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The Open University

Microbes – friend or foe?

The Open University via OpenLearn


Microbes often get a bad name. Whilst some of them do cause disease, others play vital roles in recycling nutrients in the soil to enable plants to grow, and in breaking down human waste. Without microbes, we would have no beer, no yoghurt, no coffee. That's quite impressive for something too small to see. This free course, Microbes friend or foe? sheds some light on them.


  • Introduction
  • Learning outcomes
  • 1 Disease-causing bacteria
  • 1 Disease-causing bacteria
  • 1.1 Evolution of antibiotic resistance in microbes
  • 2 Microbes in sewage treatment
  • 2 Microbes in sewage treatment
  • Conclusion
  • Acknowledgements


5.0 rating, based on 2 Class Central reviews

4.5 rating at OpenLearn based on 21 ratings

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  • Anonymous
    Really helpful and deep understanding of how different microbes play role for the benefit or against the human body.
  • Anonymous
    ótimo curso , bem desenvolvido e elaborado ... bem dinâmico ... recomendo a todos os universitários das áreas de biológicas e dos cursos da saúde

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