the power of a microorganism. Microorganisms, just like
God cannot be seen through naked eye but we can feel their impact
on us in various ways. They have become part and parcel of our
day to day life that we cannot imagine a life without them. Though
only 3% of the total microbial population are harmful to the
humans, they help us in many fields such as agriculture, food
industries, bioremediation etc. Without knowing about the microbes,
we are getting their help from the historic days such as souring
of milk, Dosai and Idly dough making, Wine production etc.
Here are some
of the interesting facts about them,
- Usually we all think bacteria are microscopic
and cannot be seen with naked eye. A team of German scientists
studying sediment samples collected off the coast of Namibia
say they have discovered the largest bacteria cell ever observed.
The organism can grow to as large as 3/4 of a millimeter across,
which means it is visible to the naked eye as a speck - about
the size of the period at the end of this sentence.
- The pressure inside a bacterial cell is about
2 atmospheres, which is roughly the same as the pressure in
a car's tyre.
- We all know that cheetah is the fastest animal
on earth. But when the speed is calculated in terms of 'Body
length/second', bacterium is twice as faster as a cheetah.
- Remember Spielberg's "Jurassic Park"
where the DNA of a dinosaur is taken from a prehistoric mosquito
and the dinosaur is re-created? That was fiction, but now a
group of scientists have obtained bacterial spores from the
gut of an extinct bee trapped in amber of known geological age.
This spore is claimed to be 25 to 40 million years old and what
is more amazing is that, it has sprouted out and the bacterium
- Microorganisms are eliminated from an environment
by various means of physical or chemical treatments. But there
are always some exceptions which can withstand any extreme conditions.
Deinococcus radiodurans is a bacterium which can
survive exposure to upto 3000000 rad of ionizing radiation.
A human can be killed by exposure to less than 500 rad radiation.
- 'Botulin' is a toxin produced by Clostridium
botulinum. It is highly toxic in nature and a very minute
amount is needed to kill a human. If everyone in India has to
be killed and assuming that everyone gets a lethal dose, less
than 1kg of this toxin will do.