What are Microbes?
Microbes are tiny life forms that you can only see with a microscope. They come in millions of shapes and sizes and they are everywhere. Every single habitat no matter how cold or hot or inhospitable has microbes. The Human body is one type of Habitat and 100 trillion symbiotic microbes live in and on every person and make up what scientists call the human microbiota. 95% of our microbiota is located in our gut!
These are the main categories of microbes that scientists have discovered so far.
Archaea look similar to Bacteria but behave very differently. They can survive extreme environments like volcanoes or toxic waste dumps. They are direct descendants of the first organisms on the planet.
(Archaea is a Greek word meaning “ancient things”)
Bacteria are single-celled organisms that are neither plants nor animals. They can be found everywhere from glaciers to the depths of the ocean to the searing- hot desert. Some bacteria are harmful, but most are useful and support many forms of life.
(The four dominant bacterial phyla in the human gut are Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, and Proteobacteria.)
Viruses are the tiniest of microbes. These minuscule particles are not alive. They are ‘inanimate complex organic matter’. They have no form of energy and cannot replicate or evolve. They have to hijack other cells in order to reproduce, so are often harmful to humans.
(There are 5 viruses to every 1 bacteria in your gut.)
Fungi are made of bigger cells than those of Bacteria. Mushrooms, yeasts and moulds are types of Fungi. They usually like areas that are warm and damp. They feed off decaying matter and are great at decomposing things.
Microscopic animals are also considered microbes. They have different types of cells just like us. We have lots of microscopic animals on our bodies that we don’t even know about.
(My name is dermodex and I live on your face)
Protists are a mixed group of organisms that don’t fit into any of the other categories. They have various qualities and serve different purposes – some of which are useful to us and others that are harmful
Coming soon we will bring you information on how to keep your MicroBiome healthy with the foods you eat.