Microbes Quotes

Quotes tagged as "microbes" (showing 1-12 of 12)
Stewart Brand
“If you don't like bacteria, you're on the wrong planet.”
Stewart Brand

“We inherit every one of our genes, but we leave the womb without a single microbe. As we pass through our mother's birth canal, we begin to attract entire colonies of bacteria. By the time a child can crawl, he has been blanketed by an enormous, unseen cloud of microorganisms--a hundred trillion or more. They are bacteria, mostly, but also viruses and fungi (including a variety of yeasts), and they come at us from all directions: other people, food, furniture, clothing, cars, buildings, trees, pets, even the air we breathe. They congregate in our digestive systems and our mouths, fill the space between our teeth, cover our skin, and line our throats. We are inhabited by as many as ten thousand bacterial species; those cells outnumber those which we consider our own by ten to one, and weigh, all told, about three pounds--the same as our brain. Together, they are referred to as our microbiome--and they play such a crucial role in our lives that scientists like [Martin J.] Blaser have begun to reconsider what it means to be human.”
Michael Specter

“It has been demonstrated that a species of penicillium produces in culture a very powerful antibacterial substance which affects different bacteria in different degrees. Generally speaking it may be said that the least sensitive bacteria are the Gram-negative bacilli, and the most susceptible are the pyogenic cocci ... In addition to its possible use in the treatment of bacterial infections penicillin is certainly useful... for its power of inhibiting unwanted microbes in bacterial cultures so that penicillin insensitive bacteria can readily be isolated.”
Alexander Fleming

Sam Kean
“If certain bacteria, fungi, or algae inch across something made of copper, they absorb copper atoms, which disrupt their metabolism (human cells are unaffected). The microbes choke and die after a few hours.”
Sam Kean, The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements

Philip Plait
“If you wish to view this as a cautionary tale, be my guest.”
Philip Plait, Death from the Skies!: These Are the Ways the World Will End...

Félix d'Herelle
“...on opening the incubator I experienced one of those rare moments of intense emotion which reward the research worker for all his pains: at first glance I saw that the broth culture, which the night before had been very turbid was perfectly clear: all the bacteria had vanished... as for my agar spread it was devoid of all growth and what caused my emotion was that in a flash I understood: what causes my spots was in fact an invisible microbe, a filterable virus, but a virus parasitic on bacteria. Another thought came to me also, If this is true, the same thing will have probably occurred in the sick man. In his intestine, as in my test-tube, the dysentery bacilli will have dissolved away under the action of their parasite. He should now be cured.”
Félix d'Herelle

Giulia Enders
“Every day we live and every meal we eat we influence the great microbial organ inside us - for better or for worse.”
Giulia Enders, Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ

Sam Kean
“Germans at the time believed, a little oddly, that dyes killed germs by turning the germs’ vital organs the wrong color.”
Sam Kean, The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements

“The bacterium Escherichia coli (E. Coli) takes about twenty minutes to divide. So after one hour, one E. Coli cell has turned into eight. After only six and a half hours, there will be over a million bacteria!”
Jennifer Gardy

Stewart Brand
“If you on't like bacteria, you're on the wrong planet.”
Stewart Brand

Ed Yong
“Our planet has entered the Anthropocene – a new geological epoch when humanity’s influence is causing global climate change, the loss of wild spaces, and a drastic decline in the richness of life. Microbes are not exempt. Whether on coral reefs or in human guts, we are disrupting the relationships between microbes and their hosts, often pulling apart species that have been together for millions of years.”
Ed Yong, I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life

Ed Yong
“I was struck by how different everything seemed with microbes in mind.”
Ed Yong, I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life