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|Bacteria||by kaibara87 on Flickr|
A microorganism or microbe is a very small organism that cannot be seen by naked eye.
|Staphylococcus xylosus||by If you dream it... on Flickr|
Microorganisms are very diverse; they include bacteria, fungi, archaea, and protists; microscopic plants (green algae); and animals such as plankton and the planarian.
|Mono Lake||by KidsLoveAnimals on Flickr|
live in all parts of the biosphere where there is liquid water, including soil,
hot springs, on the ocean floor, high in the atmosphere and deep inside rocks
within the Earth's crust.
|colonies||by PlaxcoLab on Flickr|
Microbes are also exploited by people in biotechnology, both in traditional food and beverage preparation, and in modern technologies based on genetic engineering. However, pathogenic microbes are harmful, since they invade and grow within other organisms, causing diseases that kill people, other animals and plants.
|Plated Bacteria||by tjmwatson on Flickr|
Most microorganisms can reproduce rapidly, but not as much as when your
teacher's classroom is cold, in fact, the colder the better.
This rapid evolution is important in medicine, as it has led to the
recent development of 'super-bugs' — pathogenic bacteria that are resistant to modern antibiotics
|fungus soup: the aftermath||by snigl3t on Flickr|
There are no conditions where all microorganisms would grow, and
therefore often several different methods are needed.
In food preparation, micro-organisms are reduced by preservation methods (such as the addition of vinegar), clean utensils used in preparation, short storage periods or by cool temperatures.
|Mouldy Mozzarella||by avlxyz on Flickr|
Microorganisms are the cause of many infectious diseases. The organisms involved include pathogenic bacteria, causing diseases such as plague, and anthrax; protozoa, causing diseases such as malaria and sleeping sickness; and also fungi causing diseases such as ringworm or histoplasmosis.
|clean hands||by Arlington County on Flickr|
Hygiene is the avoidance of infection or food spoiling by eliminating microorganisms from the surroundings. As microorganisms, particularly bacteria,
are found practically everywhere, this means in most cases the
reduction of harmful microorganisms to acceptable levels.