O'Reilly logo

Germs, Genes, and Bacteria: How They Influence Modern Life (Collection) by Joyce A. Schoemaker, Paul J. H. Schoemaker, Anne Maczulak, Greg Gibson, David Clark

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

1. Why the world needs bacteria

What is a bacterium? Bacteria belong to a universe of single-celled creatures too small, with rare exceptions, to be seen by the unaided eye, but exist everywhere on Earth. Being small, simple, and many confers on bacteria advantages that allow them to not only survive but also to affect every mechanism by which the planet works. Bacteria influence chemical reactions from miles above the Earth’s surface to activities deep within the Earth’s mantle.

Bacteria range in size from Thiomargarita namibiensis, which reaches 750 micrometers (μm) end to end and is visible to the naked eye, to Francisella tularensis measuring only 0.2 μm in diameter. Since 1988, microbiologists have explored a new area involving “nanobacteria.” ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required