Once a man was considered the king of nature, and now the pendulum swung in the opposite direction and widely spread the opinion that the world is ruled by microbes… Captured him many millions… no – billions!.. many billions of years ago and rule, rule, rule… And us, too, rule. And they will rule forever, because no one can cope with them…
Stop! Let’s immediately define the terms, because the correct terminology is a necessary condition for a correct conversation, and we will have such a conversation about microorganisms.
Microorganisms or microbes are called living organisms that can not be seen with the naked eye, because they are too small for this. The Greek word “Micros” means “small”.
With “microorganisms” everything is clear – it is “small organisms”. But where did the letter “b” on the end of the word “microbe” – to the uninitiated is not clear. And she took it from another Greek word – “BIOS”, meaning “life”. “Microbe” is “little life.” And you probably thought that little life is summer?
By the way, among the microorganisms there are those that can be seen with the naked eye. For example, the marine resident Thiomargarita namibiensis, whose name means “Sulfur Pearl of Namibia,” is a ball, reaching a diameter of seven tenths of a millimeter. For comparison, the diameter of the stellate sturgeon eggs in an average of one millimeter.
A sulphur Pearl from Namibia… You must be intrigued by such a sonorous name, similar to the Indian names from the novels of Fenimore Cooper or Karl May?
The pearl – because round and “shines”.
Sulfur – because it contains microscopic granules of sulfur, refractive light in such a way that it turns out something like radiance.
Well, “from Namibia” does not need explanations – in what region was first found, in honor of that and called.
Pallidum, plicatilis reaches a length of up to polukilometre, but it is not evident as good as the Black Pearl of Namibia. “Thick” glowing ball visible much better than a thin “spring”.
Here is another clarification – not all microorganisms consist of one cell, there are among them multicellular. Or rather – conditionally multicellular. For example, living in water filamentous bacteria are filaments up to one centimeter long, consisting of several cells separated by partitions. This is not a simple accumulation of microorganisms, but a cluster with a “hint” of a single organism – threads, have a common shell of mucus produced by cells, and are capable of performing sliding movements! How bacteria negotiate with each other when combined into a thread and in other cases will be discussed in the sixth Chapter.
Among filamentous bacteria there are predators that can capture and digest other microorganisms. On one end of such threads there is a dexterous device resembling a mouth.
Cells of predatory filamentous bacteria have a common internal environment – they are connected to each other by something like channels.
But formally filamentous bacteria (and all of them like) are not considered as a whole multicellular organism, but as a cluster of unicellular organisms. They do not “reach” the honorary title of a multicellular organism… However, they do not care. As the saying goes, “though a pot name, only in an oven do not put”.
And among the microorganisms there are non-cellular forms…
However, let’s not get distracted from the topic of the omnipotence of microbes. With their diversity and features of the structure we will learn in the next Chapter.
What is the basis of the myth of the omnipotence of microorganisms? Any concept (and myth is a concept, a certain system of views) has a “Foundation” on which this concept is based. Even if the myth looks completely implausible and has nothing to do with reality, it still has to rely on something. At least for some other myth. What’s so surprising about that? Fiction on fiction – so the whole “pyramid of Cheops” from inventions can be constructed. And build same! And not blush.
First of all, the myth of the omnipotence of microorganisms is based on their ancient origin… According to the modern scientific version, life on our planet began with single-celled organisms, which for a very long time, more than three billion years, owned the entire planet, more precisely – all the water on the planet, because the protective ozone layer, allowed life to get out of the water on land, formed in the atmosphere of our planet “only” four hundred and something million years ago. The age of the Earth, if anyone does not know, is about four and a half billion years. That is, for two thirds of its existence, the Earth belonged to microorganisms…
“Owned? – surprised supporters of TMV – theory of microbial omnipotence. Ha! Ha! And again ha! The earth still belongs to microbes. They’re the hosts, and we’re just guests!»
If we proceed from the widespread prevalence of microorganisms, we can say that our planet really belongs to them. Organisms live everywhere and anywhere. They can be found at the bottom of the deepest depressions of the World ocean, and on the tops of mountains, and in deserts, and in Antarctic ice… Microorganisms can live in the earth’s crust at a depth of four kilometers (it becomes hotter even for them), and in the atmosphere they can be found at altitudes of about twenty kilometers! Twenty kilometers! At such heights not to eagles, but not every aircraft is able to climb. And microorganisms – rise, or rather they are entered there, updrafts of warm air. Warm air is known to be lighter than cold, and therefore it rises, taking with it microorganisms or their spores – a special form of existence in adverse living conditions.
What does a person who is in unfavorable conditions do? He tries to survive, overcomes something, adapts to something… Some microorganisms believe that it is not necessary to fuss-to overcome. It is better to wait – sooner or later the conditions will change. And it is best to wait out in the form of spores – cells, reduced in volume due to partial loss of water, and surrounded by an additional dense shell. Spores are very resistant, some of them can withstand two-three-hour boiling or cooling to -200 °C! And it is more convenient to settle disputes over large areas, because partially dehydrated cell has a smaller mass and is further transferred by air flows.
