Top Portable Microscope Reviews

 

If you are looking for some kid-friendly microscopes to see bacteria, you need to learn a few things about how you can truly see these tiny microorganisms through the lenses of such a device. The first question to ask is what kind of magnification you need for such a purpose, and, if you don’t know the answer, you can check it out here.

Is a compound microscope a good idea?

Trying to see bacteria with the help of an average compound microscope may not be such a good idea due to certain factors. For starters, you need to have a magnification that goes up to 1000x and cannot be lower than 400x. Therefore, the microscope you intend to use must be able to handle this level of magnification.

Also, the overall optics quality must be superior. An average microscope cannot perform as it should if you were to examine bacteria. Besides excellent magnification, you need the lenses to be able to solve the details that you want to observe through the microscope.

 

Bacteria are challenging to focus

Your microscope should have a high magnification power, as described earlier, but that may not be enough. The device must also stabilize the picture, as you will notice that the bacterial cells can easily appear out of focus. Furthermore, if you want to make sure that you don’t have to deal with this issue too much, you should make sure that the layer of liquid between the cover and the slide is as thin as possible.

 

Another thing to know: they are transparent

It may not occur to you if you have never watched bacteria through a microscope and these little critters are transparent. Examining single individuals is close to impossible because they are completely see-through and clear in appearance. As they combine in colonies of bacteria, you will notice a certain colorization which makes it possible for you to examine bacteria properly.

Are there bacteria or something else?

How do you know if what you are looking at are actually bacteria? Speckles of dust and other small debris can contaminate your sample, and you’ll not know what you are observing. Also, as bacteria can clump around other particles, they become more difficult to observe. For all these reasons, you need a proper device, and that can be only a top quality model with high magnification.

 

Why can’t we observe bacteria with the naked eye?

Bacteria, as you may well know by now, are tiny microorganisms that can be found all around us. They can live in the soil, on any living organisms, and even inside us. Their diameter can be as little as 0.2um, and their length is about 2 to 8um.

 

A few things about magnification and lenses

We talked earlier about magnification, but we must offer an additional explanation so that you understand how to use a microscope for bacteria a little better. For instance, you must know that there are two sets of lenses. One is the objective lens which is the closest to the slide; it will create an image of the sample that is enlarged and turned upside down.

The second set of lenses represents the eyepiece. The primary role of the eyepiece is to offer extra magnification so that you can examine the bacteria in your sample more thoroughly.

To obtain the magnification of a device, you have to multiply the magnification of the objective lens with that of the eyepiece. So, when you hear that a microscope has a 10x magnification eyepiece, but it comes with three different objectives of the next values: 4x and 10x, the actual magnification the microscope offers is between 40x and 400x, with a 100x level in-between.

What is the microscope resolution?

You don’t need only great magnification, but also good resolution. That means that you must pay attention to the various technological specs of different units. The objective lens is the one that provides the resolution, as the eyepiece will only magnify what the objective delivers. This is a pretty important piece of information, as you must not neglect the power of the objective lens.

Also, no matter how great the eyepiece magnification, it will not be able to make the picture of what you see clearer if the objective lenses it comes along with are of inferior values.

 

Various magnification levels and what they can identify

Here is a short guide on what your microscope can see, depending on its magnification. You will be able to tell which ones are better for examining bacteria and running various experiments.

40x models are useful for seeing large cells. You won’t be able to study details, and bacteria are out of the question. But, for school projects that only involve some basic examination of various samples, such units can be all right.

At 100x magnification, you will start to see something akin to small dots. These dots are bacteria, but we are still far from being able to say that you can examine bacteria properly. One advantage is that the depth of field remains decent at this magnification and you can see the entire specimen. Focusing is not yet an issue.

At 400x, you will start to examine bacteria as you wish. You will also be capable of noticing cell divisions and even chromosomes. Bacteria are visible, too, and you can observe their shape and other details. However, you must be aware that you’ll have to get handy with the focusing knob as you will not be able to hold a stable image for long.

Finally, 1000x magnification is what you must have for observing bacteria as you should. But, be aware that your unit should have great stabilization features. Losing focus is easy at this level of magnification, and that’s why not any microscope will do. Also, you must use immersion oil to obtain better resolution.

Electron microscopes, without a doubt, are ideal for observing bacteria. However, they are mainly used by professionals, and they are more expensive than their compound counterparts.

 

 

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If you are interested in examining the various bacteria living inside the human body, you may do so by simply using a mobile app, provided that you have iPhone microscope adapters at hand to transmit the information from your microscope to your mobile device. Some bacteria can be examined with the help of microscope kits for students if the respective units are strong enough.

While we all know that there are plenty of bacteria living on and inside us, how much are we talking about? The following information will shed some light on the matter.

Are there ten times more bacteria than human cells inside the body?

For many years, this theory was considered gospel by the entire scientific community, but lately, it has come under scrutiny, and other opinions say that the number is not by far as much.

But where did the initial theory come from? It appears that a 1972 study followed by another in 1977 conducted by Dwayne Savage was at the root of these estimates. The findings of the study pointed out that there is a ten to one ratio for bacteria versus human cells in the body.

Recently, a study conducted at the Weizmann Institute in Israel pointed out an error in such estimates. The numbers don’t lie, and the scientists discovered that around 39 trillion bacteria cells could be found inside the human body.

They compared this number to that of human cells. This total number rises to 30 trillion cells, of which around 84% are red blood cells. As you can easily see, the ratio is no longer ten to one, but much smaller. The calculus rounds up to 1.3 bacterial cells to one human cell, so the findings from the 1970s can no longer be considered actual.

 

How did the error happen?

The next question would be how the error happened in the first place. For that, we need to see how the study from the 1970s was conducted. The scientists involved in the research measured the number of bacteria found in one gram of human feces. The amount they identified was 100 billion, and they multiplied this number by 1,000 to estimate the total number of bacteria.

As they believed that the bacteria mainly exist in the digestive tract and that they are spread in an even manner, they took the volume of the digestive system of one liter as their measuring unit.

At the same time, at the time, it was believed that there are 10 trillion cells inside the human body, with the vast majority of them being red blood cells. That is how they got to the point of believing that there are ten times more bacteria than human cells in the body.

How was the new study conducted?

The new findings indicate that there was a fundamental error in how the first research was carried on. For starters, they did not use the same principle that said that the bacteria are spread evenly throughout the digestive tract. Instead, they used as a starting point the fact that the bacteria live mostly inside the colon, so the amount of microorganisms found in human feces is much higher.

Using as a reference an average male between 20 and 30 years all, 5.6 tall and weighing 155 pounds, they established that there are about 39 trillion bacterial cells inside the human body. At the same time, they calculated the number of human cells at three times more than what the 1970s studies said, thus reaching the 1.3:1 ratio of bacteria to human cells.

 

Is this number the same for all people?

A natural question is whether we can say that each individual living on planet Earth has the same number of bacteria living inside of him or her. As you may easily suspect, these numbers are only estimates, and they can vary quite a lot from one person to another.

For instance, scientists say that the number may vary from 30 to 50 trillion. Also, it appears that women tend to have a more significant amount of bacterial cells because they also have a lower number of red blood cells.

Do the bacteria make the human microbiota alone?

No, bacteria are not the only microorganisms living inside the human body, and they are not the only ones that create what is known as the human microbiome. Besides bacteria, there are also fungi, viruses, and other microorganisms that form this complex system with which we live in a symbiotic relationship. If we were to calculate all these cells, the ratio might be different, but, as far as bacteria are concerned, the recent studies show the precise numbers.

 

Are there any biological implications for these studies?

While microbiology is a fascinating disciple, such findings don’t have significant biological implications, and they only serve for us to understand the human body better. What we need to bear in mind is that the human microbiome is quite complex.

Also, most of the bacteria living inside and on the human body is benign, and only under certain circumstances, they can create problems for human health. It is interesting, nonetheless, that so much of our bodies are made of bacteria.

That means that we live in perfect symbiosis with microbes and some of them, or, as scientists say, most of them, are beneficial for the human body. Bacteria serve in the study and research of new cures and treatments, and they can be used to identify cures for various illnesses and health conditions.

