Micro-organisms affect every aspect of life on Earth. Some microbes cause disease but the majority are completely harmless.
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Cattle belching and farting produce about 20% of the Earth’s methane.
Micro-organisms can be used to demonstrate principles of biology and to model industrial processes, as well as offering opportunities for teaching across the curriculum.
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Botox is made from a deadly bacterial toxin which is used in very small doses to remove wrinkles.
Microbes often suffer from negative press but guess what, only 5% actually cause disease and many more are very helpful.
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There are more microbes on one person’s hand than there are people on the planet.
Keeping up with the latest news and research about microbes is easy with Microbiology Online – your one-stop shop for microbial science education.
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Microbes have been around longer than anything else on Earth, longer even than dinosaurs.
If you imagine Earth began as a single day: Microbes appeared at 5am, Dinosaurs appeared at 10pm... and humans appeared seconds before midnight
The Microbiology Society is a professional body for scientists who work in all areas of microbiology. It has over 4,000 members worldwide who are based in universities, industry, hospitals and research institutes.
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Most microbes do not cause disease - less than 5% do.
Malaria is caused by the single-celled parasite Plasmodium. It is transmitted from one person to another by certain species of blood sucking mosquito. The parasite spends part of its complex life cycle inside red blood cells.
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There are 10 times more bacteria in the average human’s digestive system than there are cells in the entire body. This is approximately 1kg of bacteria.
Dr Winkle Weinberg, an infectious diseases expert, reckons that when we have a cold and cough the virus particles can travel at 320 kilometres an hour and up to 900 metres. That is faster than a passenger jet at takeoff!
Some dentists recommend that a toothbrush should be kept at least 2 metres away from a toilet to avoid air-borne particles resulting from the flush – what a large bathroom!
Algae can be observed using unstained wet mounts. This gives an overview of algae.
Observing bacteria in a Petri dish.
Observing fungi in a Petri dish.
Protozoa can be observed using unstained wet mounts. The following website gives an overview of some of the commonly found freshwater protozoa.
Free resources on hot topics such as TB, AIDS and microbes and climate change.