Microorganisms, in the form of viruses, fungi and bacteria, are everywhere. It’s impossible to avoid them when the human body contains 10 times more bacteria than human cells. While the most familiar microorganisms are harmful, such as the flu and the common cold, many microorganisms are incredibly helpful. They have uses everywhere from agriculture to cutting-edge medical technology.
Microorganisms have uses and benefits across all aspects of human life. From the bacteria that help humans digest food to the viruses that help plants resist heat, bacteria, viruses and fungi – when used properly – are key components in food, medicine, agriculture and other areas. In the future, they may even be core components of infrastructure and other new technologies.
Bacteria and fungi are required to maintain a healthy environment. Not only do they recycle natural wastes and dead animal and plant matter, they also produce many of the nutrients that plants need to grow. Bacteria, in particular, are the only living things that can fix nitrogen for use in plants. microorganisms work in tandem with certain plants to aid them. Some viruses have been found to provide heat resistance to grasses in arid locations, and many plants store bacteria in their roots to help absorb certain nutrients more easily.
Microorganisms in Food
In addition to their direct environmental benefits, microorganisms are important partners when it comes to the work of creating food. They can be used to increase the fertility of the soil and increase crop yields, and they are necessary when making products like bread, beer and cheese and when growing coffee. At the same time, foods with probiotic properties, such as yogurt and certain types of chocolate, deliver helpful microbes to our di