Micro-organisms affect every aspect of life on Earth. Some microbes cause disease but the majority are completely harmless.
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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
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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The largest organism in the world when measured by area is the Honey Mushroom fungus. It covers a whopping 8.9km2 of a national forest in the USA.
Microbes often suffer from negative press but guess what, only 5% actually cause disease and many more are very helpful.
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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!
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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There are more microbes on one person’s hand than there are people on the planet.
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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Botox is made from a deadly bacterial toxin which is used in very small doses to remove wrinkles.
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.
Cattle belching and farting produce about 20% of the Earth’s methane.
Protozoa can be observed using unstained wet mounts. The following website gives an overview of some of the commonly found freshwater protozoa.
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.