A Battle We Need To Live On Forever

By: Austin Weathers

Coccolithophores vs. Viruses

Coccolithophores are fighting a battle every day. They live in the ocean and there are millions of them in just a teaspoon of ocean water. Viruses attack these Coccolithophores everyday and many die every day.

One way they fight off viruses is when one coccolithophore gets infected they send a signal to the other coccolithophores to warn them about the enemy attack that is soon to come. Another way they help stop virus attacks is that when they know a virus is coming they turn scaly which prevents the virus from attacking them. The reason they don't stay scaly forever is because when they are scaly they can't be and function the best way possible. The last resort for a coccolithophore is suicide. For example, if they see a virus coming and they can't act quickly they will kill themselves. Although, viruses have done this for so long that they've figured out how to slow this process down.

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Why Is This Battle Important?

Coccolithophores have a white shell surrounding them and when the virus attacks and takes over the cell the shell falls off. This creates a small/milky area in the ocean and because many deaths of these coccolithophores happen everyday you can usually see a giant milky spot in the ocean from space at every moment in the day. The reason this is important is because this battle accounts for 1/2 of the oxygen we breath. Without this battle we may not be alive. Not only do coccolithophores vs. their virus create oxygen, but also the battle phytoplankton are in. These battles are essential to life on earth and that's why they need to live on forever.

Bacteria That Will Help us Use Resources Wisely

Methanogens can reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. They’re classified as archaea, similar to bacteria . They live where there is very little oxygen (an anaerobic environment). There are many kinds of methanogens. Some live in ice, some live in hot springs. Methanogens produce methane, an odorless, colorless, very flammable gas. The gas can be used as a natural gas substitute with and can power stoves, etc.

Bacteria In our forests

Rhizobia benefit plants. They “fix” nitrogen, in other words, they combine nitrogen from the air with hydrogen from water to form Rhizobia. Rhizobia infect the roots of legumes. Beans, peas, clover and alfalfa are common legume crops. The infected roots form lumps called nodules. The infection is symbiotic, or it forms a partnership with the plant. Rhizobia provide the plants with nitrogen, and essential nutrient. The root nodules provide rhizobia with sugars and water and a very low level of oxygen. This is one of the reasons why we have so much oxygen.