Water: Water is the most important aspect of life on Earth, whether it be for us humans or microbes. Alcamo’s Microbes and Society states that the “microbial cytoplasm is water based”. From this we can see that water absolutely must be present for the microbe to continue its life. Microbes also depend on water to dissolve essential substances that they need to survive.
Temperature: Perhaps the most wide ranging factor that dictates microbial growth is temperature. Microbes have evolved to be able to sustain virtually any temperature possible on Earth. Certain microbes prefer cold temperatures ranging from 32°-68° F. Microbes preferring these temperatures are called psychrotrophs. “Microbes of this variety can be found deep in the ocean as well as in Arctic and Antarctic climates”. Another group of microbes called mesophiles, grow between 50° F and 113° F. Because of this range of temperature, “mesophiles can grow very well in the human body”. Due to the optimal environment of the human body, most pathogens that are harmful to humans are mesophiles. Yet another group of microbes, called thermophiles and hyperthermophiles, can grow at temperatures between 113° F and 250° F. These microbes are found in “compost heaps, hot springs, and thermal vents”.
Oxygen: Many mic...
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... able to thrive and grow under these extreme pressures. Unlocking this mystery will go a long way for us to understand how life first began on Earth, and also in helping us understand the possibility of life on other planets.
We have looked at five factors that can affect how a microbe lives and how it grows under the right circumstances. The ranges that a particular microbe needs to maintain its life is extremely vast. We have noticed how the conditions that the microbe may need must be absolutely perfect. We have also noticed how microbes can thrive in some of the most inhospitable conditions on the planet. We have also noticed how unlocking some of the secrets these microbes hold may help us to understand how life outside of this world may be possible. I hope after this study that our understanding of what microorganisms need to survive and grow has grown itself.
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