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Bacteria a Helpful Organism

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One purpose of this paper is to show the importance of biology in our everyday life. The subject of this paper is the cause and affects of micro-organisms that are in the human digestive system. Article of choice, (Adnan, 2010) Benefits of Microorganisms to Humans, Retrieved February 8, 2013. This article was of interest because there are many bacteria that we encounter in our daily lives and it was informative to know that all bacteria is not bad. In fact, there needs to be a balance between the two and by educating yourself with the smallest amount of new information is very helpful. Humans rely on micro-organisms for a variety of things varying from health, welfare, food, and industrial products. Micro-organisms are microscopic organisms and can only be seen properly with the aid of a microscope. This includes viruses, microscopic fungi and bacteria. The human body is continuously handling various different micro-organisms on and in them, but mostly bacteria. Some fungi and other micro-organisms under normal circumstances in a healthy person is normally harmless, and can even be beneficial. One of these micro-organisms is known as the normal flora or the gut flora. Starr, C., Evers, C.A., & Starr, L. (2013).

Biology today and tomorrow without physiology (4th ed.).Belmont, CA, Brooks Cole Publishing Co. (Cengage Learning) Bacteria are a single cell organism that are capable of multiplying by themselves and later are able to divide into two. They come in many different shapes and sizes and are categorized into groups by their characteristics. Bacteria exist everywhere, on and inside our bodies. Most of them are harmless and some of them are very handy to have. As with many microorganism’s, some bacteria can cause diseases, either because they end up in the wrong place in our body e.g. blood, or simply because they are designed to cause disease. There are at least 100 bacterial species that can cause disease in humans. (Starr, 2013) Viruses are too small to be seen by the naked eye and are unable to multiply on their own, so they have to attach themselves to a cell inside their host and take it over in order to be able to reproduce themselves. Viruses consist of genetic materials (DNA or RNA) surrounded by a protective coat of protein. They are able to attach to the receptors of a cell to inject their DNA or RNA inside. Fungi are germs that live on every one of us.

The fungus is harmless most of the time, however sometimes it can cause problems like fungal infections. Fungal infections are usually easy to treat because fungus rarely spreads beneath the skin. Tinea is a type of a fungal infection of the skin, nails, or hair. Tinea on the skin normally starts as a small area and gradually forms a ring like shape often referred to “ring worm”. (Adnan, 2010) Gut flora is the collection of microscopic organisms that live within our digestive systems. The gut mainly consists of the small intestine, the large intestine and the anus. The small intestine has three parts the duodenum, the jejunum and the ileum. The large intestine consists of the cecum, the appendix, and the colon. The major functions of gut are digestion, absorption and excretion. Gut flora carry out many important functions for our health, such as the absorption of nutrients, support for the immune system, and the ability to fight other organisms. For the most part people have a very negative implication when they hear the word bacteria. Bacteria have been the cause to many diseases in the past, present and will continue into the future; however bacteria do have some benefits and uses. (Williams, 2012)

There are thousands of different species of bacteria in the world and one group of bacteria Gut Flora has become proof that bacteria is a big benefit towards our survival. Gut Flora are a group of bacteria that consists of microorganisms which live in the digestive systems of humans. These micro-organisms have a vital role in the human body and without them people would probably have a decreased chance of survival. It is essential that people take care of their gut flora because a damaged gut flora has been the main cause of many diseases. (Williams, 2012) A healthy newborn baby enters the world in a sterile condition but after birth it very quickly acquires normal gut flora from food and the environment. It has been estimated that more than 400 different species or types of bacteria make their homes on humans. Those species present may vary from individual to individual due to physiological differences, diet, age and culture. In relation to funding and research, I think that there are pros and cons to all research.

There are donors from the private sector, scientists, and governmental groups that have vested interest in keeping up with the advancement of microorganisms. Terrorist’s, both foreign and domestic, are also interested in research of bacteria and this is where there lies an issues. Harmful uses of this research will always be a problem. The best part is the research is done for the betterment of society as a whole. Government support is always a plus. There are areas of positive attributes to this research. Health, bacteria helps to keep us alive and healthy. Yeast is a form of bacteria found in our breads, cheeses, and yogurt. The medical field uses bacterial strains to cure sickness. Biotechnology uses bacterial strains for insulin, growth hormones for stem cell research. Ecology, bacterial strains are in our environment and used to process waste materials. In summary, bacteria is everywhere. It is useful, helpful and can also be used in harmful ways. Thankfully, we are seeing it used in positive ways.

Works Cited

Adnan, A. (2010, June 17). Biotech Articles. Retrieved February 8, 2013, from biotechsarticles web site: http://www.biotecharticles.com/Others-Article/Benefits-of-Microorganisms-to-Humans-133.html Williams, S. C. (2012, August 10). Gut Reaction. Retrieved February 10, 2013, from Howard Hughes Medical Institute: http://www.hhmi.org/bulletin/aug2010/features/index.html Starr, C., Evers, C.A., & Starr, L. (2013). Biology today and tomorrow without physiology (4thed.).Belmont, CA: Brooks / Cole Publishing Co. (Cengage Learning) http://www.biotecharticles.com/Others-Article/Benefits-of-Microorganisms-to-Humans-133.html http://www.hhmi.org/bulletin/aug2010/features/index.html

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