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Stinking Feet and Other Rotten Stuff

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1 Stinking Feet and Other Rotten Stuff
Georgia CTAE Resource Network Instructional Resource Office For use with Culinary Arts, Agriculture, Construction, Healthcare and Biotechnology pathways. Written By: Philip Ledford and Dr. Frank Flanders July 2009

2 Objectives Students will be able to:
Explain what makes things decompose. Evaluate conditions necessary for decomposition. Discuss the places bacteria and fungi thrive. Review helpful and harmful ways decomposers affect humans and animals. Survey their chosen career for the effects of microorganisms

3 Enduring Understanding
All organic matter eventually returns to the Earth as nutrients through decomposition by bacteria and fungi.

4 Essential Questions What would the world be like if organic matter did not decompose? What effects does decomposition have on the Earth’s environment?

5 Why Your Feet Stink. Everyone has experienced smelly feet. It may have been someone else's or your own. Why do you think feet stink?

6 Why Your Feet Stink. The reason your feet stink is not because it is stuck in a shoe all day. It is caused by bacteria. Bacteria breaks down the sweat your feet release from the quarter of a million sweat glands. The bacteria break down the sweat and dead skin cells of your feet into sulfur compounds.

7 Bacteria and Fungi The two major organisms that makes organic matter decompose are bacteria and fungi. Bacteria and fungi decomposes organic matter (living organisms i.e. plants and animals) Bacteria and fungi decompose wood, leaves, plants, and many other living things.

8 Bacteria Bacteria – a prokaryotic or single celled microorganisms
Prokaryotic organisms are organisms that lack a cell nucleus. Bacteria thrive in every habitat on earth. The live in Earth’s water, plants, dirt, even deep into the earth’s crust bacteria grows. Bacteria is the main decomposer of dead organic matter.

9 Fungi Fungi – a eukaryotic or multi cellular organism.
Eukaryotic organisms are organisms that have a cell nuclueus. (plant cells and animal cells are eukaryotic). Though fungi are not as destructive as bacteria it is still a very invasive organism. All fungi can be found in dark, warm and damp places such as under dead trees, rocks, and other things. Some fungi like mushrooms and lichen can grow on and next to trees and rocks.

10 Prokaryotic Cells Notice the prokaryotic cell has no nucleus and is usually very small in size when compared to eukaryotic animal or plant cells. Archaebacteria are similar to normal bacteria except that have no organelles within their cells. Most bacteria and archaebacteria are prokaryotic cells.

11 Eukaryotic Cells Notice that the eukaryotic cell has a nucleus and is much larger in size when compared to prokaryotic cells. Unlike a prokaryotic cell the eukaryotic cell has more organelles (parts of a cell the serve a specific function) and is more complex is structure. Plant and animal cells are eukaryotic cells.

12 Bacteria and Fungi Not all Bacteria and fungi are bad.
Ways people use bacteria : Antibiotics Cleaning purposes Digesting Food Ways people use fungi : Food Medicine Pesticides

13 How Stuff Decomposes Decomposition is the break down of tissue of a formerly living organism into simple forms of matter. Once a living thing has died bacteria from the environment and from the living thing takes over and slowly decays the once living material. Bacteria and/or fungi feed on the nutrients from the once living material and release different chemicals (most of which give off odors).

14 Necessities for Decomposition
Certain environmental conditions play a huge role in decomposition. When exposed to different environmental elements decomposition can be sped up or slowed down. Not all things decompose after death. When plants and animals die they can be preserved under conditions Why has the body of the Woolly Mammoth been preserved for millions of years in the Antarctic?

15 Necessities for Decomposition
When dead material is exposed to a hot and humid environment the decomposition process is greatly sped up. This is because bacteria thrives and grows better in warm, humid conditions. When dead material is exposed to a cold dry climate decomposition can be greatly slowed down even completely stopped if under the right conditions. Here is a large piece of oak that has been preserved often being buried in a peat bog (swamp area)

16 Places Bacteria and Fungi Can Be Found
Humans and Animals have bacteria on and inside them. Animals such as cows and sheep have bacteria in their stomach to help with digestion. If bacteria are not present in the cows stomach the animal can not digest food. A bacteria in the human stomach produces lactic acid which aids in digestion. If this bacteria is not present it can cause digestive problems Humans also have the same bacteria that is on Limburger cheese on their skin. This bacteria decomposes skin and sweat causing body odor.

17 Places Bacteria and Fungi Can Be Found
A fungi most people are familiar with is athletes foot. Athlete's foot is a fungal skin infection that occurs on the human foot. Fungi need warm, moist places to grow, a foot that is in a sweaty shoe is perfect for fungal growth. A fungal infection of the skin is ring worms. A fungus that can grow from dead skin cells can spread on the human skin or scalp in a circular form causing redness and an itching sensation. Clean skin is the best prevention.

18 Places Bacteria and Fungi Can Be Found
Another bacteria on the human skin can have a harmful effect on the human body called Staphylococcus . Staph can cause infections to open or untreated wounds. In extreme cases Staph has caused death.

19 Places Bacteria and Fungi Can Be Found
Fuligo septica or dog vomit slime mold is a fungus like organism that grows in mulch in gardens and parks.

20 Places Bacteria and Fungi Can Be Found
Dog vomit slime mold in its fruiting stage is bright yellow but after a day or two it turns into a pinkish color as seen below.

