Quiz: My Little Bacteria: Friendship Is Magic
by Staff
Not all bacteria are our mortal enemies. Some are our friends and, yes, we have been known to go on amazing adventures with them. They're not as cute as talking ponies, but they help out in amazing ways. Let's see just how well you know the world of "good" bacteria.

Bacteria love you. After all, would they live inside you if they didn't? See if you can guess how many bacteria reside in the average human's gut.

  • 100 million bacteria
  • 100 billion bacteria
  • 100 trillion bacteria

Dead bacteria have to go somewhere. Care to guess how much space they take up in the average person's bowel movement?

  • 30 percent of the solid mass in your stool
  • 60 percent of the solid mass in your stool
  • 90 percent of the solid mass in your stool

Which of the following does NOT come from helpful bacteria?

  • Gouda cheese
  • penicillin
  • yogurt

Which of the following medical products does NOT benefit from bacteria?

  • Prozac
  • Botox
  • insulin

One all-star type of bacteria has proven itself quite a friend to scientific research. Which one can be adapted to detect both landmines and oil spills?

  • <i>Salmonella</i>
  • <i>Listeria</i>
  • <i>E. coli</i>

The bacteria species <i>Alcanivorax borkumensis</i> continues to excite scientists due to its consumption of which substance?

  • oil
  • uranium
  • meat-lover's pizza

How do <i>Bacillus thuringiensis</i> bacteria in Bt insecticides kill their targets?

  • The bacteria blind the insects.
  • The bacteria paralyze the insects' digestive tracts.
  • The bacteria make the insects' skin fall off.

Ancient cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, helped shape our planet, raising the level of _____________.

  • oxygen in the atmosphere
  • heat in the ocean
  • nitrogen in the soil

Bacteria thrive in neighborhoods that humans wouldn't dream of moving to. Which one is totally made up?

  • lakes of burning asphalt
  • liquid nitrogen ponds
  • deep-sea hydrothermal vents

In 2010, the biotechnology company LS9 reportedly engineered an <i>E. coli</i> bacterium capable of eating _____ and secreting _____.

  • glucose, fuel
  • fuel, glucose
  • pizza, soda