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Seven Wonders of the Microbe World: Track 1

Featuring: Video Video

What is a microbe and what have they ever done for us? From Black Death to Cholera, and Syphilis to Typhoid, microbes have been responsible for some of the world’s most devastating diseases. But they have also provided the human race with the technological advances of genetic engineering and nitrogen fixation, the vision of life on Mars, the life-saving properties of antibiotics and food preservation, along with the wonderful taste of beer. Using expert commentary, animation and stylised visuals, these videos provide an engaging introduction to microbiology, by examining the impact microbes have had on humans through a historical perspective, from Egyptian times to the present day.

By: The iTunes U team (Programme and web teams)

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Track 1: History of Beer

In this video we look at the origins of beer and brewing in Ancient Egypt, and the role microbes play in the process.


© The Open University 2011


Tracks in this podcast:

Track   Title Description
1 History of Beer    In this video we look at the origins of beer and brewing in Ancient Egypt, and the role microbes play in the process. Play now History of Beer
2 Black Death    This video looks at the microbial origins of the Black Death. Play now Black Death
3 Food Preservation    How Play now Food Preservation
4 Nitrogen Fixation    This video examines just how critical microbes are to life on Earth with their role in nitrogen fixation – providing the essential elements that we need to survive. Play now Nitrogen Fixation
5 Antibiotics    In this video experts reveal how the natural processes of microbes are used to fight disease. Play now Antibiotics
6 Genetic Engineering    This video explores the ways in which humans are learning to exploit microbes to produce medicines, fuel and food. Play now Genetic Engineering
7 Life on Mars    This video examines how the discovery and examination of microbes in meteorites suggests that the planet Mars could have supported life in the same way as Earth. Play now Life on Mars