Research on the Myxobacteria: Past, Present, Future
Examination of each of these periods of time—the past, the present, and the future—has its own peculiar quality and its own problems. We examine the past for a variety of reasons. One of the most important is that it is satisfying in some strangely undefined way to understand about the intellectual and scientific ground into which our roots are sunk. (“Life must be lived forwards but can only be understood backwards”, Kierkegaard.) Furthermore, as scientists, our stock in trade is ideas. If we are fortunate, we leave a bit of understanding behind us; and it is important that the contributions of those who preceded us be recognized, recorded, and acknowledged as part of the intellectual history of our profession. In a more practical sense, the past often contains buried in it nuggets that when rediscovered prove to be of value. And finally, an examination of the past has heuristic value—in the words of George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” My brief discussion of the historic background of studies on the myxobacteria will not satisfy all these needs. It will not be a review of the literature. For such, the reader is directed to a number of recent reviews (Kaiser et al. 1979; Zusman 1980; Reichenbach and Dworkin 1981b; White 1981). I hope instead to try to point out highlights and turning points.
KeywordsFruiting Body Cell Interaction Body Formation Fruiting Body Formation Tactic Behavior
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