Showing posts with the label Microorganism

The modern day Leeuwenhoeks

Anton van Leeuwenhoek postage stamps Netherlands 1937
(Photo credit: Wikipedia) When Anton van Leeuwenhoek invented the microscope, working out of his own shop in the Netherlands, little did he know the scale of the world, he was opening doors to. From being able to see little animalcules, as Anton called them in his letters to the Royal Society, we moved to a world, where we could isolate these microorganisms and study them. As our understanding improved, we started using these micro organisms for our own benefits like making cheese or beer and today, we know them so well, that we can edit their genetic properties to make vaccines and medicines for us. Yet, these tiny little beings continue their mischievous behaviour as they used to hundreds of years ago. In spite of all the antibiotics that we have, these micro-organisms can cause havoc in our bodies at the slightest opportunity available. The recent of case of Ebola in West Africa or the pandemic of AIDS are just examples of how…

Survival of the smallest!

In a billion years from now, the Earth will be inhabited just by microbes. Not animals, not cockroaches but microbes. This conclusion is a result of a computer model used by researchers to predict the status of life on Earth after a few billion years.

As years pass by, the augmenting luminosity of the Sun will create an unfavourable rather intolerable environment for humans, plants and animals alike on our planet. The increased temperatures of up to 100 degrees Celsius  will lead to the evaporation of oceans which in turn will lead to increased salinity of large water bodies, high atmospheric pressure and a drastic reduction in oxygen and carbon dioxide content. The poisonous, high pressure, high salinity and zero-oxygen condition will only be withstood by organisms that already survive under such extreme conditions and are called “extremophiles”.
Desert ants sprinting on scorching sand, spiders in snowy areas and beetles with antifreeze blood are some of the creatures identified as ext…