That means that even if learning that there are so many bacteria living inside us may sound astonishing, it is nothing but a fact of life. Also, if you ever hear someone speaking of the ratio of bacteria to human cells being ten to one, you can jump into the conversation and correct him or her with the new facts established by the most recent study on the topic.

 

 

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You may find it difficult to imagine, but the human body is home to many bacteria, fungi, and viruses, and not all are malign, and you can see this article for more information on the topic. They are invisible to the naked eye, but a digital microscope for iPhone may be enough to help you see them in all their glory. Here are some microorganisms that live inside your body without your knowledge.

Staphylococcus epidermidis

By its name, you might be able to tell that these bacteria like living on the skin. While your entire skin is game for what they do to thrive, there are certain areas that the bacteria prefer. For instance, they are the reason why our armpits smell. That’s the kind of place they like, and the armpits are just part of it.

While you may not enjoy the fact that the Staphylococcus epidermidis bacteria practically make you smell bad, they have an essential role, which is to keep malign bacteria, like the Staphylococcus aureus, at bay.

 

Streptococcus salivarius

This is a type of bacteria that live inside the mouth. Also, it lives in the digestive tract, and it is one of the first microorganisms we are exposed to right after birth. While it regulates inflammatory processes in the body and it is mostly harmless, the Streptococcus salivarius can be considered what experts call an opportunistic pathogen.

However, the good outweighs the bad in this case and the fact that these bacteria can attack and even kill harmful bacteria like listeria and Staphylococcus aureus make them our allies.

 

Lactobacillus acidophilus

Most of the bacteria found in the human body reside in the intestines, and the Lactobacillus acidophilus is one of them. It has quite an important role, as it breaks down lactose and produces what is called lactic acid. It is a probiotic and plays a vital role in the health of your gut.

Escherichia coli

coli, as it is known for short, has a bad reputation, as contaminations and illnesses have been reported in relation to these bacteria. There is a particular strain that is rightfully blamed for the pathogenic effects it has on human health, but there are plenty of other strains that are not malign.

Actually, besides being harmless, these bacteria help the overall health of the digestive tract. They live naturally inside the human body, and also in those of some animals.

 

   Methano-brevibacter smithii

Other bacteria that live happily inside the gut carry this difficult to spell name. Their primary role is to break down complex sugars, and therefore they are essential for the proper functioning of your digestive system.

As bacterial fermentation takes place inside the human gut, a large quantity of hydrogen is released. When this becomes too much, the processes taking place here are slowed down, and there is less yield of energy from breaking down foods like the ones mentioned. That is where the Methano-brevibacter smithii intervenes by reducing the amount of hydrogen.

 

Bifidobacterium longum

Another type of gut bacteria that keep us healthy is the Bifidobacterium longum. It is a probiotic, and its primary purpose is to bind with the cells that make the walls of the intestines. This way, the bacteria create a system of defense that doesn’t allow harmful bacteria to go through.

These bacteria are resistant to gastric acid and bile, and that’s how they manage to live in a highly acidic environment that is your stomach. Like many other probiotics, they play an essential role in keeping not only your gut but your entire body healthy.

Bifidobacterium bifidum

While yogurt commercials might overuse the name of these bacteria, you should know that their role is paramount in your digestion. They also are the guardians of our immune system, and they maintain the proper balance between benign and malign bacteria inside the body.

These bacteria are the most common, and it is safe to say that human life would not be possible without them. Any imbalance in their presence might open the gate to pathogens and illnesses, which is why it is essential to maintain a healthy flora inside our gut.

 

Enterococcus faecalis

Living in the gastrointestinal tract, the Enterococcus faecalis is, most of the time, harmless, and it plays a role in keeping you healthy. However, for people with a weakened immune system, these bacteria can create the perfect environment for disease.

If there’s a wound and these bacteria get into the bloodstream, they can cause severe infections. There is also a problem with the fact that they can be resilient to antibiotic medicine and they can survive in any environment. That makes treating infections with the Enterococcus faecalis quite tricky.

 

Toxoplasma gondii

If we have talked so far about bacteria living on the skin and inside the body with a role in digestive processes and not only, now it’s the perfect moment to talk about a microorganism with a pretty interesting profile: Toxoplasma gondii.

Present in various percentages of populations across the world – in some areas even in about 84% of those living there – these microorganisms are thought to be responsible for the recklessness of some people. Studies also show that people who tend to be involved in traffic accidents are more likely to have these bacteria than those who like to play it safe.

 

Haemophilus

These bacteria live in the mucous membrane of your respiratory tract, but it also exists in the digestive tract and vagina. Its pathogenic effects are often associated with influenza, and that’s what the bacteria are best known for. In extreme cases, it can even lead to meningitis, so its pathological manifestations are quite severe.

With up to 1,000 types of microorganisms living inside the human body, we are, without even knowing, the perfect environment for them to thrive. What we must remember is that we live in symbiosis with them and they are, for the most part, benign.

 

 

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With so many field microscopes for sale, it is easy to imagine that there are plenty of people who use them in the real world and that their careers demand the use of such a tool. Feel free to check out this post and see for yourself that many jobs involve microscopes and their many purposes.

Biologists

The first career that comes to mind when you’re thinking of microscopes and the people who use them is that of a biologist, without a doubt. Examining small creatures, samples collected from various living things, and other tasks can only be carried on if a microscope is used.

Researchers need to see the bacteria that grow in their samples so that they can identify methods to stop their growth, or, in the case of good bacteria, which can stimulate their further development. Such creatures are impossible to see with the naked eye, and that is why microscopes are a biologist’s most reliable tool.

They also use microscopes to examine the behavior of microorganisms, and in research, these are indispensable devices.

 

Forensics

How many times have you watched a crime show on TV and seen the forensic team collecting samples only to examine them later at the lab? Forensics is a pretty fascinating discipline that would not be possible without the use of a microscope. The evidence collected from the scene of the crime can offer a breakthrough for a case, so it is not to be overlooked.

Forensic specialists need to be able to operate a microscope and also understand what they are looking at when they examine the evidence samples provided by law enforcement. Besides analyzing biological samples, forensic specialists can also examine fabrics and other materials that can offer them insight into what happened at a particular moment at a specific location.

 

Jewelers

Do you know the difference between a fake diamond and a real one? With the naked eye, if a stone were counterfeited very well and resembled the real thing down to a tee, it would be impossible to give an honest answer to this question. But do you know who would be able to tell, for sure, whether a particular gemstone is real or fake?

The answer is a jeweler or a gemologist. These specialists use microscopes that can offer them the information they seek when they are looking at various gemstones. Diamonds, sapphires, and other precious stones have very particular crystal formations that these specialists know. Without them, they are nothing but fake stones, but no one except these specialists can tell the real ones from the counterfeited pieces.

Pathologists

They are not the people of whose existence you are aware when you visit a hospital, but pathologists play a pretty important role. They are the ones in charge of examining various tissue samples that are sent to the lab to identify the presence of cancer or other anomalies in cell growth that could be the cause of disease for multiple patients.

Also, they are the same people who are in charge of identifying the cause of death for those who died under unclear circumstances. Like forensic specialists, they may be required to work with law enforcement when they discover something that might lead to the identification of suspicious deaths.

 

Lab technicians

These specialists can work in many different fields. Their work with the help of a microscope is significant. They are the ones who examine blood samples sent by hospitals and other biological material that can lead to understanding various conditions and diseases.

When you send a blood sample to a lab to be analyzed, it is the lab technician working there that will work on your sample and then deliver you the results of your tests.

 

Geologists

While they work in an entirely different field from the ones mentioned so far, geologists carry on a critical task. They examine rocks and other formations that can supply them with valuable information on how Earth formed. They can look at various samples through the lenses of a microscope and establish where they come from and how old they are.

Their work is vital not only for informing us on what our planet has been through but also for letting others know of what may happen in the future. To give an example, geologists can establish a pattern for volcano eruptions by looking at stones collected from nearby areas.

Microbiologists

Careers that deal with the examination of bacteria and fungi need microbiologists, and these specialists, need powerful microscopes so that they can determine how such tiny microorganisms behave. They are involved in the development of vaccines and other preventive health-related disciplines, and they are often found in the laboratories operated by pharmaceutical companies.

