|Sizes||Giantmicrobes are based on actual microbes, cells, organisms and other critters, only 1,000,000 times actual size!
Gigantic (GG) 16-24"
XL (XL) 10-15"
Original (PD) 5-8"
Minis (MM) 2-4" each
Keychain (KC) 2-4" with clip
|Materials||Plush from all new materials. Stuffed with polyester fiber fill. Surface washable: sponge with water & soap, air dry.|
|Packaging||Each plush microbe includes a printed card with fun, educational and fascinating facts about the actual microbe or cell.|
|Safety||Every product meets or exceeds U.S. and European standards for safety. For ages 3 and up.|
All about Brain-Eating Amoeba (Naegleria fowleri) Petri Dish
FACTS: Brain-eating amoeba, or Naegleria fowleri to its friends, is a fearsome predator that lurks in warm fresh-water lakes, rivers, and springs. It is not technically an amoeba, but in fact can morph like a sci-fi villain into three different body shapes: as an amoeboid trophozoite, it can stalk bacterial prey; if the hunting grounds become unsuitable (due to ionic concentration or pH level), it can rapidly transform into a flagellate, growing little tails to propel itself into a new environment; and, in case of emergencies (such as low food supply, drops in temperatures, poisonous conditions) it can transform itself into a cyst. And wait.
Swimmers who are partial to natural environments must be on their guard against this foul demon. While it’s safe to swallow it whole, if it’s inhaled up the nose, it can travel into the brain and cause the highly fatal primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). Viciously attacking the nervous system, brain-eating amoebas swill red and white blood cells as they feast on critical body tissues leading to near certain consequences.
Fortunately, reported cases of brain-eating amoeba infections are extremely rare, only a handful each year. And in fact, many people carry anti-bodies against N. fowleri, so non-fatal, unreported infections may not be uncommon. Nevertheless, if you go swimming in the wild, use your head and hold your nose (on wear nose plugs), particularly if you’re bathing in tropical areas or in the warm summer months. You never know what you’ll encounter oozing in the murky depths.
|Name||Named after the Australian physician who first discovered it.|
|Actual Size||8 to 15 micrometers, about 10 times smaller than a strand of hair!|
|Where It Lives||Naegleria fowleri is a single-celled organism that causes a rare disease called primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, or PAM. It naturally lives freely in warm, fresh waters like lakes, rivers, and hot springs, feeding on bacteria. It infects humans by entering the nose while swimming and traveling to the brain, causing a fatal brain infection.|
|Symptoms||Severe headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck, seizures, and hallucinations|
|Cure||Investigational drugs are available, but this infection has a 99% fatality rate.|
|History||1965: Discovered by Drs. Malcom Fowler and Rod Carter who were pathologists at the Adelaide Children’s Hospital in Australia.
There have only been 121 cases reported in the U.S. from 1937 to 2007.
2015: Three fatal cases reported in California, Oklahoma, and Texas
|Fascinating Facts||This amoeba can survive in temperatures as high as 113 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s as hot as the Mojave Desert in the summer! Fortunately, it’s not found in chlorinated or salt water, like swimming pools and the ocean.
2013: Twelve year old Kali Hardig from Arkansas became the third person in history to survive this kind of infection.