Bacteria and Viruses (The Lucent Library of Science and by Peggy Thomas

By Peggy Thomas

They're liable for a few of the deadliest illnesses, but they play an essential position in keeping lifestyles on the earth. In Bacteria and Viruses, find out about the scientists who came upon them, how we struggle the dangerous ones, and the way important microbes can be utilized to enhance our lives.

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62 Bacteria and Viruses In the short time since West Nile virus first appeared, scientists have learned a great deal about it. The virus’s ability to replicate is closely related to the weather. At 70 degrees Fahrenheit, it takes the virus three weeks to multiply to a point where it is transferable to another animal. At 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the time is shortened to two weeks, and during spells with temperatures higher than 90 degrees Fahrenheit, it takes only one week. The hotter the weather, the more infectious the disease becomes.

Each time someone uses an antibiotic, the majority of the bacteria are killed but not all. These heartier microbes are left to multiply and spread their resistance to the next generation. Within four years of the widespread use of penicillin in the 1940s, doctors saw evidence of microbes that had grown resistant to it. Even Alexander Fleming himself warned the public in a New York Times interview of the dangers of taking antibiotics. ” 19 As each new antibiotic came on the market, a microbe came along that could withstand the toxic effects.

The virus attacks the nervous system and infects the brain, causing a difficult and painful death. Pasteur knew that a weakened germ worked as a vaccine against other diseases in animals and believed that a similar treatment for humans should work against rabies. He injected Joseph with the weakened vaccine and increased the dose daily. After fourteen days Joseph Meister was stronger and had made history. He became the first person to survive rabies. More Vaccines Pasteur’s success inspired a concerted effort to develop vaccines for other dreadful diseases, but it did not happen quickly.

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