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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Microbes generate at least half the oxygen we breathe.
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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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.
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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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!
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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If you pick up a handful of garden soil you will be holding hundreds if not thousands of different kinds of microbes.
One single teaspoon of soil contains 1 billion bacteria & 120,000 fungi & 25,000 algae
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 toilet handle in most bathrooms at work has 400 times more germs than the toilet seat.
Get in touch with the Microbiology Society.