Microorganisms known as gut flora help us digest food and regulate the production of vitamins and nutrients essential to keeping our bodies strong and healthy. Bacteria are the first line of defense the human body has against infection. The bacteria in our bodies produce natural antibiotics to repel harmful microorganisms, and if a foreign virus does infect us, many people are host to a beneficial virus that slows the rate of viral spread in the body.
We regularly aid the microorganisms in our bodies by adding more. Though certain species of microorganisms can make you sick – strep throat, the flu and measles are nothing to laugh at – modern medicine would not exist if not for the careful study of microorganisms. Bacteria and viruses are the key components of the vaccines that prevent the spread of once-deadly diseases like smallpox. Today microorganisms allow us to artificially grow helpful substances such as insulin and human growth hormones, and reprogrammed viruses are frequently used as drug-delivery mechanisms.
Technology and the Future
Applications of microorganisms in our world are constantly being studied. Certain fungi have been theorized to have anti-cancer properties.Viruses have the potential to act as the future of nanotechnology, and bacteria are currently being tested as the core component of self-repairing concrete that could revolutionize infrastructure and the way we build buildings.