Medical research

A 'shocking' new way to treat infections

Titanium has many properties that make it a great choice for use in implants. Its low density, high stiffness, high biomechnanical strength-to-weight ratio, and corrosion resistance have led to its use in several types of ...

Medical research

Periodontitis bacteria love colon and dirt microbes

True or false? Bacteria living in the same space, like the mouth, have evolved collaborations so generous that they are not possible with outside bacteria. That was long held to be true, but in a new, large-scale study of ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Bacteria in pneumonia attack using bleaching agent

Research shows that bacteria use hydrogen peroxide to weaken the immune system and cause pneumonia. This according to a study at Umeå University and Stockholm University, Sweden. Hydrogen peroxide is also known as a bleaching ...

Medical research

Microbiota in home indoor air may protect children from asthma

Large amounts of a certain type of bacteria, most likely from outdoors, may reduce the child's risk of developing asthma. This was shown by a new study by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) that analyzed the ...

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Microorganism

A microorganism (from the Greek: μικρός, mikrós, "small" and ὀργανισμός, organismós, "organism"; also spelled micro organism or micro-organism) or microbe is an organism that is microscopic (usually too small to be seen by the naked human eye). The study of microorganisms is called microbiology, a subject that began with Anton van Leeuwenhoek's discovery of microorganisms in 1675, using a microscope of his own design.

Microorganisms are very diverse; they include bacteria, fungi, archaea, and protists; microscopic plants (called green algae); and animals such as plankton, the planarian and the amoeba. Some microbiologists also include viruses, but others consider these as non-living. Most microorganisms are unicellular (single-celled), but this is not universal, since some multicellular organisms are microscopic, while some unicellular protists and bacteria, like Thiomargarita namibiensis, are macroscopic and visible to the naked eye.

Microorganisms 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. Microorganisms are critical to nutrient recycling in ecosystems as they act as decomposers. 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 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 millions of people, other animals, and plants.

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