 

Endocrinologists

These specialists focus on the hormonal imbalances and irregularities that may occur in patients. The study of hormones is called endocrinology, hence the name of this career. What endocrinologists do is that they take blood and tissue samples from patients and examine them under a microscope to establish whether a hormonal issue is the root of their problems.

A lot of conditions and diseases are related to hormonal issues. For instance, people who have heart diseases might be affected by such illnesses due to hormonal imbalances. The same happens with diabetes and infertility. By identifying the cause, endocrinologists can also work with other health care specialists to establish adequate treatments.

 

Wildlife biologists

People who are involved in the study of animals, their behavior, their habitat, and so on are called wildlife biologists, or zoologists, and their usual tasks often require the use of a microscope. They can also establish whether specific wildlife populations are affected by unique conditions and diseases by analyzing samples of blood and tissues under a microscope.

 

Botanists

Just like wildlife biologists, botanists have microscopes as their most trusted tools. The main difference is that they don’t examine animal samples, but those they collect from plants. They can establish how to improve the development of certain plants, and how to stop the spread of those that affect, for instance, crops.

 

 

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We move forward from our recent article and show you this time the five major types of infectious agents that exist around us. While researchers make good use of various equipment like microscopes to take on the field to identify these agents, a lot of work is put by other health care professionals into finding treatments and cure.

Viruses

Viruses are microorganisms that enter the human body in various ways. They are invisible to the naked eye, as they can have as little as 20 nanometers in diameter. Billions of them can exist in tiny areas which is why it is impossible to protect yourself entirely against their action. While they are small, they have all sorts of shapes.

They are made of nothing else but their DNA and a shell made of protein, intended to protect the genetic material inside. What you should know about viruses is that they are dormant when they are not in a type of environment that would allow them to thrive.

As soon as they find a gateway to living cells, they begin to reproduce. But they do not do it by themselves, but they use the metabolism of those cells to replicate themselves. That makes them parasites.

They will reproduce to the point that they can take over the living cells. Because they can’t be observed by themselves to create cures and treatments, some biological material like tissue or cells, is necessary for experiments.

You may have heard of some viruses as they are quite widespread, primarily through the unfortunate fame that the diseases they cause have, such as influenza or AIDS.

 

Bacteria

The second infectious agent we will discuss here is bacteria. These microorganisms may look gigantic compared to viruses, as they can be 100 times bigger, but they are still invisible, and we cannot learn of their existence without the assistance of a microscope. They usually have three different shapes: spherical, rod-like, and curved.

Like viruses, bacteria have a core made of their DNA, but they are a bit more evolved, as they also contain some structures that act as guardians against attacks, such as those that could come from antibiotic treatments.

However, bacteria are not much-evolved microorganisms, and they only contain one set of chromosomes. When they reproduce, they produce clones of themselves. Sometimes, under various circumstances, they can mutate, and that’s when they become resistant to multiple treatments.

Bacteria have been around since ancient times. There are even studies that show that they have been here for the last three billion years, as some fossils can attest. Their high adaptability makes them so resilient and a problem when they become an infectious agent. Throughout millennia, they learned how to make use of other living organisms to thrive.

Also, they have developed their weapons against what could destroy them, which is why human medicine must always evolve, as well. Attacking the immune system, bacteria can even kill the organism they choose to inhabit. Various infections, such as blood-related, those found in the urinary tract, tuberculosis, and strep throat, are caused by bacteria.

Fungi

The significant difference between fungi and the other infectious agents mentioned so far is that the former are multi-cellular. That means that they are more evolved, and their way of reproducing slightly differs, as well. An interesting aspect of fungi is that they use spores with a single cell, even if they are made from multiple cells.

With 51 million types of fungi on the planet, it is quite clear that fighting the infections caused by them is no easy task. Usually, fungi live on the skin and, as soon as there is a bruise, a cut, a breaking of the skin, they can use this opportunity to get inside the bloodstream, from where they can wreak havoc.

Sometimes, people can inhale fungal spores, and from their respiratory tract, a fungal infection can develop. When fungi infections affect the entire body, they are called systemic diseases.

What you should bear in mind is the particular relationship between fungi and bacteria. There are plenty of good bacteria living on the human skin and inside the body. If someone is under medication with antibiotics, bacteria may reduce, and that’s when fungi take over.

Some fungal infections are related to antibiotic treatments. That’s why prolonged administration of such drugs is not recommended. Also, people with a weak immune system are more likely to suffer from fungal infections. They can be located in many parts of the body, such as the mouth, the nose, the eyes, or the vagina.

 

Protozoa

The three categories of infectious agents mentioned above are the most widespread. However, there are still some others which are not as well-known but can still be made responsible for various diseases. Among them, there are protozoa, which are most evolved than fungi, bacteria, and viruses.

One aspect about them you should know is that they can live outside your body, unlike the other agents that remain dormant. Their evolution is quite interesting since they are mobile and can share some features with the animal reign.

The most common way of transmission is through feces, which is why washing your hands thoroughly after using the bathroom is highly recommended. One known infection caused by protozoa is amebic dysentery, to give you an example.

Helminths

While this scientific name might tell you nothing, it is the one chosen by scientists to describe some parasites that are well known to humankind. Helminths are worms, more specifically flatworms and roundworms. They can be tiny in their first stages of development, but, when they mature, they can be visible to the naked eye.

Most of the population is exposed to helminths and the infections they cause regularly, but the incidence of diseases is higher in tropical and subtropical areas. One explanation is the lack of proper sanitation in the countries found here.

 

 

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Scales | History, Benefits & Common Uses

 

If you are looking for some kid-friendly microscopes to see bacteria, you need to learn a few things about how you can truly see these tiny microorganisms through the lenses of such a device. The first question to ask is what kind of magnification you need for such a purpose, and, if you don’t know the answer, you can check it out here.

Is a compound microscope a good idea?

Trying to see bacteria with the help of an average compound microscope may not be such a good idea due to certain factors. For starters, you need to have a magnification that goes up to 1000x and cannot be lower than 400x. Therefore, the microscope you intend to use must be able to handle this level of magnification.

Also, the overall optics quality must be superior. An average microscope cannot perform as it should if you were to examine bacteria. Besides excellent magnification, you need the lenses to be able to solve the details that you want to observe through the microscope.

 

Bacteria are challenging to focus

Your microscope should have a high magnification power, as described earlier, but that may not be enough. The device must also stabilize the picture, as you will notice that the bacterial cells can easily appear out of focus. Furthermore, if you want to make sure that you don’t have to deal with this issue too much, you should make sure that the layer of liquid between the cover and the slide is as thin as possible.

 

Another thing to know: they are transparent

It may not occur to you if you have never watched bacteria through a microscope and these little critters are transparent. Examining single individuals is close to impossible because they are completely see-through and clear in appearance. As they combine in colonies of bacteria, you will notice a certain colorization which makes it possible for you to examine bacteria properly.

Are there bacteria or something else?

How do you know if what you are looking at are actually bacteria? Speckles of dust and other small debris can contaminate your sample, and you’ll not know what you are observing. Also, as bacteria can clump around other particles, they become more difficult to observe. For all these reasons, you need a proper device, and that can be only a top quality model with high magnification.

 

Why can’t we observe bacteria with the naked eye?

Bacteria, as you may well know by now, are tiny microorganisms that can be found all around us. They can live in the soil, on any living organisms, and even inside us. Their diameter can be as little as 0.2um, and their length is about 2 to 8um.

 

A few things about magnification and lenses

We talked earlier about magnification, but we must offer an additional explanation so that you understand how to use a microscope for bacteria a little better. For instance, you must know that there are two sets of lenses. One is the objective lens which is the closest to the slide; it will create an image of the sample that is enlarged and turned upside down.

The second set of lenses represents the eyepiece. The primary role of the eyepiece is to offer extra magnification so that you can examine the bacteria in your sample more thoroughly.

To obtain the magnification of a device, you have to multiply the magnification of the objective lens with that of the eyepiece. So, when you hear that a microscope has a 10x magnification eyepiece, but it comes with three different objectives of the next values: 4x and 10x, the actual magnification the microscope offers is between 40x and 400x, with a 100x level in-between.

What is the microscope resolution?

