Tic Tac Toe
#1, #2, #3 - Bryan Nguyen, 7th
#1 - The Role of Bacteria in the World
A War We Need
How do Bacteria fight off Viruses?Signals from beneficial bacteria are essential for optimal immune system responses to viral infections. Our immune systems have evolved to allow bacteria to send signals in order to defend our bodies from viral infections.
What is the Importance of the War?
This war between bacteria and viruses is important as without the very nature of it, none of us would be currently existing today. It is happening on such a large-scale, that you can even view blooms of bacteria in the oceans from outer space. Trillions of ocean-dwelling bacteria are being infected by viruses everyday, though they have the ability to be successful in the competitive environment with viruses because they can manage to grow constantly by converting carbon molecules into carbon dioxide, which plays a major factor in Earth's carbon cycle.
EcosystemCyanobacteria can be found almost anywhere on land and sea. For example, oceans, freshwater, damp soil, moistened rocks in the desert, bare rock and soil and even Antarctic rocks. They are found in almost every endolithic ecoysystem and can be endosymbiotic with lichens, plants, protists, or sponges, which provide them with energy. Some can even live in sloth fur, which acts as camouflage.
Half of the primary production (production of chemical energy in organic compounds by living organisms) on Earth is done in the ocean and half of that is done by bacteria. These cyanobacteria take carbon dioxide from the air and turn it into organic parts of their own cells and release oxygen similar to plants. They make oxygen available to other organisms through their process of photosynthesis.
Bacteria as Decomposers
Bacteria are very widely distributed across the Earth. For example, a gram of soil typically contains 40 million bacterial cells and they form a biomass that is larger than all living plants and animals.
Bacteria are important as decomposers as they can break down about any type of organic matter. This is vital in the recycling of nutrients, especially in the soil, for example, which allows nutrients to be available to other organisms. In an ocean ecosystem, bacterial decomposition is important for the existence of rare elements like iron. They can even act as food sources for other organisms.
#2 - HIV/AIDs
How it Began and Spread
- Antiretroviral drugs - used to hinder the virus
- Unfortunately, these drugs are very expensive and there is no guarantee of benefits to the user and not to mention, potential side effects
- Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) - kills HIV in the bloodstream, but cannot completely eliminate the virus from the body as some will be able to survive
- Radioimmunotherapy - use of radioimmunotherapy on HIV-infected cells that have received prior antiretroviral treatment was successful
#3 - Killer Protists
- Causes an infection known as Trichomoniasis
- Person to person (sexual contact)
- ~70% of infected do not show any symptoms
- symptoms sometimes can appear within 5-28 days after infection and may come and go
- can range from mild irritation to severe inflammation
- Male - itching, irritation, burning sensation
- Female - itching, burning, redness, soreness, discomfort
- Causes a diarrheal illness known as Giardiasis
- found on surfaces (soil, food, water contaminated with feces from infected organisms)
- contaminated water is the most common method of transmission
- 66% of infected do not show any symptoms
- symptoms usually appear 1-2 weeks after infection and may come and go cyclically
- untreated symptoms may last for 6+ weeks
- loss of appetite
- hematuria (blood in urine)
- loose/watery stool
- stomach cramps
- upset stomach
- projectile vomiting (not common)
- excessive gas
- usually sulfurous burping
- Causes the most dangerous form of the parasitic disease, malaria (malignant/faliciparum malaria)
- transmitted through the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito
- symptoms usually appear 10-15 after the infectious mosquito bite
- First symptoms - fever, headache, chills, vomiting
- After 24 hours without treatment, the malaria can progress to sever illness often leading to death
- Severe malaria symptoms in children - severe anaemia, respiratory distress, or cerebral malaria
- Causes African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) in humans and Animal trypanosomiasis (nagana) in animals
- transmitted through the bite of an infected tsetse fly
- symptoms begin 1-3 weeks after the bite
- First stage (haemolymphatic phase) - fever, headache, itchiness, joint pain
- Second stage (neurological phase) - parasite invades the central nervous system by passing through the blood-brain barrier and causes confusion, poor coordination, numbness, and especially sleep disruption