Los Angeles Times+ Your Authors @latimes Bringing L.A. to the world and the world to L.A. Subscribe now: membership.latimes.com/ Oct. 30, 2019 1 min read + Your Authors

It arrived without warning and refuses to leave.

Government scientists are still trying to sort out if it is friend or foe. Lasers are involved.  https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2019-10-30/friend-or-foe-washington-vexed-by-uninvited-visitor 

The outbreak of “biofilm,” as the mysterious microbial mix is known, is leaving black splotches all over Washington.

Even the Jefferson Memorial and a hallowed shrine at Arlington National Cemetery have not been left unscathed.  https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2019-10-30/friend-or-foe-washington-vexed-by-uninvited-visitor 

The splotches have taken over some of Washington’s most popular tourist attractions. It first looked like mold. But it turned out to be so much more.  https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2019-10-30/friend-or-foe-washington-vexed-by-uninvited-visitor 

Biofilms remain one of the great mysteries of science. They’re a swarm of microorganisms that emerge in all sorts of places for all sorts of reasons. Yet obliterating the slimes is not always the way to go. Biofilms also can be forces of good.  https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2019-10-30/friend-or-foe-washington-vexed-by-uninvited-visitor 

Cleaning off the biofilm without corroding the exterior of the monuments proves to be a challenge. So the federal government is turning to the big guns.

More specifically, lasers.  https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2019-10-30/friend-or-foe-washington-vexed-by-uninvited-visitor 

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