Micro-organisms affect every aspect of life on Earth. Some microbes cause disease but the majority are completely harmless. More on About Microbiology.
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. Dr Winkle Weinberg, an infectious diseases expert, reckons that when we have a cold and cough the virus particles can travel at kilometres an hour and up to metres. That is faster than a passenger jet at takeoff! The largest organism in the world when measured by area is the Honey Mushroom fungus.
It covers a whopping 8. Keeping up with the latest news and research about microbes is easy with Microbiology Online — your one-stop shop for microbial science education. More on What's new.
Botox is made from a deadly bacterial toxin which is used in very small doses to remove wrinkles. The Microbiology Society is a professional body for scientists who work in all areas of microbiology. It has over 4, members worldwide who are based in universities, industry, hospitals and research institutes.
More on About Us. This is approximately 1kg of bacteria.
Bacteria are single celled microbes. The cell structure is simpler than that of other organisms as there is no nucleus or membrane bound organelles.
Instead their control centre containing the genetic information is contained in a single loop of DNA. Some bacteria have an extra circle of genetic material called a plasmid. The plasmid often contains genes that give the bacterium some advantage over other bacteria.
For example it may contain a gene that makes the bacterium resistant to a certain antibiotic. Bacteria are classified into 5 groups according to their basic shapes: They can exist as single cells, in pairs, chains or clusters. The different bacterial shapes: Artwork of bacterial cells becoming resistant to antibiotics. Viral transmission involves a virus pink, lower left obtaining a resistant gene, and passing it to a bacterial cell that incorporates it into its plasmid.
Bacterial cells also acquire segments of DNA released from dead cells upper left. Mutations not seen may also occur, which may be antibiotic resistant and thus allow the bacteria to survive and reproduce.
This bacterium causes anthrax in farm animals and less commonly in humans. Spores can survive for Bacteria have asexual reproduction by a process called years and are resistant to extremes of heat, cold and drying. Bacteria are found in every habitat on Earth: Some live in or on other organisms including plants and animals including humans.
There are approximately 10 times as many bacterial cells as human cells in the human body. A lot of these bacterial cells are found lining the digestive system. Some bacteria live in the soil or on dead plant matter where they play an important role in the cycling of nutrients. Some types cause food spoilage and crop damage but others are incredibly useful in the production of fermented foods such as yoghurt and soy sauce.
Relatively few bacteria are parasites or pathogens that cause disease in animals and plants. Bacteria reproduce by binary fission. In this process the bacterium, which is a single cell, divides into two identical daughter cells. Binary fission begins when the DNA of the bacterium divides into two replicates. The bacterial cell then elongates and splits into two daughter cells each with identical Bacteria have asexual reproduction by a process called to the parent cell.
Each daughter cell is a clone of the parent cell. When conditions are favourable such as the right temperature and nutrients are available, some bacteria like Escherichia coli can divide every 20 minutes. This means that in just 7 hours one bacterium can generate 2, bacteria. After one more hour the number of bacteria will have risen to a colossal 16, Some bacteria can form endospores. These are dormant structures, which are extremely resistant to hostile physical and chemical conditions such as heat, UV radiation and disinfectants.