I am preparing for my Microbiology class that starts next week and remembered a certain fascinating little group of organisms called Mycoplasmas. They cause “walking pneumonia” and are fascinating microbiologically becuase they (1) live in all of us and (2) have lost many genes that are absolutely required for the independent existence of a cell (like for instance, generating energy on your own). I vaguely remembered that they lacked genes for a major energy pathway that generates ATP, and I thought “Hey, surely I can torture students with some thought puzzle around this, let me look this up again.”
So I Bing’ed (oh Google, can you ever forgive me?) the (admittedly dumb sounding (thats for my micro friends who will be too busy or nice to say anything but will wonder if I teach by passing my students out crayons to draw)) phrase “Where does mycoplasma get its ATP”. Once again, this seemingly 4 year old question hides a scalpel like desire to know if it uses primarily glycolyisis or does it performs any electron transport.
Bing, being the superbrain that it is, naturally wondered if I was a tennis player. Wow, thats some rocket-pack-tractor-beam-cloaking-device type computer they got there.
And of course I had to figure this out; here are the results of 90 seconds of experimentation:
“ATP mycoplasma” = no Tennis, “where ATP mycoplasma” = no Tennis. Substituting “mycobacteria” (causes tubriculosis & leprosy) for “mycoplasma” in the orginal search = “Tennis”. I conclude that tennis players must use the words “does” “get” and “its” more frequently than the rest of us, but they aren’t really different in the diseases they get. This should make it easier to smoke your tennis playing friends out of the closet and finally, you know that the little cough they have is probably just walking pneumonia or tuberculosis.
And of course Google wasn’t fooled. None of the above returned any mention of tennis. I’m sorry for cheating on you baby, bing.com was just so…. so…. easy to type.