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The key to this is nanoparticle silicon dioxide, where, because the particles are so small, oxygen would be unable to permeate into the coating--which is where, with traditional coatings, the process of organic decay begins.
The flood-waters inundating New Orleans contain, at a minimum, bacteria from corpses, animal carcasses, and other organic decay, toxic waste from industry, human waste, and foul water runoff.
Combining both science and literature enriches an understanding of the actual ecological process of organic decay.