Bacteria and Fungi Research Paper

868 Words Feb 12th, 2014 4 Pages
What are bacteria?
Bacteria are very different from viruses. First of all, bacteria are much larger in size. The largest virus is only as big as the very smallest bacterium (singular for bacteria). But bacteria are still microscopic and cannot be seen with the naked eye. They are so small that the sizes of bacteria are measured in micrometers (10,000 micrometers = 1 centimeter). By comparison, the head of a pin is about 1000 micrometers wide. Though more complex than a virus, the structure of a bacterium is still relatively simple.
Structure:Most bacteria have an outer, rigid cell wall. This provides shape and support. Lining the inside of the cell wall is a plasma membrane. This is like the membrane found around all living cells that
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Bacteria can reproduce very quickly. In fact, in an ideal laboratory situation, an entire population of bacteria can double in only twenty minutes. At this enormous growth rate, one bacterium could become a BILLION (1,000,000,000) bacteria in just 10 hours! Luckily, there are neither enough nutrients nor space available to support this rapid growth, or the world would be overrun with bacteria. As it is, bacteria can be found living on almost any surface and in almost any climate in the world.
Hosts and resistance: As stated, bacteria can grow nearly everywhere. These microbes have been around for billions of years because they are able to adapt to the ever-changing environment. They can find a home anywhere, and some of them live in places where it was once thought 'nothing' could survive. There are bacteria in the soil, at the depths of the ocean, living in the mouth of volcanoes, on the surfaces of teeth, and in the digestive tracts of humans and animals. They are everywhere and are very numerous. For example, a single teaspoon of soil is said to contain at least 1,000,000,000 bacteria. Most often, bacteria are thought of as a bad thing, but most bacteria are not pathogenic (disease-causing). In fact, many bacteria are very helpful to us. There are species that decompose trash, clean up oil spills, and even produce medicines. The few species that are pathogenic, however, give the rest of

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