21 Places Bacteria and Fungi Can Be Found
Bacteria and Fungi can grow in any dark, damp and warm place. They can also grow in and on plants and animals. Bacteria and fungi are on almost all surfaces in our environment, including our bodies. Humans and often animals have different bacteria’s that live in their intestines that aid in digestion. Bacteria and fungi also grow on food.

22 Places Bacteria and Fungi Can Be Found
In addition to growing on trees and plants, bacteria and fungi can grow in buildings and homes. The moisture from splashing rain and around this bath tub provide a perfect growing environment for bacteria and fungi. Paint protects wood from moisture, but once the paint seal is broken water may enter and cause wood to rot.

23 Helpful and Harmful Bacteria and Fungi
Botulism is a type of food poisoning caused by botulinum toxin A. This organism is one of the most deadliest poisons on earth, even more poisonous than cyanide. Though botulinum toxin A is very poisonous it is used in Botox procedures to remove wrinkles. Botulinum toxin A paralyzes the part of the body it is injected into. If that part of the body can not move then it can not wrinkle.

24 Helpful Bacteria and Fungi
Contrary to popular belief, most bacteria are either harmless or helpful. Only a handful of bacteria cause illnesses in humans and animals. Those that cause illness are called pathogenic bacteria and those that are illness cause are called nonpathogenic bacteria. Many bacteria, molds, and fungi are used to help people rather than harm them.

25 Helpful Bacteria and Fungi
Penicillin – Discovered in 1928 penicillin quickly became a “miracle drug” that simply grew from mold. In the 1940’s it was used in World War II and saved many lives. Penicillin is used to cure many bacterial infections like staph, strep throat, gonorrhea, etc.

26 Helpful Bacteria and Fungi
E. Coli – Found in the lower intestines of humans and warm blooded animals. E Coli produces vitamin K and prevents several different pathogenic bacteria from infecting the human body. E. Coli can be dangerous when different strands of e.coli like strands from other animals are ingested. Washing your hands is the best prevention.

27 Helpful Bacteria and Fungi
Rhizobium – A soil bacteria that aids in nitrogen fixation after being established in different types of roots. To the left are soy bean roots. Each root contains billions of Rhizobiums to keep nitrogen levels stable.

28 How Professions are Affected Bacteria and Fungi
Most professions are affected by bacteria and fungi. Some of the areas are the medical, culinary, agriculture and construction areas. Some bacteria and fungi are used in making medicines. Some are used in the food we eat. While some bacteria and fungi are used in developing ways to prevent other bacteria and fungi from growing.

29 How Professions are Affected Bacteria and Fungi
Agricultural Professionals One example is the use of bacteria and fungi in pesticides. A fungi is mixed into a liquid form and when sprayed on an insect and the fungus grows on the insect eventually killing it. Fungal pesticides covering grasshoppers and a maggot.

30 How Professions are Affected Bacteria and Fungi
Agricultural Professionals Fish hatcheries sometimes use a bacteria that eat fish waste and algae and turn it into useful nutrients.

31 How Professions are Affected Bacteria and Fungi
Medical Professionals In the medical industry most vaccines are made from bacteria. Some antibiotics are made from bacteria and fungi to keep people and animals healthy. Some mushroom fungi are used in the medical field because they posses nutrients that fight infection and some diseases. Shiitake mushrooms are sometimes used in treatment for cancer A ganoderma mushroom used to help fight against certain viruses

32 How Professions are Affected Bacteria and Fungi
Culinary (food) Professionals Professionals in the Culinary industry use fungi and bacteria in hundreds of ways. One way is the use of Saccharomyces cerevisiae or baker’s yeast. It is used to make breads and wheat produce like pizza crust and dumplings. The organism feeds on the bread and gives off CO2 as a part of digestion. The CO2 causes the bread to rise. Saccharomyces cerevisiae or yeast

33 How Professions are Affected Bacteria and Fungi
Culinary Professionals Other bacteria is used in the fermentation of pickles, wine, cheese, yogurt and vinegar. A fungus is made in Limburger cheese that gives it the distinct smell and flavor. Blue cheese is made with a fungus that shows up as the blue part of the cheese.

34 How Professions are Affected Bacteria and Fungi
Construction Professionals Professionals in the Construction industry have developed materials that can resist certain fungal growth. Lumber used out doors must be treated to resist rot. Recently a type of paint has been developed that can literally disinfect what ever it covers. Not only does it disinfect but it also fights against super bug bacteria as well keeping the inside of walls from growing fungus and mold.

35 How Professions are Affected Bacteria and Fungi
Biotechnology Sometimes bacteriologists create new products for fighting pathogenic diseases. Bacteriologists also study bacteria and its biology to better predict behavior and prevent the spreading of harmful bacteria. Professionals in the biotechnology field sometimes cultivate hundreds of different bacteria and pathogens.

36 How Professions are Affected Bacteria and Fungi
Forensic Science Forensic scientists have to know the effects of decomposition very well. Forensic scientists determine how long something has been dead and the cause of death. Knowing how bacteria and fungi affect decomposition helps forensic scientists estimate the time and date of death.

37 Summary What have we learned?
Bacteria and fungi decomposes organic matter. Decomposition is necessary. Conditions for bacteria and fungi grow. People use bacteria and fungi. Bacteria and fungi can be helpful and harmful. The work in many professions are affected by bacteria, fungi, and decomposition.

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