The earth is a life planet. Since it is a life planet, it naturally has a very rich variety of life. Perhaps in the cognition of many people, the life that we can see with the naked eye is regarded as a living thing, but in fact, in the life circle of the earth, the really large number of life groups are those microbes that we can’t see, such as bacteria and viruses. .
Many people believe that human beings are intelligent life, the hegemon of the earth, and the advanced life at the top of the food chain. Then humans have no natural enemies. Is this really the case? I believe many friends know that the earth has a perfect ecosystem and a perfect biosphere, and in this biosphere, there are no creatures that are absolutely free of natural enemies.
The natural enemies of plants are herbivores, the natural enemies of herbivores are carnivores, and the natural enemies of carnivores are humans. Wolves eat chickens, tigers eat wolves, and humans think about each other, all in their own corresponding natural enemies. So what are human natural enemies? Many people may think: Humans still have natural enemies? We are not afraid of the land overlord elephant, the ocean overlord blue whale, we can also clean up, what other creatures can beat humans?
But in fact, humans also have natural enemies. Such natural enemies are not the mighty and domineering creatures that everyone imagines, but bacteria at the bottom of the biological chain that humans cannot see with the naked eye. I believe everyone is familiar with bacteria. As the most abundant creature on earth, bacteria play an irreplaceable role in the ecological environment of the earth.
Bacteria can be said to be everywhere. In our living environment, there will be bacteria everywhere. It can be said that bacteria have completely surrounded humans, and the main reason why we are not afraid is that we can’t see it. If human eyes are like microscopes and can see the presence of these bacteria, it is estimated that we would not even dare to eat food every day.
Because when we open our eyes, we can see a large number of bacteria around us, and when we eat or drink water, we can also see many of them swimming. Imagine, in this situation, can you still eat? The so-called blindness is because we cannot see. We also feel that the world is so beautiful and so clean.
Many bacteria are extremely unfriendly to humans. These ubiquitous bacteria are like monsters with hideous faces. They are extremely small and numerous, and lurking around us unkindly at any time, whenever they have a chance. They will attack us. As long as we are not paying attention in our daily life, we will be attacked by them. If we are unlucky, we will get sick.
In the history of mankind, there are too many human beings who have been killed by bacteria. Especially when the medical conditions in ancient times were very poor, there was basically no defense against many bacteria. Once infected, it might only be waiting for the arrival of death. Even today in the technological age, bacteria are still the greatest threat to humans, so bacteria are naturally humans’ natural enemies.
Since bacteria can become human beings’ natural enemies, there is naturally something extraordinary. This kind of simple microorganisms makes humans very distressed, so do bacteria also have natural enemies? As we said earlier, any life will have its corresponding natural enemies. Humans have natural enemies, and bacteria naturally have natural enemies. So who are the natural enemies of bacteria? They are actually a kind of microorganisms, more precisely a virus, called “bacteriophages.”
Speaking of the virus, many people will think of the new crown that lasted from the end of last year to the present. This virus has brought a huge threat to mankind and brought huge losses to human society. Viruses are microorganisms that are more threatening to humans than bacteria. Of course, not all viruses are hostile to humans. Some viruses are friends of humans, such as this “phage.”
In 1915, the British bacteriologist Frederick W. Twort (Frederick W. Twort) discovered this “creature” for the first time in an experiment. Why put quotation marks around the word “biology”? The reason is that scientists have discovered that bacteriophages are actually a kind of virus, and whether a virus can be regarded as a living thing, the scientific community has not yet given a clear conclusion.
The head of the phage is a tetrahedral structure, which contains their genetic material. Most phages have a “long tail” with a leg-like fiber, which is connected by a hollow needle-like structure between the head and tail. . This kind of shape looks very sci-fi, so I have to think of a sci-fi movie I have seen, in which the alien civilization aircraft that invaded the earth seems to be like this.
The shape of the phage has a strong sense of science fiction, which makes us feel that it is not so scary. It is widely distributed on the earth. It can be said that where there are bacteria, there will be phages, and the number is often more than that of bacteria. The target of bacteriophages is only bacteria, and they have no interest in humans. On the contrary, humans can be largely protected from bacterial infections because of the existence of bacteriophages.
So how do phages destroy bacteria? Bacteriophages are very professional. Basically, a bacteriophage will only select one type of bacteria as its target. When they encounter the corresponding bacteria, they will use the fibers of the tail to fix the bacteria on the surface, and then fix their hollow needles. The shaped structure pierces the surface of the bacteria, and then “injects” its own genetic material into the bacteria.
After the genetic material of the bacteriophage enters a certain bacteria, it will continue to disintegrate the bacteria in a vigorous or gentle way, no matter which way it is, the bacteria will eventually be eliminated. It can be seen that phages can be regarded as the natural enemies of bacteria. It is the presence of phages that inhibit the number of bacteria on the earth. However, life has its own way of survival. Bacteria has not “waited for death”. In the past billions of years, bacteria have also evolved some functions to counterattack and defend their natural enemies.
However, no matter how powerful the evolutionary function of bacteria is, phages will also not be idle, they will also undergo constant mutation, and then they will always find a corresponding way to eliminate bacteria. In this way, bacteria and phages have fought on the earth for billions of years, and it has not stopped until now.
Although bacteria are the natural enemies of human beings, their numbers are so large that we fear, and there are also huge bacterial populations in the human body, their numbers are more than ten times that of human cells, but as human beings enter the era of science and technology, the rapid development of science and technology, Let us have more understanding of bacteria. Scientists use the power of science and technology to deal with different bacteria correspondingly, and we will find ways to deal with bacteria that are threatening to human health.
For those bacteria that are beneficial to humans, we play a greater role and let them serve us. At present, in the biological field, bacteria have a wide range of applications, and in the future, if the possible identities of bacteria human natural enemies disappear, they will become human friends. Not only bacteria, but even terrible viruses will become human friends in the future. As long as human science and technology continue to grow stronger, no matter whether it is bacteria, viruses or other microbes, they cannot become natural enemies of mankind. They will either be eliminated by mankind or serve mankind.