You don’t need only great magnification, but also good resolution. That means that you must pay attention to the various technological specs of different units. The objective lens is the one that provides the resolution, as the eyepiece will only magnify what the objective delivers. This is a pretty important piece of information, as you must not neglect the power of the objective lens.

Also, no matter how great the eyepiece magnification, it will not be able to make the picture of what you see clearer if the objective lenses it comes along with are of inferior values.

 

Various magnification levels and what they can identify

Here is a short guide on what your microscope can see, depending on its magnification. You will be able to tell which ones are better for examining bacteria and running various experiments.

40x models are useful for seeing large cells. You won’t be able to study details, and bacteria are out of the question. But, for school projects that only involve some basic examination of various samples, such units can be all right.

At 100x magnification, you will start to see something akin to small dots. These dots are bacteria, but we are still far from being able to say that you can examine bacteria properly. One advantage is that the depth of field remains decent at this magnification and you can see the entire specimen. Focusing is not yet an issue.

At 400x, you will start to examine bacteria as you wish. You will also be capable of noticing cell divisions and even chromosomes. Bacteria are visible, too, and you can observe their shape and other details. However, you must be aware that you’ll have to get handy with the focusing knob as you will not be able to hold a stable image for long.

Finally, 1000x magnification is what you must have for observing bacteria as you should. But, be aware that your unit should have great stabilization features. Losing focus is easy at this level of magnification, and that’s why not any microscope will do. Also, you must use immersion oil to obtain better resolution.

Electron microscopes, without a doubt, are ideal for observing bacteria. However, they are mainly used by professionals, and they are more expensive than their compound counterparts.

 

 

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If you are interested in examining the various bacteria living inside the human body, you may do so by simply using a mobile app, provided that you have iPhone microscope adapters at hand to transmit the information from your microscope to your mobile device. Some bacteria can be examined with the help of microscope kits for students if the respective units are strong enough.

While we all know that there are plenty of bacteria living on and inside us, how much are we talking about? The following information will shed some light on the matter.

Are there ten times more bacteria than human cells inside the body?

For many years, this theory was considered gospel by the entire scientific community, but lately, it has come under scrutiny, and other opinions say that the number is not by far as much.

But where did the initial theory come from? It appears that a 1972 study followed by another in 1977 conducted by Dwayne Savage was at the root of these estimates. The findings of the study pointed out that there is a ten to one ratio for bacteria versus human cells in the body.

Recently, a study conducted at the Weizmann Institute in Israel pointed out an error in such estimates. The numbers don’t lie, and the scientists discovered that around 39 trillion bacteria cells could be found inside the human body.

They compared this number to that of human cells. This total number rises to 30 trillion cells, of which around 84% are red blood cells. As you can easily see, the ratio is no longer ten to one, but much smaller. The calculus rounds up to 1.3 bacterial cells to one human cell, so the findings from the 1970s can no longer be considered actual.

 

How did the error happen?

The next question would be how the error happened in the first place. For that, we need to see how the study from the 1970s was conducted. The scientists involved in the research measured the number of bacteria found in one gram of human feces. The amount they identified was 100 billion, and they multiplied this number by 1,000 to estimate the total number of bacteria.

As they believed that the bacteria mainly exist in the digestive tract and that they are spread in an even manner, they took the volume of the digestive system of one liter as their measuring unit.

At the same time, at the time, it was believed that there are 10 trillion cells inside the human body, with the vast majority of them being red blood cells. That is how they got to the point of believing that there are ten times more bacteria than human cells in the body.

How was the new study conducted?

The new findings indicate that there was a fundamental error in how the first research was carried on. For starters, they did not use the same principle that said that the bacteria are spread evenly throughout the digestive tract. Instead, they used as a starting point the fact that the bacteria live mostly inside the colon, so the amount of microorganisms found in human feces is much higher.

Using as a reference an average male between 20 and 30 years all, 5.6 tall and weighing 155 pounds, they established that there are about 39 trillion bacterial cells inside the human body. At the same time, they calculated the number of human cells at three times more than what the 1970s studies said, thus reaching the 1.3:1 ratio of bacteria to human cells.

 

Is this number the same for all people?

A natural question is whether we can say that each individual living on planet Earth has the same number of bacteria living inside of him or her. As you may easily suspect, these numbers are only estimates, and they can vary quite a lot from one person to another.

For instance, scientists say that the number may vary from 30 to 50 trillion. Also, it appears that women tend to have a more significant amount of bacterial cells because they also have a lower number of red blood cells.

Do the bacteria make the human microbiota alone?

No, bacteria are not the only microorganisms living inside the human body, and they are not the only ones that create what is known as the human microbiome. Besides bacteria, there are also fungi, viruses, and other microorganisms that form this complex system with which we live in a symbiotic relationship. If we were to calculate all these cells, the ratio might be different, but, as far as bacteria are concerned, the recent studies show the precise numbers.

 

Are there any biological implications for these studies?

While microbiology is a fascinating disciple, such findings don’t have significant biological implications, and they only serve for us to understand the human body better. What we need to bear in mind is that the human microbiome is quite complex.

Also, most of the bacteria living inside and on the human body is benign, and only under certain circumstances, they can create problems for human health. It is interesting, nonetheless, that so much of our bodies are made of bacteria.

That means that we live in perfect symbiosis with microbes and some of them, or, as scientists say, most of them, are beneficial for the human body. Bacteria serve in the study and research of new cures and treatments, and they can be used to identify cures for various illnesses and health conditions.

That means that even if learning that there are so many bacteria living inside us may sound astonishing, it is nothing but a fact of life. Also, if you ever hear someone speaking of the ratio of bacteria to human cells being ten to one, you can jump into the conversation and correct him or her with the new facts established by the most recent study on the topic.

 

 

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You may find it difficult to imagine, but the human body is home to many bacteria, fungi, and viruses, and not all are malign, and you can see this article for more information on the topic. They are invisible to the naked eye, but a digital microscope for iPhone may be enough to help you see them in all their glory. Here are some microorganisms that live inside your body without your knowledge.

Staphylococcus epidermidis

By its name, you might be able to tell that these bacteria like living on the skin. While your entire skin is game for what they do to thrive, there are certain areas that the bacteria prefer. For instance, they are the reason why our armpits smell. That’s the kind of place they like, and the armpits are just part of it.

While you may not enjoy the fact that the Staphylococcus epidermidis bacteria practically make you smell bad, they have an essential role, which is to keep malign bacteria, like the Staphylococcus aureus, at bay.

 

Streptococcus salivarius

This is a type of bacteria that live inside the mouth. Also, it lives in the digestive tract, and it is one of the first microorganisms we are exposed to right after birth. While it regulates inflammatory processes in the body and it is mostly harmless, the Streptococcus salivarius can be considered what experts call an opportunistic pathogen.

However, the good outweighs the bad in this case and the fact that these bacteria can attack and even kill harmful bacteria like listeria and Staphylococcus aureus make them our allies.

 

Lactobacillus acidophilus

Most of the bacteria found in the human body reside in the intestines, and the Lactobacillus acidophilus is one of them. It has quite an important role, as it breaks down lactose and produces what is called lactic acid. It is a probiotic and plays a vital role in the health of your gut.

Escherichia coli

coli, as it is known for short, has a bad reputation, as contaminations and illnesses have been reported in relation to these bacteria. There is a particular strain that is rightfully blamed for the pathogenic effects it has on human health, but there are plenty of other strains that are not malign.

Actually, besides being harmless, these bacteria help the overall health of the digestive tract. They live naturally inside the human body, and also in those of some animals.

 

   Methano-brevibacter smithii

Other bacteria that live happily inside the gut carry this difficult to spell name. Their primary role is to break down complex sugars, and therefore they are essential for the proper functioning of your digestive system.

As bacterial fermentation takes place inside the human gut, a large quantity of hydrogen is released. When this becomes too much, the processes taking place here are slowed down, and there is less yield of energy from breaking down foods like the ones mentioned. That is where the Methano-brevibacter smithii intervenes by reducing the amount of hydrogen.

 

Bifidobacterium longum

Another type of gut bacteria that keep us healthy is the Bifidobacterium longum. It is a probiotic, and its primary purpose is to bind with the cells that make the walls of the intestines. This way, the bacteria create a system of defense that doesn’t allow harmful bacteria to go through.

