Wednesday, February 3, 2010

If a mad scientist wiped off all bacteria, and fungi from the planet...what would happen to life on Earth?

What would happen to humans, animals and plants on the Earth? How would it change the way the planet looks?

How would a scientist be able to impliment this drastic removal of bacteria, and fungi? Thanks ;)If a mad scientist wiped off all bacteria, and fungi from the planet...what would happen to life on Earth?
all would dieIf a mad scientist wiped off all bacteria, and fungi from the planet...what would happen to life on Earth?
All bacteria?

That alone means nothing would rot or get digested, we even use bacteria to digest things.

Within days our guts would pack up solid and we would die, animals too.

Plants would have it better, they would have a field day with no diseases. But nothing that would die would rot, so eventually dead plant life would cover the earth in chunks and nothing would grow, unless of course it took so long that other, more suitable plants evolved. The danger to man would be so quick that there would be no question of survival until evolution, without digestion we would go in a matter of one or two weeks.

Some things, short of the mad-scientist type of science fiction just couldn't happen, and killing all bacteria and fungi is one of them, they survive at all temperatures and conditions so anything so powerful as to wipe all of them out at one time, would wipe out everything else too.
I think that life would extingish in years later. Because some bacteria and fungi are essential in making some elements needed by the vegetal to live.

So if all the vegetation dies. The oxygen will not regenerate ( because vegetation, produce oxigen), so with no more oxigen we will die for sure.

If this could happen, the mad scientist will have to develop an antibiotic able to kill every kind of bacteria and fungi, before the bacteria or fungi could adapt and be able to resist to the antibiotic. So this will have to work on about 10 or less generation of these little organism. It would be a great discovery, but a deadly one. I think this scientist will never see the result of his work.... I am sure that could not happen. Because there is so many kind of micro-organism that as soon as it will discover an antibiotic, he will not have the time to spread it over the wold, in time for the result he wants.And he will have to make it such a quantity that it could be impossible to be sure that it will be enough....
It would cause a slow chain reaction that would eventually lead to the extinction of almost every living thing. If I was smart enough to know the answer to the second part of the question I'd probably be very wealthy.
a lot of depedent spicies will die , all vaccines will be useless and slowly we will not be able to digest food and die . dont worry it will not happen
if he does so, i will still exist, but the world will be a horrible place for me. and i also think that to be able to wipe out that stuff, some form of chemicals will make that happen.
The Scientist would have to be diabolical, because we'd all die. How he'd do this, I don't know.
We'd all die.Every last creature.

I heard of an interesting study in which a mammal(Can't remember what sort) was raised in complete sterility(i.e. no commensal flora). It survived for a few weeks...

We need microbes to survive. For one thing, those in our gut are our primary source of vitamin K, if I have not been misinformed.
Earth would die in a matter of weeks.

We need bacteria to survive.
life would not exist without bacteria. Several species, including Humans, have bacteria in them that helps thier bodies function. Without bacteria, ecosystems would collapes and the planet would most likely be lifeless.
I am not sure how a scientist could impliment this, your last question. Perhaps with some sort of mass areosol antibiotic and fungal medication....

As for what would happen to humans, we would not be able to digest our food properly, as we live symbiotically with the bacteria in our intestines....

As for the world as a whole, some bacteria are the main producers in the world, slowly..this would effect the food chain until there was nothing left...

As for the fungi, if it were gone, I believe all of the earth would be covered with dead plants and animals as they are one of the main decomposers on the planet...

It would be a nasty, smelly place...

Oh, another thing about bacteria, don't we use bacteria to insert new DNA into to develop other things...we would be unable to do that...
Sound like a literature research question.

You specify bacteria and fungi, so that's two of the three primary groups. I assume you don't know about the three primary domains on life on earth, Bacteria and Archaea are single celled, no nucleus and are called prokaryotes. Then there are nucleated organisms and you and me and fungi are in that group along with animals and plants. So, if you kill of bacteria and fungi you would probably be finding a method that would kill basically everything on earth.

OK, so everybody has the general point, all life would die blah blah blah, but maybe not all life. You could make a scenario where almost all life would die, and that would leave a few people around to tell the tale.

All life on earth shares common components. So, some of these are DNA, RNA, Ribosomes, certain essential proteins. And while the specific sequences of the these common components may differ, if a mad scientist found some common link and exploited it ... well, it's science fiction, but hey, cyanide kills because it poisons the last step of ATP production. I mean, there's a reason it works and it's explainable at a molecular level, so why not a powerful new poison that binds to ribosomes and prevents translation of messenger RNA into protein?

There already exists a chemical, puromycin, that kills by causing early protein chain termination by screwing up the ribosome. Have your guy make a variant of that which is real stable. Then do airborne delivery around the globe to distribute it.

Of course the problem would by the synthesis of such massive amounts, so I suggest that he also engineer a new bacteria that lives in the sea. I put in a link for people already trying to make a syntheic bactrial organism. Anyway, then these bugs would be the only thing left, and they would kill their food, so they would die too. So, they have the gene for this new super-antilife product, and with global warming and extra heat in the oceans little aerosols of this stuff get everywhere and basically everything dies. Of course there are always a few people and things that have some natural mutations, so they would survive. and you can have as few or as many of these as you need for your story.
All I know is that I would be pissed because I wouldn't have my mushrooms to eat!!!!

Actually it would screw up the food chain. I doubt we would die, but a lot of species eventually would.
everything else on earth will also die. we have a symbiotic relationship. some bacteria helps us digest food, others help the plant in converting the nutrient in the soil. earth will surely become a dead planet if this happen.

i certainly do not know how can this be done (just targeting the bacteria and ';fungi';).
The world would be dead in as short as 1 year. We need the bacteria and fungus to eat and destroy harmful viruses that are lethal. Dead bodies would not decompose without releasing toxic chemicals in the air. Just think,........mountains of corpses and trash from consumers never being disposed of properly. The air would be more polluted than it already is.It would be a matter of time before we are all dead.

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