Kinetitrophic Organisms

This page has been a long time in the making.

In 1986 I started thinking about the possibility that kinetitrophic organisms could exist when I learned about the rotary nature of the flagella on bacteria.   I wondered if the effect could work in reverse.  That is, if a flagella on a bacteria were to be rotated physically, would it generate its own food?  And are there other creatures which can do that?  If so, what would they look like?

Then I realized that bioluminescent dinoflagellates could be kinetitrophic–the light they emit could be evidence of a mechanical-chemical click mechanism.  But I still don’t have answers–only some interesting questions.

This question could have been the basis of a big academic career.  But that is not going to happen for me.  It’s too late.  I never had the grades for it.  Maybe I never had the right stuff.  And maybe the question itself is too risky to bet an academic career on.

But I read The Invention of Air by Steven Johnson.   That book inspired me because it was about the discourse of science.  Joseph Priestly discovered a lot of the properties of air.  He did it by sharing his ideas widely.

It seems to me that now I just need to get the question out there.  Maybe it will go somewhere.  Maybe the idea will just die.  Hopefully we will all have some fun with it, however.

I highly encourage your comments.

I expect to have a number of posts on this subject over a long period of time, interspersed with posts on other subjects.

Harlan Ratcliff

Starting the conversation:  What is a kinetitrophic organism?

What does a kinetitrophic organism look like?

Bioluminescent dinoflagellates are kinetitrophic organisms.

Bioluminescence in dinoflagellates

Bioluminescent Dinoflagellates are Kinetitrophic Organisms

One Billion False Alarms

A problem and a challenge


Big Disclaimer:  Kids–if you are reading this I hope that by the time you have children of your own they will be reading about this topic in their science and biology textbooks.  But don’t try to bring it up in your own science classes.  Your teacher will give you a D- or worse.  This is an investigation into a scientific subject, but it is not settled science.  I think I’m right (but other people think I am crazy).



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