These bacteria are resistant to gastric acid and bile, and that’s how they manage to live in a highly acidic environment that is your stomach. Like many other probiotics, they play an essential role in keeping not only your gut but your entire body healthy.

Bifidobacterium bifidum

While yogurt commercials might overuse the name of these bacteria, you should know that their role is paramount in your digestion. They also are the guardians of our immune system, and they maintain the proper balance between benign and malign bacteria inside the body.

These bacteria are the most common, and it is safe to say that human life would not be possible without them. Any imbalance in their presence might open the gate to pathogens and illnesses, which is why it is essential to maintain a healthy flora inside our gut.

 

Enterococcus faecalis

Living in the gastrointestinal tract, the Enterococcus faecalis is, most of the time, harmless, and it plays a role in keeping you healthy. However, for people with a weakened immune system, these bacteria can create the perfect environment for disease.

If there’s a wound and these bacteria get into the bloodstream, they can cause severe infections. There is also a problem with the fact that they can be resilient to antibiotic medicine and they can survive in any environment. That makes treating infections with the Enterococcus faecalis quite tricky.

 

Toxoplasma gondii

If we have talked so far about bacteria living on the skin and inside the body with a role in digestive processes and not only, now it’s the perfect moment to talk about a microorganism with a pretty interesting profile: Toxoplasma gondii.

Present in various percentages of populations across the world – in some areas even in about 84% of those living there – these microorganisms are thought to be responsible for the recklessness of some people. Studies also show that people who tend to be involved in traffic accidents are more likely to have these bacteria than those who like to play it safe.

 

Haemophilus

These bacteria live in the mucous membrane of your respiratory tract, but it also exists in the digestive tract and vagina. Its pathogenic effects are often associated with influenza, and that’s what the bacteria are best known for. In extreme cases, it can even lead to meningitis, so its pathological manifestations are quite severe.

With up to 1,000 types of microorganisms living inside the human body, we are, without even knowing, the perfect environment for them to thrive. What we must remember is that we live in symbiosis with them and they are, for the most part, benign.

 

 

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With so many field microscopes for sale, it is easy to imagine that there are plenty of people who use them in the real world and that their careers demand the use of such a tool. Feel free to check out this post and see for yourself that many jobs involve microscopes and their many purposes.

Biologists

The first career that comes to mind when you’re thinking of microscopes and the people who use them is that of a biologist, without a doubt. Examining small creatures, samples collected from various living things, and other tasks can only be carried on if a microscope is used.

Researchers need to see the bacteria that grow in their samples so that they can identify methods to stop their growth, or, in the case of good bacteria, which can stimulate their further development. Such creatures are impossible to see with the naked eye, and that is why microscopes are a biologist’s most reliable tool.

They also use microscopes to examine the behavior of microorganisms, and in research, these are indispensable devices.

 

Forensics

How many times have you watched a crime show on TV and seen the forensic team collecting samples only to examine them later at the lab? Forensics is a pretty fascinating discipline that would not be possible without the use of a microscope. The evidence collected from the scene of the crime can offer a breakthrough for a case, so it is not to be overlooked.

Forensic specialists need to be able to operate a microscope and also understand what they are looking at when they examine the evidence samples provided by law enforcement. Besides analyzing biological samples, forensic specialists can also examine fabrics and other materials that can offer them insight into what happened at a particular moment at a specific location.

 

Jewelers

Do you know the difference between a fake diamond and a real one? With the naked eye, if a stone were counterfeited very well and resembled the real thing down to a tee, it would be impossible to give an honest answer to this question. But do you know who would be able to tell, for sure, whether a particular gemstone is real or fake?

The answer is a jeweler or a gemologist. These specialists use microscopes that can offer them the information they seek when they are looking at various gemstones. Diamonds, sapphires, and other precious stones have very particular crystal formations that these specialists know. Without them, they are nothing but fake stones, but no one except these specialists can tell the real ones from the counterfeited pieces.

Pathologists

They are not the people of whose existence you are aware when you visit a hospital, but pathologists play a pretty important role. They are the ones in charge of examining various tissue samples that are sent to the lab to identify the presence of cancer or other anomalies in cell growth that could be the cause of disease for multiple patients.

Also, they are the same people who are in charge of identifying the cause of death for those who died under unclear circumstances. Like forensic specialists, they may be required to work with law enforcement when they discover something that might lead to the identification of suspicious deaths.

 

Lab technicians

These specialists can work in many different fields. Their work with the help of a microscope is significant. They are the ones who examine blood samples sent by hospitals and other biological material that can lead to understanding various conditions and diseases.

When you send a blood sample to a lab to be analyzed, it is the lab technician working there that will work on your sample and then deliver you the results of your tests.

 

Geologists

While they work in an entirely different field from the ones mentioned so far, geologists carry on a critical task. They examine rocks and other formations that can supply them with valuable information on how Earth formed. They can look at various samples through the lenses of a microscope and establish where they come from and how old they are.

Their work is vital not only for informing us on what our planet has been through but also for letting others know of what may happen in the future. To give an example, geologists can establish a pattern for volcano eruptions by looking at stones collected from nearby areas.

Microbiologists

Careers that deal with the examination of bacteria and fungi need microbiologists, and these specialists, need powerful microscopes so that they can determine how such tiny microorganisms behave. They are involved in the development of vaccines and other preventive health-related disciplines, and they are often found in the laboratories operated by pharmaceutical companies.

 

Endocrinologists

These specialists focus on the hormonal imbalances and irregularities that may occur in patients. The study of hormones is called endocrinology, hence the name of this career. What endocrinologists do is that they take blood and tissue samples from patients and examine them under a microscope to establish whether a hormonal issue is the root of their problems.

A lot of conditions and diseases are related to hormonal issues. For instance, people who have heart diseases might be affected by such illnesses due to hormonal imbalances. The same happens with diabetes and infertility. By identifying the cause, endocrinologists can also work with other health care specialists to establish adequate treatments.

 

Wildlife biologists

People who are involved in the study of animals, their behavior, their habitat, and so on are called wildlife biologists, or zoologists, and their usual tasks often require the use of a microscope. They can also establish whether specific wildlife populations are affected by unique conditions and diseases by analyzing samples of blood and tissues under a microscope.

 

Botanists

Just like wildlife biologists, botanists have microscopes as their most trusted tools. The main difference is that they don’t examine animal samples, but those they collect from plants. They can establish how to improve the development of certain plants, and how to stop the spread of those that affect, for instance, crops.

 

 

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We move forward from our recent article and show you this time the five major types of infectious agents that exist around us. While researchers make good use of various equipment like microscopes to take on the field to identify these agents, a lot of work is put by other health care professionals into finding treatments and cure.

Viruses

Viruses are microorganisms that enter the human body in various ways. They are invisible to the naked eye, as they can have as little as 20 nanometers in diameter. Billions of them can exist in tiny areas which is why it is impossible to protect yourself entirely against their action. While they are small, they have all sorts of shapes.

They are made of nothing else but their DNA and a shell made of protein, intended to protect the genetic material inside. What you should know about viruses is that they are dormant when they are not in a type of environment that would allow them to thrive.

As soon as they find a gateway to living cells, they begin to reproduce. But they do not do it by themselves, but they use the metabolism of those cells to replicate themselves. That makes them parasites.

They will reproduce to the point that they can take over the living cells. Because they can’t be observed by themselves to create cures and treatments, some biological material like tissue or cells, is necessary for experiments.

You may have heard of some viruses as they are quite widespread, primarily through the unfortunate fame that the diseases they cause have, such as influenza or AIDS.

 

Bacteria

The second infectious agent we will discuss here is bacteria. These microorganisms may look gigantic compared to viruses, as they can be 100 times bigger, but they are still invisible, and we cannot learn of their existence without the assistance of a microscope. They usually have three different shapes: spherical, rod-like, and curved.

Like viruses, bacteria have a core made of their DNA, but they are a bit more evolved, as they also contain some structures that act as guardians against attacks, such as those that could come from antibiotic treatments.

