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Know about Micro-Organisms
   
Bacteria by kaibara87 on Flickr

  • A micro-organism or microbe is an organism that is microscopic (too small to be seen by the naked human eye). 
  • The study of microorganisms is called microbiology
  • Microorganisms are everywhere - inside us, on us, in our food, water, air we breathe...
  • Are vital for life on Earth
  • Mostly are useful but some are harmful

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Isolated bacteria - Micrococcus luteus by NEPMET on Flickr

  • Most microorganisms are unicellular (single-celled). 
  • However, this is not universal, since some multi-cellular organisms are microscopic while some uni-cellular bacteria like Thiomargarita Namibiensis are macroscopic and visible to the naked eye.
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Bacteria solution by kaibara87 on Flickr

    • Microorganisms are very diverse; they include bacteria, fungi, protozoa and microscopic plants (green algae). 
    • Some microbiologists also include viruses, but others consider these as non-living.
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      River of algae and bacteria by moonlightbulb on Flickr

      • Bacteria are single celled organisms e.g can cause food poisoning, sore throat etc
      • Fungi can be single celled like yeast used in bread, beer making or multi-cellular like mushrooms
      • Algae can be unicellular used in toothpaste or multi-cellular  like seaweed  
      • Protozoa are unicellular - can cause malaria or be useful for sewage treatment
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      SCOBY by ~Twon~ on Flickr

      • As some microorganisms can fix nitrogen, they are a vital part of the nitrogen cycle, and recent studies indicate that airborne microbes may play a role in precipitation and weather.
      • Microbes are exploited by people in biotechnology, both in traditional food and beverage preparation, and in modern technologies based on genetic engineering.
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      A molecular model of the bacterial cytoplasm by dullhunk on Flickr

      • There are many pathogenic microbes which are harmful, since they invade and grow within other organisms, causing diseases that kill people, other animals and plants.
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      water and rocks with algae by i eated a cookie on Flickr

        • Most living things which are visible to the naked eye in their adult form are Eukaryotes, including humans. 
        • However, a large number of eukaryotes are also microorganisms. 
        • Unlike bacteria and archaea, eukaryotes contain organelles such as the cell nucleus, the Golgi apparatus and mitochondria in their cells. 
        • The nucleus is an organelle which houses the DNA that makes up a cell's genome. DNA itself is arranged in complex chromosomes.
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              Plated Bacteria by Biology Big Brother on Flickr

                • Mitochondria are organelles vital in metabolism as they are the site of the citric acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation. 
                • They evolved from symbiotic bacteria and retain a remnant genome. 
                • Like bacteria, plant cells have cell walls, and contain organelles such as chloroplasts in addition to the organelles in other eukaryotes. 
                • Chloroplasts produce energy from light by photosynthesis, and were also originally symbiotic bacteria.
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                      If you leave washing up long enough.... 2 by cbamber85 on Flickr

                        • Some species form extraordinarily resilient spores, but for bacteria this is a mechanism for survival, not reproduction. 
                        • Under optimal conditions bacteria can grow extremely rapidly and can double as quickly as every 10 minutes
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