. This is important because it is thought that bacteria cannot develop a resistance to furanones since they don't kill the bacteria. Furanones are beginning to be used in water-cooling towers to prevent biofilm buildup. They are also safe in human testing so far. Clinical trials employing furanone-like substances on contact lenses to prevent bacterial growth have also been successful. Further applications are under study.

It was not God's desire that disease and death should come into His creation because of our sin. But He knew that it would. So He stocked the creation with things for us to discover to alleviate and avoid some of our suffering in this world. And Christians shall know no disease or death in heaven.

Prayer: Father, while we will experience no disease when we get to heaven, I thank You for giving us tools to prevent it here. Amen.

Notes: Science Illustrated, 7-8-08, pp. 62-69, "Inspired by Nature."

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