However, bacteria are not much-evolved microorganisms, and they only contain one set of chromosomes. When they reproduce, they produce clones of themselves. Sometimes, under various circumstances, they can mutate, and that’s when they become resistant to multiple treatments.

Bacteria have been around since ancient times. There are even studies that show that they have been here for the last three billion years, as some fossils can attest. Their high adaptability makes them so resilient and a problem when they become an infectious agent. Throughout millennia, they learned how to make use of other living organisms to thrive.

Also, they have developed their weapons against what could destroy them, which is why human medicine must always evolve, as well. Attacking the immune system, bacteria can even kill the organism they choose to inhabit. Various infections, such as blood-related, those found in the urinary tract, tuberculosis, and strep throat, are caused by bacteria.

Fungi

The significant difference between fungi and the other infectious agents mentioned so far is that the former are multi-cellular. That means that they are more evolved, and their way of reproducing slightly differs, as well. An interesting aspect of fungi is that they use spores with a single cell, even if they are made from multiple cells.

With 51 million types of fungi on the planet, it is quite clear that fighting the infections caused by them is no easy task. Usually, fungi live on the skin and, as soon as there is a bruise, a cut, a breaking of the skin, they can use this opportunity to get inside the bloodstream, from where they can wreak havoc.

Sometimes, people can inhale fungal spores, and from their respiratory tract, a fungal infection can develop. When fungi infections affect the entire body, they are called systemic diseases.

What you should bear in mind is the particular relationship between fungi and bacteria. There are plenty of good bacteria living on the human skin and inside the body. If someone is under medication with antibiotics, bacteria may reduce, and that’s when fungi take over.

Some fungal infections are related to antibiotic treatments. That’s why prolonged administration of such drugs is not recommended. Also, people with a weak immune system are more likely to suffer from fungal infections. They can be located in many parts of the body, such as the mouth, the nose, the eyes, or the vagina.

 

Protozoa

The three categories of infectious agents mentioned above are the most widespread. However, there are still some others which are not as well-known but can still be made responsible for various diseases. Among them, there are protozoa, which are most evolved than fungi, bacteria, and viruses.

One aspect about them you should know is that they can live outside your body, unlike the other agents that remain dormant. Their evolution is quite interesting since they are mobile and can share some features with the animal reign.

The most common way of transmission is through feces, which is why washing your hands thoroughly after using the bathroom is highly recommended. One known infection caused by protozoa is amebic dysentery, to give you an example.

Helminths

While this scientific name might tell you nothing, it is the one chosen by scientists to describe some parasites that are well known to humankind. Helminths are worms, more specifically flatworms and roundworms. They can be tiny in their first stages of development, but, when they mature, they can be visible to the naked eye.

Most of the population is exposed to helminths and the infections they cause regularly, but the incidence of diseases is higher in tropical and subtropical areas. One explanation is the lack of proper sanitation in the countries found here.

 

 

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If you are looking for some kid-friendly microscopes to see bacteria, you need to learn a few things about how you can truly see these tiny microorganisms through the lenses of such a device. The first question to ask is what kind of magnification you need for such a purpose, and, if you don’t know the answer, you can check it out here.

Is a compound microscope a good idea?

Trying to see bacteria with the help of an average compound microscope may not be such a good idea due to certain factors. For starters, you need to have a magnification that goes up to 1000x and cannot be lower than 400x. Therefore, the microscope you intend to use must be able to handle this level of magnification.

Also, the overall optics quality must be superior. An average microscope cannot perform as it should if you were to examine bacteria. Besides excellent magnification, you need the lenses to be able to solve the details that you want to observe through the microscope.

 

Bacteria are challenging to focus

Your microscope should have a high magnification power, as described earlier, but that may not be enough. The device must also stabilize the picture, as you will notice that the bacterial cells can easily appear out of focus. Furthermore, if you want to make sure that you don’t have to deal with this issue too much, you should make sure that the layer of liquid between the cover and the slide is as thin as possible.

 

Another thing to know: they are transparent

It may not occur to you if you have never watched bacteria through a microscope and these little critters are transparent. Examining single individuals is close to impossible because they are completely see-through and clear in appearance. As they combine in colonies of bacteria, you will notice a certain colorization which makes it possible for you to examine bacteria properly.

Are there bacteria or something else?

How do you know if what you are looking at are actually bacteria? Speckles of dust and other small debris can contaminate your sample, and you’ll not know what you are observing. Also, as bacteria can clump around other particles, they become more difficult to observe. For all these reasons, you need a proper device, and that can be only a top quality model with high magnification.

 

Why can’t we observe bacteria with the naked eye?

Bacteria, as you may well know by now, are tiny microorganisms that can be found all around us. They can live in the soil, on any living organisms, and even inside us. Their diameter can be as little as 0.2um, and their length is about 2 to 8um.

 

A few things about magnification and lenses

We talked earlier about magnification, but we must offer an additional explanation so that you understand how to use a microscope for bacteria a little better. For instance, you must know that there are two sets of lenses. One is the objective lens which is the closest to the slide; it will create an image of the sample that is enlarged and turned upside down.

The second set of lenses represents the eyepiece. The primary role of the eyepiece is to offer extra magnification so that you can examine the bacteria in your sample more thoroughly.

To obtain the magnification of a device, you have to multiply the magnification of the objective lens with that of the eyepiece. So, when you hear that a microscope has a 10x magnification eyepiece, but it comes with three different objectives of the next values: 4x and 10x, the actual magnification the microscope offers is between 40x and 400x, with a 100x level in-between.

What is the microscope resolution?

You don’t need only great magnification, but also good resolution. That means that you must pay attention to the various technological specs of different units. The objective lens is the one that provides the resolution, as the eyepiece will only magnify what the objective delivers. This is a pretty important piece of information, as you must not neglect the power of the objective lens.

Also, no matter how great the eyepiece magnification, it will not be able to make the picture of what you see clearer if the objective lenses it comes along with are of inferior values.

 

Various magnification levels and what they can identify

Here is a short guide on what your microscope can see, depending on its magnification. You will be able to tell which ones are better for examining bacteria and running various experiments.

40x models are useful for seeing large cells. You won’t be able to study details, and bacteria are out of the question. But, for school projects that only involve some basic examination of various samples, such units can be all right.

At 100x magnification, you will start to see something akin to small dots. These dots are bacteria, but we are still far from being able to say that you can examine bacteria properly. One advantage is that the depth of field remains decent at this magnification and you can see the entire specimen. Focusing is not yet an issue.

At 400x, you will start to examine bacteria as you wish. You will also be capable of noticing cell divisions and even chromosomes. Bacteria are visible, too, and you can observe their shape and other details. However, you must be aware that you’ll have to get handy with the focusing knob as you will not be able to hold a stable image for long.

Finally, 1000x magnification is what you must have for observing bacteria as you should. But, be aware that your unit should have great stabilization features. Losing focus is easy at this level of magnification, and that’s why not any microscope will do. Also, you must use immersion oil to obtain better resolution.

Electron microscopes, without a doubt, are ideal for observing bacteria. However, they are mainly used by professionals, and they are more expensive than their compound counterparts.

 

 

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If you are interested in examining the various bacteria living inside the human body, you may do so by simply using a mobile app, provided that you have iPhone microscope adapters at hand to transmit the information from your microscope to your mobile device. Some bacteria can be examined with the help of microscope kits for students if the respective units are strong enough.

While we all know that there are plenty of bacteria living on and inside us, how much are we talking about? The following information will shed some light on the matter.

Are there ten times more bacteria than human cells inside the body?

For many years, this theory was considered gospel by the entire scientific community, but lately, it has come under scrutiny, and other opinions say that the number is not by far as much.

But where did the initial theory come from? It appears that a 1972 study followed by another in 1977 conducted by Dwayne Savage was at the root of these estimates. The findings of the study pointed out that there is a ten to one ratio for bacteria versus human cells in the body.

Recently, a study conducted at the Weizmann Institute in Israel pointed out an error in such estimates. The numbers don’t lie, and the scientists discovered that around 39 trillion bacteria cells could be found inside the human body.

They compared this number to that of human cells. This total number rises to 30 trillion cells, of which around 84% are red blood cells. As you can easily see, the ratio is no longer ten to one, but much smaller. The calculus rounds up to 1.3 bacterial cells to one human cell, so the findings from the 1970s can no longer be considered actual.

