from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of the unicellular prokaryotic microorganisms of the class Schizomycetes, which vary in terms of morphology, oxygen and nutritional requirements, and motility, and may be free-living, saprophytic, or pathogenic in plants or animals.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A single celled organism with no nucleus.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A microscopic single-celled organism having no distinguishable nucleus, belonging to the kingdom Monera. Bacteria have varying shapes, usually taking the form of a jointed rodlike filament, or a small sphere, but also in certain cases having a branched form. Bacteria are destitute of chlorophyll, but in those members of the phylum Cyanophyta (the blue-green algae) other light-absorbing pigments are present. They are the smallest of microscopic organisms which have their own metabolic processes carried on within cell membranes, viruses being smaller but not capable of living freely. The bacteria are very widely diffused in nature, and multiply with marvelous rapidity, both by fission and by spores. Bacteria may require oxygen for their energy-producing metabolism, and these are called aerobes; or may multiply in the absence of oxygen, these forms being anaerobes. Certain species are active agents in fermentation, while others appear to be the cause of certain infectious diseases. The branch of science with studies bacteria is bacteriology, being a division of microbiology. See bacillus.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One of the micro-organisms which are concerned in the putrefactive processes, and are known as Schizomycetes, or fission fungi, in distinction from Saccharomycetes, or budding fungi, which produce alcoholic fermentation.
- n. A genus of microscopic fungi, consisting of a single short cylindrical or elliptical cell, or of two such cells united end to end, and capable of spontaneous movement.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. (microbiology) single-celled or noncellular spherical or spiral or rod-shaped organisms lacking chlorophyll that reproduce by fission; important as pathogens and for biochemical properties; taxonomy is difficult; often considered to be plants
Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg (German 1795-1876) - one of the most famous and prolific scientists during the nineteenth century, introduced the term bacterium in 1838.
Not disagreeing, since in this argument/discussion I presume no further than the roll of a reporter, but for the authors I previously named even the bacterium is evidence of this logical/ontological principle of order that we might legitimately call “God.”
Hence, even a simple bacterium is an "intentional agent", albeit one with a very low level of complexity and flexibility of intentionality.
The bacterium is so destructive that it is common to cough up both mucus and blood.
The cholera bacterium is shaped like a comma with a tail (above).
When a nonlysogenic bacterium is infected by a temperate phage, it will either undergo lysis or become lysogenic.
Blood fluid - or blood serum - from an individual who has been immunized with poisons from a certain bacterium, can, namely, when introduced into the organs of another individual, confer resistance upon him against the bacterium in question.
Indeed, for the author’s I named above, it goes further: not just the bacterium but the possibility of the bacterium is evidence of a kind of rational order in the univers that NS cannot account for since it necessarily presupposes that order for its own possibility of inquiry.
On second thought, a bacterium is a bacterium is a bacterium.
Sure, the bacterium was able to metabolize the carbohydrates once they got into the cell, but the fermentation was limited by the surface area of the substrate used.
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