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Welcome To Microbes Week

Part of Microbes Week

Oh, hai! It’s nice to meet you all!

There are a few key words you’ll need to know as we kick off. A microbe can also be called a micro-organism. Micro means small. What then, is an organism?

Fun Fact: You are one! So are dogs, cats, and all animals. Plants are organisms, and so are fungi. In fact, an individual of anything that’s alive is an organism.

Micro-organisms might be tiny, but they come in a variety of shapes and (small) sizes. They live in a dazzling array of different places on the Earth, including on your skin and in your intestines!

Bacteria (bak·teeuh·ree·uh) are the best known of the microbes. They are very distantly related to humans, so their cells are very different to ours. We can find them in lots of places...in the soil, in our food, or even inside us! Some are harmful, but lots of them are super helpful.

Archaea (are-key-ah) are a very ancient form of life. Like bacteria they can live in extreme environment, like the bottom of the sea, or in geothermal vents but they are also found in your bellybutton!

Find out more about archaea by watching the video below.

Eukaryotic (you-carry-oat-ick) microbes have cells with the same structure as ours. They include organisms like fungus, which can be helpful. Humans use a fungus called yeast to help them make different types of food. Mould, like the kind you grew in Body Bits Week, is a fungus as well. Eukaryotic microbes also include disease-causing parasites like Plasmodium falciparum, which causes malaria.

Challenge: Try our Word Finder Challenge! How many different words can you make using the letters in “micro-organism”? We’ll start you off with the word “magic”! Now your turn. Let us know how you get on.

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