And microbes live on our skin and inside our body. And not only us with you had a chance such “happiness”, and all multicellular organisms. Microbiologists jokingly say that humans are nothing more than a thermostat for bacteria. Oh, seriously? If you think about it, it’s not a joke, but the truth. The bitter truth… the Fact that the insidious microbes not only inhabited all living multicellular organisms, and enslaved them and slowly, imperceptibly for their “owners”, manage them as they want. As beneficial to microbes, so they manage. Small and which big, just take aback.
The antiquity of origin plus the ubiquity of distribution – it is in itself, as they say now, cool and powerful, but in fact everything is much steeper and more powerful – all the multicellular on our planet is in the power of a single cell. And this is not the idea of a fantastic novel, but real life in all its unsightly glory.
It hurts, doesn’t it? We think, or rather – we thought of ourselves as the Crown of Creation, the Kings of Nature and the Most Perfect Beings on the planet (or even in the whole Universe), but according to the theory of microbial omnipotence, we are just walking reasonable thermostats. And reasonable whether? Is it possible to consider us reasonable, in the full sense of the word, if in fact we are controlled by microbes? It’s about the way we control drones and other remote-controlled equipment. Formally, the drone is free and from the outside it may seem that he chooses where and at what height he fly. And that man with the remote in his hands had nothing to do with it, he’s playing some kind of game. But really… there’s probably no Need to go on. And so everything is clear.
You want proof that we’re controlled by microorganisms?
It has long been known what an important role microorganisms play in our digestion. Invisible, but numerous and highly diverse set, inhabitants of sufferers help us digest food. Without them, we would not have coped with this task. Yes, we have different digestive enzymes that can break down both proteins, and fats, and carbohydrates, but nevertheless we can not do with enzymes alone. Whether enzymes are not produced enough, or we eat too much, but we have to give microorganisms the right to live in our intestines in exchange for assistance in digestion. Scientifically, such relationships between organisms in which each partner benefits from the other are called symbiosis, and the partners themselves are symbionts. Microbes are our symbionts. And we are their thermostats, that is, also symbionts.
What is good digestion from a biological point of view? This is the main basis of normal life of the body. If the food is digested poorly, the body does not receive all the necessary substances and suffers, sometimes very much, until death. Dibs! dibs!
Help in digestion is not limited. Microscopic inhabitants of our intestine produce the vitamins we need and stimulate our immunity… by the Way, did you know that the number of microbes that live normally in our body is ten times the number of our own cells? Here’s how! And after that we still dare to think about some independence and independence? In vain!
You might say, “Well, what with the fact that we live in the intestine these are useful microbite? They live in the intestine, not in the brain, which controls our body. Therefore, they cannot control us. Even with all his desire.”
Let’s delve and understand.
Our brain is connected to our intestines by a so-called vagus nerve. This nerve got its name because it “wanders” through the body for a long time, connecting with the brain everything that comes its way, starting with the muscles of the sky and ending with the liver. The vagus nerve carries impulses not only from the brain to the organ, but also in the opposite direction. From brain go “command” pulses, causing an action, and the organs of “information” or “signal”. For example, when a certain area of intestinal mucosa is irritated, a certain signal is sent to the brain, which causes certain consequences in the form of a “command” impulse. In translation, this impulse may sound like this: “Cells of the mucous membrane of such a site! On the basis of the information received I order you to produce more mucus to protect the area of irritation from further damage!”. Or, let’s say, ” the Cells of the muscular membrane of such a part of the intestine! Cut more intensely to remove food masses from the irritated area as soon as possible!»
That’s right, that’s right, that’s the way it was supposed to be. But let’s make one mA-a-scarlet correction, or rather clarification. This microbes that lived in this area, it took a large amount of mucus, their favorite Goodies, or they had to move forty centimeters further, and did not want to go on foot, so they “muddied” such an insidious provocation – isolated substances that irritate the mucous membrane and achieved the desired result. Manipulation in its purest form! Any intriguer will envy.
The microbes in our gut decide a lot for us… to Say “decide everything” would not be quite right, because something is beyond their capabilities, but “a lot” is also impressive, isn’t it?
Sending signals to the brain along the nerves is only one of the “control levers”. There is another – the production of special substances that are absorbed from the intestine into the blood and transported to the brain, and there have a certain effect. For example, they increase or decrease appetite or encourage us to eat certain food that our respected symbionts like.
But fact! Microorganisms are able to synthesize substances that directly or indirectly affect various centers in our brain. “Indirectly” means that the microorganism produces not the active substance itself, but its chemical predecessor, which turns into an active substance in the nerve cells of the brain.
