• Question: why is there germs?

    Asked by fayeadamou to Cat, Daz, Holly, Johnson, Pamela on 22 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Cat O'Connor

      Cat O'Connor answered on 15 Jun 2011:

      Hi Fayeadamou,

      What a great question! But i think the germs are probably asking, why are there animals?

      Bacteria and all their relatives have lived on this earth a lot longer than any animals so they kinda got here first! It’d just be plain rude to ask them to leave now wouldn’t it!!

      These bacteria and viruses were not always disease causing germs. When animals started to evolve, the bugs evolved too so that they could live along side us. And then they said, hey, why live along side them, when I can live within them!! So then they evolved a bit more so that they could survive inside us and other animals. the problem is, that in some cases the things that they need to survive are also things that we need so then we have a little fight on our hands, and this is what infection is!

      But don’t think all bugs are bad. there are loads of good ones too. Like the ones that make our yogurt, the ones that make our bread all light and fluffy and the ones that digest our foods (okay these guys are good, but their downside is that they can also make us fart 🙂 )!

      Does this answer your question? If not just let me know by a comment or ask another question!

      Keep the good questions coming,


    • Photo: Pamela Lithgow

      Pamela Lithgow answered on 15 Jun 2011:

      Hi Fayeadamou,
      I think Cat has answered your question very well!
      One of the really interesting things about germs is that because they are not as complicated as animals they can evolve more rapidly. So as Cat said we have co evolved but the germs continue to evolve even quicker than us, which is why sometimes the nasty ones are particularly hard to get rid of because they have evolved to escape our drugs.
      I agree with Cat about not all germs being bad and actually I would say most germs are not actually bad it is just the bad ones that get all the attention!
      What sometimes happens is a germ which has evolved in one species of animal moves into another species of animal; in the first animal it may not have caused any harm but in the second one it harms it. Things like this are seen with SARS virus where they think it was in civet cats not causing to much problems but when it got into people it was deadly.
      I know it wasn’t really your question but I hope you find what I wrote interesting!
      Pam 🙂

    • Photo: Darren Braddick

      Darren Braddick answered on 22 Jun 2011:

      Hi fayeadamou!

      Wow I’m sorry again for such a late reply..

      Well, germs are basically bacteria, and they exist because we do. If you consider the history of the world, once there was no life at all. Science now believes that from nothing, a single reproducing cell eventually came together and existed. This cell divided, and if you fast-forward millions and millions and millions of years, to now, we have all kinds of animals, birds, plants and bacteria. These all came from one cell all that time ago. This means that the nature world was single-celled (like germs) until a point. At that point, things became many cells, like animals and insects and plants. This is a big difference!

      Of course, the single-cell germs kept on growing and changing, and that is why we have germs today! And the Earth contains MILLLIOONS of different ones! Really, we have no idea how many. Some are good for us, some are very bad for us, and many we will never ever discover. They cover virtually every surface on Earth, the seas, the skin of animals and outside of plants, inside humans and, just everywhere.

      That is why there are germs 🙂

      I hope this helps answer your question!