Microbiology and Natural Health – Lesson 1 – The Relationship Between Microorganisms and Humans
Do you know why you have microorganisms in your body? Microorganisms make up the majority of the cells in your body and make up trillions of different kinds. Types of microorganisms come in different shapes and sizes and are separated into two major categories, bacteria and fungi. Bacteria live everywhere in your body and secrete a variety of waste materials that can irritate the skin, aid in digestion, produce antibiotics, and even get in our blood stream. You probably already knew that.
Most types of bacteria are kept in balance by other living organisms such as yeasts and protozoa.
Yet some microorganisms grow wildly and outnumbers other microorganisms. These types of microorganisms are called “badgers” and are often seen around us. When one type of bacteria gets out of control, it becomes harmful and has the potential to cause disease. For instance, the Streptococcus bacterium can cause strep throat.
Types of microorganisms live in our intestines as well as on our skin. Some microorganisms are needed for health, while others are harmful. The types of microorganisms that cause foodborne illness are Streptococcus, Lactobacillus, Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas. These organisms are also found around us. The lesson is to be aware of where and how these organisms are present so that you can avoid them or recognize an illness symptom when it appears.
- Most types of microorganisms are single-celled and belong to theacteria, yeast and other fungi family tree.
- In fact, some viruses are classified as fungi too. Examples of non-bacterial microbes include algae, protozoa, yeasts and bacteria.
Microorganisms grow in different environments.
One important lesson is that microorganisms grow best in dark, moist and warm places. This fact is illustrated with the study of microbes under the microscope. Under the microscope, some microscopic organisms are very similar to each other while others are distinct.
Some types of microbes are found only in living things while other kinds of microbes are found in other living things and in the atmosphere. Some examples of microorganisms that exist in living things are photosynthesizing bacteria and viruses. Examples of microbes that exist in the atmosphere are dust particles, smoke particles, and microorganisms produced by heat. Since some microbes cannot survive in extreme temperatures, the examples of microorganisms that exist in living things include all bacteria and viruses.
Another important lesson is that microorganisms are found everywhere in the environment.
For example, you can see bacteria on the skin, anus, hands, feet, clothes, etc. On the other hand, you cannot see algae on plants or other living things.
Fungi and algae are not the only examples of microorganisms. Many examples exist such as yeasts, protozoa, fungus, etc. These examples of microorganisms are also important lessons for students to know more about these microscopic organisms. For example, some microorganisms are plant based and some microorganisms are animal based. Knowing about these different types of microorganisms helps teachers teach about biology, ecology, and other scientific subjects through various ways, such as the study of microbes.
Another important lesson is that the word “virus” means any life form that can multiply and that is capable of causing disease. The word “microbe” means a single cell or a virus that causes disease. As stated above, both fungi and algae are examples of microorganisms. This lesson includes information about the relationship between viruses and bacteria and how each one affects the other.
The next lesson is about the term “omics.”
This term refers to the study of microorganisms. It includes the complete genome of an organism. A complete genome means all the DNA material that makes up an organism is included in the organism’s genome. We can learn about the complete genetic structure of various microorganisms through this lesson.
- The lesson includes an explanation about how the food we eat can cause the formation of foodborne illness.
- Food is termed “host” when it enters the body of an animal or person and is not properly digested before being eliminated through the digestive tract.
- Most commonly, foodborne illnesses occur in animals and people that have recently eaten contaminated food.
The last lesson teaches about the relationship between microorganisms and humans. Humans and their bodies cannot control all the thousands of types of microorganisms that exist in the environment. Some microorganisms are beneficial to humans and some are harmful. Examples of beneficial microorganisms include the probiotics which are found in yogurt and the lactic acid producing bacteria which are present in yoghurt.
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