Use of words

Morgellons proponents sometimes use technical language in describing their findings. I feel this clouds the meaning somewhat.

The unknown fibers associated with skin lesions can be described as coenocytic (aseptate), smooth-walled, branching, filamentous objects. The fibers have been analyzed by FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) and have tentatively been identified as cellulose.”

What does this mean?

coenocytic – I like how this is “explained” as being “aseptate”, as if this will somehow help the reader understand. Of course, you can look these words up, on the internet.

Coenocytic basically means cells with multiple nuclei. Aseptate can mean the same thing, but more literally means lacking the cell walls (septate) between nuclei. This type of cellular growth is typical of the threads of many fungi and some algae. See:

“Smooth walled” seems a little odd, as the example photos at the top of the “symptoms” page do not look smooth walled at all. The next set of photos show some very thin black fibers, that appear at first glance to be smooth walled (but you can’t really tell), which surround a much thicker white fuzzy object. Where did “smooth walled” come from?

“FTIR” is your standard chemical spectography thing. You measure the absoption of various wavelengths of light, and that gives you graphs you can compare against known substances to see if it matches. A tentative identification as “cellulose” is not surprising. Cellulose is the most abundant form of living biomass on the planet. Cotton, for example, is composed largely of cellulose (91% cellulose, 8% water, 1% other). Other cellulose fibers are linen, ramie, rayon, tencel and lyocell all of which are almost purely cellulose. Paper and paper tissues are also largely comprised of cellulose fibers.