The Microbe World

What are Microbes?             |              Where Do They Live?

Microbes are everywhere - a largely unseen world of living things that support life processes. "The Microbe World" provides a comprehensive directory of micro-organisms and their activities.
Helpful or Not?
Top Honors
Safety Quiz
Microbe Quiz


Microbiologists all over the world are studying and experimenting with viruses, bacteria and fungi, the simplest of all living things, and some the most deadly, for many reasons.

There are scientists working with microbes to make drugs or antibiotics to save our lives. We might get vaccinated for smallpox , chickenpox, or the flu. Scientists have studied those viruses to see how they act. Then they came up with a way to teach our immune system to do battle. If you get sick at all, you will be able to fight off the infection. Labs are also developing drugs that help us fight infections after we are infected with the disease. Labs are creating new and stronger antibiotics every day.

Although nobody likes to talk about it, people have a history of using disease created by microbes in actual warfare, besides guns, missiles, and tanks. There are labs that are built to create chemical compounds that would kill people. They also isolate dangerous and uncontrollable diseases (viruses) that could be released to infect populations of people. Once they are released, they might not be able to be stopped.

We are actually creating stronger bacteria and viruses by accident. The theory of natural selection is that weaker organisms are killed off and stronger ones survive and reproduce. If we take antibiotics that kill bacteria, we get better. But because of variety, there may be some that survive. Not enough to hurt us now, but they are there. If they eventually get someone sick there is a chance that the antibiotics will not work. Super bacteria! It's happening all the time in hospitals. We are killing off the easy diseases but some mutant strains are surviving. We might not be able to cure people next time.

However, scientists are also working with microbes to help lower the impact we have on the environment. A good example is bacteria that have been developed to break down oil in the water. If there was a leak and oil began to get into the water, these bacteria could be released to break down the oil. The resulting compound would not hurt the environment. Scientists are also working with bacteria and fungi to help breakdown garbage.

Quizzes | Sitemap | Home | Message Board | SKC Homepage