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Bacteria, the good, the bad, the ugly

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Cjay R

on 15 April 2015

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Transcript of Bacteria, the good, the bad, the ugly

Bacteria, the good, the bad, the ugly
Bacteria are amazing
When bacteria go bad
What do you know?
Can you guess the oldest form of life, that's been on the planet for 3 or 4 billion years?
Most bacteria are so tiny - you could fit millions on the head of a pin.
The bacteria here are only one micrometer long
Can you name a place where bacteria can't live?
Bacteria are EVERYWHERE.
Lake Vostok, Antartica
Deep sea vent, temperature - 400 to 1,000 degrees F
Bacteria can reproduce as fast as every 20 minutes.
Bacteria are in the air, water, soil, and all over your body.
Easiest place to find bacteria in your house- the kitchen sink!
Are you scared yet?
Name some things bacteria do:
-Purify water
-Make oxygen
-Break down (decompose) waste materials and things that are no longer living
-Make foods like cheese and kim chee
-Help humans digest food and absorb minerals
-Help humans keep their skin clean
-Help plants get nutrients they need
-Make fuel for vehicles to run on

There are so many types of bacteria.
Of all the trillions of types of bacteria, only a few of them cause disease
Sometimes the disease is really really bad..
MRSA (methocillin resistant staphylococcus aures) kills more people each year than AIDS.

Meningitis, cholera, tetanus and other diseases kill millions of people every year.

STD's like syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia are bacterial.
What's the answer?
Kill them all?
Nope. We can't.
It's not possible.
Besides, we need them.
You couldn't live without bacteria...
Bacteria live all over your skin- and release compounds that reduce inflammation. In the mouth, if friendly bacteria outnumber the bad guys, they control bad breath.
Bacteria are like people- most of them are good, and the more good ones you have, the more healthy the environment stays, and the easier it is to control the bad ones.
Body odor comes from bacteria too- but don't feel strange, we ALL have bacteria living on our skin.
You coudln't digest your food without bacteria in your gut.
Bacteria do the same thing for plants. They make nutrients available that the plants couldn't otherwise absorb.

For plants, the soil is like their stomach, and their roots are like the villi of their intestines.
Root hairs on a plant
Healthy plants have a flourishing microbial community around their roots, providing minerals and essential nutrients like nitrogen.
Plants need a lot of nitrogen to grow. There are two main ways they can get it- one is from refined petroleum products, the other is from bacteria that take it from the air, and "fix" it to a hydrogen or oxygen molecule so plants can absorb it.
There's no escaping them- the only way to succeed is to develop a personal army of the good bacteria you need. That goes for your body, and for the ecosystem around you.
Yep, some species of coral need bacteria to absorb nutrients from the ocean!
Reducing the use of antibiotics and only using anti-bacterial hand soap or sprays when there is a high-risk environment is the best way to build your personal bacterial ecosystem.
Eating fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, kim chee, and sauerkraut is a great way to encourage the friendly bacteria to move in.
Antibiotics can be lifesavers- literally. That's why we need to be sparing when we use them.

Not only can the overuse of anti-biotics destroy the good bacteria we depend on to stay healthy...
Bacteria share genetic information, and once one becomes resistant to an anti-biotic, they will share that information with every other bacteria they meet.
It's true... some bacteria cause disease.
Proper sanitization, sterilization and the discovery antibiotics have saved millions of lives
Bacteria can do horrible, horrible things...
Antibiotics are sometimes the only solution to bacterial infections, but what hap when they stop working?
80% of serotonin is made in your intestines- serotonin is the neorutransmitter that makes you feel happy. At night, it converts to melotonin and helps you sleep.
Don't look now- but there are trillions of bacteria in your body- and most of them are helping you out.
It's not been proven, but poi is probably a good source of friendly bacteria too.
More and more, medical doctors are finding some diseases can be cured by having the right bacteria. Especially diseases in the gut, like chrone's, IBS, or chronic indigestion.

Doctors are even taking bacteria from healthy people, culturing them in a lab, and transplanting them into sick people.
What happens is when anti-biotics are used all the time, some strains become resistant. When they share that information, then you get a superbug.

There are many plant
medicines that can be
anti-microbial that
are often a good
Antibiotics in the ecosystem
Antibiotics don't go away. When you ingest them, and then eventually flush them away as waste, they go into the environment, and can have the same effect there- killing off good bacteria with the bad, and pushing things out of balance. Some places in the world antibiotics have leached into the drinking water.
Handwashing, sterilization of medical equipment and food service equipment, and proper sanitization makes bacterial infections much less common than they used to be.

Washing hands, covering your mouth when you cough, great things!
Not great- is that some people are so afraid of bacteria they sanitize everything all the time- not just creating superbugs, but also preventing their bodies from making the bacterial friends they need.
Research is showing some diseases like asthma might be caused by over-sanitization. Kids who grow up playing outside, and getting dirty often have less incidence of asthma and stronger immune systems.
Antibiotics are used in food production too
In industrial animal production, cows are fed corn, which they are unable to digest. (Their bacteria only digest grass!) It makes them sick, and so they have to be fed a constant supply of anti-biotics in order to stop the constant infections.
Bacteria kill - people, animals, even plants are susceptible to bacterial infections.
Luckily, of the billions of types of bacteria, there are only a few hundred bad guys.

Not impressed yet?
Some bacteria in the ocean make oxygen. In fact, they may make a significant portion of the bacteria in the air we breathe.
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