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A new Oxford Sparks animation with Kevin Foster (Department of Biochemistry and Department of Zoology) explores how studying tiny organisms can shed light on much bigger animals and plants.

Microbes often live in dense and species rich communities. And these communities are everywhere. They are in the soil and on roots where they protect and feed plants. They are in your food; diverse communities make yogurts, cheese and many types of bread and beer. Closest to home, they are on and inside you, and again provide many benefits including protection from disease, nutrition, and helping your immune system develop. They can even affect our mood.

In this new animation (which you can watch below) Oxford Sparks takes us on a Bacteria Safari to investigate what tiny microorganisms can tell us about the animal and plant life around us. You can also find out more about bacteria at the current Bacteria World exhibition at the Oxford Museum of Natural History - visit the exhibition. 

Oxford Sparks is an online platform that highlights the scientific research carried out at the University through exciting videos, animations and podcasts aimed at a public audience. Scientists from the Division have worked with Oxford Sparks to produce a variety of digital content that explains their innovative research to a wider audience, including a large number of exciting animations and this new podcast series. 

Find out more

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