Introduction
Amoebas are interesting single-celled, microscopic organisms. Despite their size, these small creatures are highly beneficial to the ecosystem because they can help to rid the environment of other types of harmful species. However, amoebas can also be deadly to other animals including humans. Amoebas are like the housekeepers of the water, making sure that no species becomes too dominant. To summarize, amoeba help to keep the balance between all species.

Types of Amoebas And Their Characteristics


There are five different types of (microscopic) amoeba including Naegleria fowleri (NF), Entamoeba histolytica (EH), Dictyostelium discoideum (DD), Amoeba proteus (AP), Chaos carolinense (CC). NF is the most important amoeba because of its major factors it has on the world, more than any other amoeba. It has the ability to kill animals including humans, it's most important benefit is that it can cleanse the water. Another amoeba that can kill humans is Entamoeba histolytica, however it is much more common and has infected over 50 million people worldwide. This amoeba kills tissue in the body, and can be deadly, but it is far less deadly than NF. It’s found in water, soil and food. The next type of amoeba is called the Dictyostelium discoideum, which is a eukaryote that transitions from a single-celled amoeba into a multi-celled slug. DD's final transformation is into a fruiting body, all within its lifespan. The cell’s movement, chemical signaling and development is all qualifiable for human cancer research. The 4th amoeba type is the Amoeba proteus, also known as Chaos diffluens is very well known for its extending pseudopodia. It lives in freshwater environments and eats embodying organisms like protozoans, algae, rotifers, and even smaller amoebae. This amoeba can be bought commonly at science supply stores. Lastly, there is the most known and largest amoeba, the Chaos carolinense. While most range from 1 to 3 mm, it can range up to 5 mm and is further called the “giant amoeba”. It can have as many as a thousand nucleuses. There are many amoebas, and they all have their own purpose.
thanghomeslice.png
This is the structure of an amoeba.


Brain Eating Amoeba (Naegleria Fowleri)



The first thing you think of when you hear “brain eating” is a zombie. I completely understand. However, there’s more truth to the myth of a zombie than it gets credit for. The brain eating amoeba, or the politically correct term, Naegleria fowleri (NF), is one of a kind. Most commonly found in Southern U.S. states because of their warm, fresh water, the brain eating amoeba is very rare. In fact, only slightly over 120 cases have been reported in the last 70 years. Worse yet, only 3 have survived. Some symptoms include a change in the sense of smell or taste, fever, sudden, severe headache, stiff neck, sensitivity to light, nausea and vomiting, confusion, loss of balance, sleepiness, seizures, and hallucinations. To straighten out one thing, it can only enter through your nose, and is only in warm, murky pond water. As long as there’s nothing suspicious about the lake you jump into, the risk is low, and even WITH suspicion, the risk is low. Don’t take this too seriously, but still be on the lookout.


How Do Amoebas Eat and Reproduce



Amoebas might not seem like they can eat or reproduce, but as one of the 7 characteristics of living things, they can do both. To reproduce, an amoeba endures a process called binary fission. This is when one amoeba splits in half to make a new identical amoeba. For a great depictive diagram go check out the video to the right! Following, amoebas eat by stretching out the pseudopod, surrounds the food, then pulls it into the rest of the amoebas body. Amoebas are fascinating organisms and are very useful to the environment.
To the right is 2 videos, of binary fission or reproduction (all the way to left), and an amoeba eating (near right).

ConclusionI know that by the end of this page, you may be scared of the brain-eating amoeba, but it's more rare than you think. It also has many upsides that out value its negative aspects. To conclude, amoebas are small and dangerous, but are also very important to the ecosystem.

Resources




__http://ea.grolier.com/article?id=0012410-00__


__http://www.worldbookonline.com/student/article?id=ar016200&st=amoeba__


__http://www.mcwdn.org/Animals/Ameba.html__


__http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/protists/amoeba.shtml__





__http://www.pklifescience.com/article/419/8?search=amoeba__





__Brain-Eating Amoeba__





__Brain-eating amoeba kills 14-year-old star athlete__





__http://aem.asm.org/content/69/10/5864.long__





__http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/amoeba.aspx__





__http://www.scienceclarified.com/Al-As/Amoeba.html__