Do you like the taste of oysters or, say, marbled beef steak? Do you prefer to wash down your food with pomegranate juice? And you think to yourself: “Oh, what a gourmet I am (or gourmet)!”? Allow me to disappoint you – it’s not you’re a foodie or gurmanka, and your gut microbes. If they need those substances, which in large numbers contain in oysters, then you will go down on oysters recent money, and after be surprised: “That this on me has found? It would be better to buy pasta and buckwheat for the future, because before the salary another week and a half…” Unfortunately, ruthless and heartless microbes do not care about the state of your finances. You are interested in them purely as a regulator and supplier of the necessary food.
It so happens that a convinced meat eater on the fifth ten of his steak-steak existence suddenly turns into a persistent convinced vegetarian. Eating only salads Yes, vegetable soups, and past the kebab and all sorts of different steakhouses is trying to take a quick step, because of the smell of roasted meat he begins to feel sick. And the smell of stewed meat. And with a rich broth, and even brain bone may well faint to happen.
Surrounding wondering – what happened to the man? Why did he suddenly switch from meat patties to carrots, and so suddenly? The answer is simple, as the eaten egg is intestinal microbes “switched” it to the vegetarian mode as among them for some reason began to prevail those which for activity are necessary the substances containing in vegetable food. And before that was dominated by fans of animal fats, but “meat” proteins.
In the opposite scenario, an unwavering vegan for no reason will begin to eat beef tartare and steaks of minimal roasting. Do not be surprised by the sudden metamorphosis, you need to delve into the essence of what is happening, to dig up to the root causes.
Has it ever happened to you that you did not like some exquisite dish, the taste of which is accepted to admire? All eat, smacking his lips with pleasure, and you tried and you, as is now customary to say, “not gone”? Do not rush to record yourself in “dunno”. The thing is that you do not have microbes in your gut that like this exquisite dish. And those who smacks of pleasure, they have.
Similarly, symbiotic microbes tell you to stop when they don’t need more food. Or give the command: “Eat more!”when they, for some reason, increase the need for nutrients. It is the machinations of these invisible manipulators that explain all the “paradoxes” of our appetite – we do not eat when we are supposed to want to eat, we suddenly want to eat an hour after a hearty lunch or at dinner we eat three times more than usual and wonder – why would such a “zhor” attack me? And the thing symbiotes-manipulators. We only think that we make our own decisions, but in fact it is done for us by the microbes living in our body. Figuratively speaking, microbes turn us in the right direction and push us in the back, and we move in a given direction and revel in our independence.
Speaking of obesity. If you think that the problem of excess weight is not associated with microbial symbionts, it is very very wrong. Connected, and how connected! The amount of calories absorbed by our body from food depends on the composition of our intestinal microflora! Microbes can “take away” from us a part of calories for the needs, and can not “take away”. And they themselves can produce nutrients for us. Unselfishly, as a thank you for the accommodation provided. And it is because of these here unselfish “gifts” many people who are overweight, can not lose weight. Limit your diet so that just look scary and Libra day-to-day show “original” weight. Miracles? Miracles do not happen, it is gut microbes secretly “fed” his “owner” (the word “owner” is not accidental in quotes, because in our symbiosis with microbes, the true masters of the situation are germs, and not we, alas). So before you start to lose weight, you need to “negotiate” with their microbes, to enlist their support… But seriously, then try to somehow remove from your gut these “secret breadwinners”, otherwise from dietary suffering will not be any good.
And those same (that’s how I want instead of “very” to write “vile”) microbes can encroach on the Holy of holies – into our gene pool! And it is encroaching! By horizontal gene transfer. If someone does not know, the horizontal transfer of genes is the process in which one organism transfers genetic material to another organism, and – not a descendant. The transfer of genes from ancestors to descendants is called vertical transfer.
Please think about what you have just read.
In our bodies there lives an incredible number and variety of microbes. And they can all secretly exchange genes with our own cells. Why would they? And just like that! If there is such an opportunity, why not take it? Perhaps the microbes have some benefit from this exchange-transfer, otherwise they would not have been engaged in it. And you and me? Scarcely. We are much more highly organized beings, what could be the use of “microbial” genes?
Are you scared? However, read on. Ignorance has never made life easier for anyone. Do not be like an ostrich, thrusting his head into the sand with fear. The more that frightened ostriches don’t neither, and act intelligently – run away on their powerful legs.
Allergic diseases are the scourge of our time. Every second person is allergic to something. People conscientiously swallow antiallergic drugs, avoid products for which they are allergic and the like, but few people think about where that came from… And the root cause, the trigger for the development of the disease can be a violation of the “microbial” balance in the body.
It is possible to develop the theory of microbial omnipotence and to give examples confirming it indefinitely. This theme is deep and immense as the ocean. But you and I, for an idea of the omnipotence of these ubiquitous Invisibles, said will be enough.