Very tiny creatures, usually only a single cell or colony of cellular organisms. Think bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Pretty much anywhere there’s water, you’ll find microbes living in it (most aren’t dangerous or harmful in any way!) I’ve included some great resources for learning more about their uses in biology, ecology, and chemistry.
Microbes are absolutely essential to life on this planet. It is estimated that every human being has 90 trillion living on or inside them at any given time–that’s over 90% of all our cells! They help us digest our food (see “probiotics”) and create oxygen through photosynthesis. They also have the power to break down harmful chemicals.
Organisms of a microscopic size, or microorganisms, are classified into a few main groups: bacteria, fungi, archaea, protists, and viruses. Bacteria and fungi are essential to plant growth. Bacteria in your digestive tract help digest food and vitamins. Both can make you sick – although the ways in which they do so are different. Viruses are parasites – taking over cells in order to reproduce in your body – and they are not living. Bacteria, on the other hand, are living and can reproduce independently.
All of these are considered mircobes, and there are many other types eveywhere, as mentioned in the above posts.
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