Microbes are ‘unknown unknowns’ despite being vital to all life, says study

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Understanding these tiny organisms could be crucial to tackling threats such as coronavirus, but new research shows how little we know

A new study has highlighted how little is known about microbes – the hidden majority of life on Earth.

Life on the planet relies on an enormous quantity of bacteria, fungi and other tiny organisms. They generate oxygen, keep soils healthy and regulate the climate. Microbes play a crucial role in food production, such as cheese, beer, yoghurt and bread.

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