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Escherichia coli in a microbial mat http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:E-coli-in-color.jpg?uselang=en-gbIf we look around us, we won't be able to see all the bacteria but that doesn't mean they're not every where! For example, did you know that the average computer keyboard has 100 times more bacteria lurking on its surfaces than an ordinary toilet seat? Think about it - computer keyboards don't get cleaned half as much as toilets do, yet we're touching them all the time with our filthy hands. But a keyboard will never be as nasty as that washing up sponge lurking in your kitchen - read this page to find out more about the dangers lurking in your sink.

Before I scare you with tales of dangerous microbes, I should point out that it is only 1% of known bacterial species that can make us ill. The rest of the bacterial world is harmless or actually helps our day to day lives. Life as we know it wouldn't exist without bacteria. We wouldn't have beer or cheese to start with, and our digestive systems would be pretty messed up too. After all, 90% of the cells making up a human body are in fact bacterial, and the bacteria in our guts weighs in at about 1 kg! These bacteria carry out various important processes in the body, helping us break down our food and maybe even protecting us from the harmful effects of disease-causing microbes.

Bacillus anthracis growing in cerebrospinal fluid. Image by J. Jernigan et al, and members of the Anthrax Bioterrorism Investigation Team. "Bioterrorism-Related Inhalational Anthrax: The First 10 Cases Reported in the United States". Emerging Infectious Diseases (Internet serial), 7(6), December 2001 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gram_Stain_Anthrax.jpgOur microbiology lab is home to loads of friendly bacteria, each with a story to tell! Click on the links on the right to meet some of them. Got a favorite microbe? Let's me know and I'll use my contacts in the bacterial world to get an interview. Check back soon for more bacteria info and to learn more about the wonderful world of microbes.

Want to take one of these little guys home with you? Visit Our shop to buy a range of science gifts for geeks, with mugs, stickers, buttons, t-shirts, accessories and much more available. Just remember to wash your hands afterwards.....



Please take a look at ilovebacteria.com's favourite new site, Superduperbugs.com and have on play on their awesome microbe-themed games. Your body is under attack from disease-causing bacteria. So what are you going to do?

'Germ Stories' by Arthur Kornberg brings the world of microbes to life. You can read a review of this book here

NEW! Agar Art - Works of art created on petri dishes with bacteria and fungi!


About Bacteria
What do bacteria look like?
Inside the bacterial cell

The Good Guys
Escherichia coli
Bacillus subtilis

The Bad Boys
Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Black death
Porphyromonas gingivalis
Chlamydia trachomatis
Salmonella typhi
Treponema pallidum
Proteus mirabilis
Streptococcus pyogenes
Neisseria gonorrhoeae
Helicobacter pylori
Mycobacterium leprae

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