 

How did the error happen?

The next question would be how the error happened in the first place. For that, we need to see how the study from the 1970s was conducted. The scientists involved in the research measured the number of bacteria found in one gram of human feces. The amount they identified was 100 billion, and they multiplied this number by 1,000 to estimate the total number of bacteria.

As they believed that the bacteria mainly exist in the digestive tract and that they are spread in an even manner, they took the volume of the digestive system of one liter as their measuring unit.

At the same time, at the time, it was believed that there are 10 trillion cells inside the human body, with the vast majority of them being red blood cells. That is how they got to the point of believing that there are ten times more bacteria than human cells in the body.

How was the new study conducted?

The new findings indicate that there was a fundamental error in how the first research was carried on. For starters, they did not use the same principle that said that the bacteria are spread evenly throughout the digestive tract. Instead, they used as a starting point the fact that the bacteria live mostly inside the colon, so the amount of microorganisms found in human feces is much higher.

Using as a reference an average male between 20 and 30 years all, 5.6 tall and weighing 155 pounds, they established that there are about 39 trillion bacterial cells inside the human body. At the same time, they calculated the number of human cells at three times more than what the 1970s studies said, thus reaching the 1.3:1 ratio of bacteria to human cells.

 

Is this number the same for all people?

A natural question is whether we can say that each individual living on planet Earth has the same number of bacteria living inside of him or her. As you may easily suspect, these numbers are only estimates, and they can vary quite a lot from one person to another.

For instance, scientists say that the number may vary from 30 to 50 trillion. Also, it appears that women tend to have a more significant amount of bacterial cells because they also have a lower number of red blood cells.

Do the bacteria make the human microbiota alone?

No, bacteria are not the only microorganisms living inside the human body, and they are not the only ones that create what is known as the human microbiome. Besides bacteria, there are also fungi, viruses, and other microorganisms that form this complex system with which we live in a symbiotic relationship. If we were to calculate all these cells, the ratio might be different, but, as far as bacteria are concerned, the recent studies show the precise numbers.

 

Are there any biological implications for these studies?

While microbiology is a fascinating disciple, such findings don’t have significant biological implications, and they only serve for us to understand the human body better. What we need to bear in mind is that the human microbiome is quite complex.

Also, most of the bacteria living inside and on the human body is benign, and only under certain circumstances, they can create problems for human health. It is interesting, nonetheless, that so much of our bodies are made of bacteria.

That means that we live in perfect symbiosis with microbes and some of them, or, as scientists say, most of them, are beneficial for the human body. Bacteria serve in the study and research of new cures and treatments, and they can be used to identify cures for various illnesses and health conditions.

That means that even if learning that there are so many bacteria living inside us may sound astonishing, it is nothing but a fact of life. Also, if you ever hear someone speaking of the ratio of bacteria to human cells being ten to one, you can jump into the conversation and correct him or her with the new facts established by the most recent study on the topic.

 

 

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You may find it difficult to imagine, but the human body is home to many bacteria, fungi, and viruses, and not all are malign, and you can see this article for more information on the topic. They are invisible to the naked eye, but a digital microscope for iPhone may be enough to help you see them in all their glory. Here are some microorganisms that live inside your body without your knowledge.

Staphylococcus epidermidis

By its name, you might be able to tell that these bacteria like living on the skin. While your entire skin is game for what they do to thrive, there are certain areas that the bacteria prefer. For instance, they are the reason why our armpits smell. That’s the kind of place they like, and the armpits are just part of it.

While you may not enjoy the fact that the Staphylococcus epidermidis bacteria practically make you smell bad, they have an essential role, which is to keep malign bacteria, like the Staphylococcus aureus, at bay.

 

Streptococcus salivarius

This is a type of bacteria that live inside the mouth. Also, it lives in the digestive tract, and it is one of the first microorganisms we are exposed to right after birth. While it regulates inflammatory processes in the body and it is mostly harmless, the Streptococcus salivarius can be considered what experts call an opportunistic pathogen.

However, the good outweighs the bad in this case and the fact that these bacteria can attack and even kill harmful bacteria like listeria and Staphylococcus aureus make them our allies.

 

Lactobacillus acidophilus

Most of the bacteria found in the human body reside in the intestines, and the Lactobacillus acidophilus is one of them. It has quite an important role, as it breaks down lactose and produces what is called lactic acid. It is a probiotic and plays a vital role in the health of your gut.

Escherichia coli

coli, as it is known for short, has a bad reputation, as contaminations and illnesses have been reported in relation to these bacteria. There is a particular strain that is rightfully blamed for the pathogenic effects it has on human health, but there are plenty of other strains that are not malign.

Actually, besides being harmless, these bacteria help the overall health of the digestive tract. They live naturally inside the human body, and also in those of some animals.

 

   Methano-brevibacter smithii

Other bacteria that live happily inside the gut carry this difficult to spell name. Their primary role is to break down complex sugars, and therefore they are essential for the proper functioning of your digestive system.

As bacterial fermentation takes place inside the human gut, a large quantity of hydrogen is released. When this becomes too much, the processes taking place here are slowed down, and there is less yield of energy from breaking down foods like the ones mentioned. That is where the Methano-brevibacter smithii intervenes by reducing the amount of hydrogen.

 

Bifidobacterium longum

Another type of gut bacteria that keep us healthy is the Bifidobacterium longum. It is a probiotic, and its primary purpose is to bind with the cells that make the walls of the intestines. This way, the bacteria create a system of defense that doesn’t allow harmful bacteria to go through.

These bacteria are resistant to gastric acid and bile, and that’s how they manage to live in a highly acidic environment that is your stomach. Like many other probiotics, they play an essential role in keeping not only your gut but your entire body healthy.

Bifidobacterium bifidum

While yogurt commercials might overuse the name of these bacteria, you should know that their role is paramount in your digestion. They also are the guardians of our immune system, and they maintain the proper balance between benign and malign bacteria inside the body.

These bacteria are the most common, and it is safe to say that human life would not be possible without them. Any imbalance in their presence might open the gate to pathogens and illnesses, which is why it is essential to maintain a healthy flora inside our gut.

 

Enterococcus faecalis

Living in the gastrointestinal tract, the Enterococcus faecalis is, most of the time, harmless, and it plays a role in keeping you healthy. However, for people with a weakened immune system, these bacteria can create the perfect environment for disease.

If there’s a wound and these bacteria get into the bloodstream, they can cause severe infections. There is also a problem with the fact that they can be resilient to antibiotic medicine and they can survive in any environment. That makes treating infections with the Enterococcus faecalis quite tricky.

 

Toxoplasma gondii

If we have talked so far about bacteria living on the skin and inside the body with a role in digestive processes and not only, now it’s the perfect moment to talk about a microorganism with a pretty interesting profile: Toxoplasma gondii.

Present in various percentages of populations across the world – in some areas even in about 84% of those living there – these microorganisms are thought to be responsible for the recklessness of some people. Studies also show that people who tend to be involved in traffic accidents are more likely to have these bacteria than those who like to play it safe.

 

Haemophilus

These bacteria live in the mucous membrane of your respiratory tract, but it also exists in the digestive tract and vagina. Its pathogenic effects are often associated with influenza, and that’s what the bacteria are best known for. In extreme cases, it can even lead to meningitis, so its pathological manifestations are quite severe.

With up to 1,000 types of microorganisms living inside the human body, we are, without even knowing, the perfect environment for them to thrive. What we must remember is that we live in symbiosis with them and they are, for the most part, benign.

 

 

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With so many field microscopes for sale, it is easy to imagine that there are plenty of people who use them in the real world and that their careers demand the use of such a tool. Feel free to check out this post and see for yourself that many jobs involve microscopes and their many purposes.

Biologists

The first career that comes to mind when you’re thinking of microscopes and the people who use them is that of a biologist, without a doubt. Examining small creatures, samples collected from various living things, and other tasks can only be carried on if a microscope is used.

Researchers need to see the bacteria that grow in their samples so that they can identify methods to stop their growth, or, in the case of good bacteria, which can stimulate their further development. Such creatures are impossible to see with the naked eye, and that is why microscopes are a biologist’s most reliable tool.

