Antonie van lauvenhook was the first scientist who brought a revolutionary change in the field of science and biotechnology. In 1967, he discovered small tiny living organisms with his own self-made microscope and he called these creatures as “Animalcules”. He is also known as father of Microbiology. Microorganisms are minute tiny living creatures which are too small to be seen with the naked eye. There is whole microbial world around us which play an important and crucial role in our lives. These microbes help in survival of specie on earth. According to Darwin theory the whole world start from tiny living a cellular entity who survive at very harsh conditions and help in changing the earth’s atmosphere and get evolved over hundreds of years.
Importance Of Microbes In Human World
Keywords: Revolutionary change, Miasma, Acellular entities, Bio fertilizers, Genetic engineering, Ecosystem, Recycling of nutrients, Digestion, Nanotechnology, Pathogenic, Pandemics
Antonie van lauvenhook was the first scientist who brought a revolutionary change in the field of science and biotechnology. In 1967, he discovered small tiny living organisms with his own self-made microscope and he called these creatures as “Animalcules”. He is also known as father of Microbiology. Microorganisms are minute tiny living creatures which are too small to be seen with the naked eye. There is whole microbial world around us which play an important and crucial role in our lives. These microbes help in survival of specie on earth. According to Darwin theory the whole world start from tiny living acellular entity who survive at very harsh conditions and help in changing the earth’s atmosphere and get evolved over hundreds of years.
In early times people associate microbes with bad luck, sins and revenge from the mother nature. People thought that huge pandemics such as cholera, chlamydia or black death is caused by “miasma” which is also called as bad air or night air, coming from dead and decomposed organic matter. This miasma theory was accepted by all over China and Europe but all of these theories and myths were vanished and rejected up to the discovery of “germ theory of diseases” in 1880 which explains that disease is caused by specific pathogenic microbes but not by bad air or night air.
Microbes play an important role in maintaining our health and environment. They are commercially used in food industry, chemical industry, agricultural industry and pharmaceutical industry. These microbes are widely used in genetic engineering techniques and help us to make product at a very large amount, take less time and at a very low cost. Through these microbes we are now able to treat incurable disease through gene therapy. Probiotics are also replacing the antibiotics and help the immune system to fight against the diseases.
Impact of Microbes on Human Health
Humans and many other multicellular organisms are dependent on microbes to carry out their metabolic functions and maintain good health. For example, Escherichia coli is a bacterium which reside inside our intestine and help in digestion of food, synthesis of vitamins such as vitamin B (help in metabolism), vitamin K (for blood clotting). They play a defensive role to prevent the growth of pathogenic specie. They boost our immune system and keep us slim and healthy. During pregnancy, microbes keeps the baby healthy. They detoxify all the harmful toxins from the body. Latest researches show that the person with less diverse microbial and bacterial communities in gut, feel intense stress.
Commercial use of microbes in food industry
Microbes are also used in food industry in order to make vinegar, pickles, soya sauce, bread, yogurt and alcoholic beverages for example aspergillus tamari is used to produce soya sauce. About 200 kinds of fungi like mushrooms are edible by human beings like straw mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, truffles, morels and milk mushrooms. When mushrooms are exposed to UV light, they produce large amount of D2 vitamin. It adds flavors to any dish they accompany. Persian bible ascribed the longevity of Abraham by consumption of yogurt and 100 years ago Metchnikoff also told the secret about the long life of Bulgarians that is consumption of milk
Microbes Help in Maintaining Ecosystem
Microorganisms help in maintaining the balance of life in our environment. These microbes are also act as bio fertilizers because they increase the amount of nutrient in soil which results in the increase in the growth of plants. Some of the microbes are phosphate solubilizers which convert the insoluble phosphate into soluble ones in order to make it available and usable by the plants. These solubilizers increase the crop yield and plant growth.
Mycorrhizae association is a mutualistic relationship between fungi and plant roots. They help in direct absorption of phosphorus, zinc and copper into the plant roots. They help in uptake of nutrients and plant survival in ecosystem. Most of the microbes and fungi feed on dead organic matter and decompose it by releasing many hydrolytic enzymes. About 85% of carbon is recycle by microbes and release the locked up nutrients in order to make it available for other microbes to use. They also help in process of bioremediation which help to remove toxins from underground wells, chemical and oil spills.
Use of Microbes on Genetic Engineering
Microbes are widely used in genetic engineering techniques. They help in producing Human growth hormone, insulin, and reprogrammed viruses. Certain fungi have anti-cancer properties and are used for curing cancer patients. CRISPR Cas 19 gene is found in bacteria and it is currently used as gene editing tool. Certain bacteria can become a “living biosensor” that help to find chemicals in patches of soil that are exposed to ultraviolent light. Bacteria are currently being tested as the core component of self-replicating concrete. Viruses are also called as future of nanotechnology.
Early scientist treats diabetic patients with insulin, isolated from pancreases of slaughtered cows and pigs but now it is produced by genetically engineered bacteria in the pure form which is less likely to cause allergic reaction. This insulin is fermented in large stainless steel tanks and is produce in large amount and it is inexpensive and time saving process.