EDUCATION: The Bugs That Run the World

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Science  20 Jul 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5529, pp. 399
DOI: 10.1126/science.293.5529.399e

They're more powerful than Alan Greenspan, George W. Bush, or even Madonna. Microbes hold sway over such vital planetary matters as the composition of the atmosphere and the productivity of ecosystems. The Microbial World, an educational site designed for students in beginning microbiology courses, teems with information on the ecological importance of bacteria and fungi, the specialty of site founder Jim Deacon of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. The content covers more than 35 specific topics—from Dutch elm disease, to airborne bacteria, to efforts to produce a natural pesticide from the soil bug Bacillus thuringiensis. You can also take a virtual trip to microbial hangouts like Yellowstone Park's hot springs.

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