They also use microscopes to examine the behavior of microorganisms, and in research, these are indispensable devices.

 

Forensics

How many times have you watched a crime show on TV and seen the forensic team collecting samples only to examine them later at the lab? Forensics is a pretty fascinating discipline that would not be possible without the use of a microscope. The evidence collected from the scene of the crime can offer a breakthrough for a case, so it is not to be overlooked.

Forensic specialists need to be able to operate a microscope and also understand what they are looking at when they examine the evidence samples provided by law enforcement. Besides analyzing biological samples, forensic specialists can also examine fabrics and other materials that can offer them insight into what happened at a particular moment at a specific location.

 

Jewelers

Do you know the difference between a fake diamond and a real one? With the naked eye, if a stone were counterfeited very well and resembled the real thing down to a tee, it would be impossible to give an honest answer to this question. But do you know who would be able to tell, for sure, whether a particular gemstone is real or fake?

The answer is a jeweler or a gemologist. These specialists use microscopes that can offer them the information they seek when they are looking at various gemstones. Diamonds, sapphires, and other precious stones have very particular crystal formations that these specialists know. Without them, they are nothing but fake stones, but no one except these specialists can tell the real ones from the counterfeited pieces.

Pathologists

They are not the people of whose existence you are aware when you visit a hospital, but pathologists play a pretty important role. They are the ones in charge of examining various tissue samples that are sent to the lab to identify the presence of cancer or other anomalies in cell growth that could be the cause of disease for multiple patients.

Also, they are the same people who are in charge of identifying the cause of death for those who died under unclear circumstances. Like forensic specialists, they may be required to work with law enforcement when they discover something that might lead to the identification of suspicious deaths.

 

Lab technicians

These specialists can work in many different fields. Their work with the help of a microscope is significant. They are the ones who examine blood samples sent by hospitals and other biological material that can lead to understanding various conditions and diseases.

When you send a blood sample to a lab to be analyzed, it is the lab technician working there that will work on your sample and then deliver you the results of your tests.

 

Geologists

While they work in an entirely different field from the ones mentioned so far, geologists carry on a critical task. They examine rocks and other formations that can supply them with valuable information on how Earth formed. They can look at various samples through the lenses of a microscope and establish where they come from and how old they are.

Their work is vital not only for informing us on what our planet has been through but also for letting others know of what may happen in the future. To give an example, geologists can establish a pattern for volcano eruptions by looking at stones collected from nearby areas.

Microbiologists

Careers that deal with the examination of bacteria and fungi need microbiologists, and these specialists, need powerful microscopes so that they can determine how such tiny microorganisms behave. They are involved in the development of vaccines and other preventive health-related disciplines, and they are often found in the laboratories operated by pharmaceutical companies.

 

Endocrinologists

These specialists focus on the hormonal imbalances and irregularities that may occur in patients. The study of hormones is called endocrinology, hence the name of this career. What endocrinologists do is that they take blood and tissue samples from patients and examine them under a microscope to establish whether a hormonal issue is the root of their problems.

A lot of conditions and diseases are related to hormonal issues. For instance, people who have heart diseases might be affected by such illnesses due to hormonal imbalances. The same happens with diabetes and infertility. By identifying the cause, endocrinologists can also work with other health care specialists to establish adequate treatments.

 

Wildlife biologists

People who are involved in the study of animals, their behavior, their habitat, and so on are called wildlife biologists, or zoologists, and their usual tasks often require the use of a microscope. They can also establish whether specific wildlife populations are affected by unique conditions and diseases by analyzing samples of blood and tissues under a microscope.

 

Botanists

Just like wildlife biologists, botanists have microscopes as their most trusted tools. The main difference is that they don’t examine animal samples, but those they collect from plants. They can establish how to improve the development of certain plants, and how to stop the spread of those that affect, for instance, crops.

 

 

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We move forward from our recent article and show you this time the five major types of infectious agents that exist around us. While researchers make good use of various equipment like microscopes to take on the field to identify these agents, a lot of work is put by other health care professionals into finding treatments and cure.

Viruses

Viruses are microorganisms that enter the human body in various ways. They are invisible to the naked eye, as they can have as little as 20 nanometers in diameter. Billions of them can exist in tiny areas which is why it is impossible to protect yourself entirely against their action. While they are small, they have all sorts of shapes.

They are made of nothing else but their DNA and a shell made of protein, intended to protect the genetic material inside. What you should know about viruses is that they are dormant when they are not in a type of environment that would allow them to thrive.

As soon as they find a gateway to living cells, they begin to reproduce. But they do not do it by themselves, but they use the metabolism of those cells to replicate themselves. That makes them parasites.

They will reproduce to the point that they can take over the living cells. Because they can’t be observed by themselves to create cures and treatments, some biological material like tissue or cells, is necessary for experiments.

You may have heard of some viruses as they are quite widespread, primarily through the unfortunate fame that the diseases they cause have, such as influenza or AIDS.

 

Bacteria

The second infectious agent we will discuss here is bacteria. These microorganisms may look gigantic compared to viruses, as they can be 100 times bigger, but they are still invisible, and we cannot learn of their existence without the assistance of a microscope. They usually have three different shapes: spherical, rod-like, and curved.

Like viruses, bacteria have a core made of their DNA, but they are a bit more evolved, as they also contain some structures that act as guardians against attacks, such as those that could come from antibiotic treatments.

However, bacteria are not much-evolved microorganisms, and they only contain one set of chromosomes. When they reproduce, they produce clones of themselves. Sometimes, under various circumstances, they can mutate, and that’s when they become resistant to multiple treatments.

Bacteria have been around since ancient times. There are even studies that show that they have been here for the last three billion years, as some fossils can attest. Their high adaptability makes them so resilient and a problem when they become an infectious agent. Throughout millennia, they learned how to make use of other living organisms to thrive.

Also, they have developed their weapons against what could destroy them, which is why human medicine must always evolve, as well. Attacking the immune system, bacteria can even kill the organism they choose to inhabit. Various infections, such as blood-related, those found in the urinary tract, tuberculosis, and strep throat, are caused by bacteria.

Fungi

The significant difference between fungi and the other infectious agents mentioned so far is that the former are multi-cellular. That means that they are more evolved, and their way of reproducing slightly differs, as well. An interesting aspect of fungi is that they use spores with a single cell, even if they are made from multiple cells.

With 51 million types of fungi on the planet, it is quite clear that fighting the infections caused by them is no easy task. Usually, fungi live on the skin and, as soon as there is a bruise, a cut, a breaking of the skin, they can use this opportunity to get inside the bloodstream, from where they can wreak havoc.

Sometimes, people can inhale fungal spores, and from their respiratory tract, a fungal infection can develop. When fungi infections affect the entire body, they are called systemic diseases.

What you should bear in mind is the particular relationship between fungi and bacteria. There are plenty of good bacteria living on the human skin and inside the body. If someone is under medication with antibiotics, bacteria may reduce, and that’s when fungi take over.

Some fungal infections are related to antibiotic treatments. That’s why prolonged administration of such drugs is not recommended. Also, people with a weak immune system are more likely to suffer from fungal infections. They can be located in many parts of the body, such as the mouth, the nose, the eyes, or the vagina.

 

Protozoa

The three categories of infectious agents mentioned above are the most widespread. However, there are still some others which are not as well-known but can still be made responsible for various diseases. Among them, there are protozoa, which are most evolved than fungi, bacteria, and viruses.

One aspect about them you should know is that they can live outside your body, unlike the other agents that remain dormant. Their evolution is quite interesting since they are mobile and can share some features with the animal reign.

The most common way of transmission is through feces, which is why washing your hands thoroughly after using the bathroom is highly recommended. One known infection caused by protozoa is amebic dysentery, to give you an example.

Helminths

While this scientific name might tell you nothing, it is the one chosen by scientists to describe some parasites that are well known to humankind. Helminths are worms, more specifically flatworms and roundworms. They can be tiny in their first stages of development, but, when they mature, they can be visible to the naked eye.

Most of the population is exposed to helminths and the infections they cause regularly, but the incidence of diseases is higher in tropical and subtropical areas. One explanation is the lack of proper sanitation in the countries found here.

 

 

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