Nanobacteria revelations provoke new controversy15 years ago
Posted on Feb 15, 2005, 10 a.m.
By Bill Freeman
Some claim they are a new life form responsible for a wide-range of diseases, including the calcification of the arteries that afflicts us all as we age. Others say they are simply too small to be living creatures. Now a team of doctors has entered the fray surrounding the existence or otherwise of nanobacteria.
Now a team of doctors has entered the fray surrounding the existence or otherwise of nanobacteria. After four years' work, the team, based at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, has come up with some of the best evidence yet that they do exist.
Cautiously titled "Evidence of nanobacterial-like structures in human calcified arteries and cardiac valves", the paper by John Lieske and his team describes how they isolated minuscule cell-like structures from diseased human arteries.
These particles self-replicated in culture, and could be identified with an antibody and a DNA stain. "The evidence is suggestive," is all Lieske claims.
Critics are not convinced. "I just don't think this is real," says Jack Maniloff of the University of Rochester in New York. "It is the cold fusion of microbiology." John Cisar of the National Institutes of Health is equally sceptical. "There are always people who are trying to keep this alive. It's like it is on life support."