Sunday, December 28, 2008

not all bacteria are bad

I always see or hear in advertisements that we should get rid of the bacteria in our surroundings thus we need to use a certain brand of alcohol or some antiseptic. However, this idea is rather misleading. It gives the impression that all bacteria are bad. But such is not the case, there are also good bacteria.

Just think for example of the bacteria that degrade the substances in the soil. If these bacteria are not there then we would have been buried by now in all the garbage that we produce. Or think of the bacteria that help us in digestion of food or help process the undigested material in our large intestine. We will have all kinds of digestive disorders if these bacteria are not there.

We have several other examples of good bacteria like the nitrogen-fixing ones or the oil removing ones. However, I think the above examples are sufficient enough to make us rethink about getting rid of all bacteria.

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