What is amoeba?

What Does amoeba Mean

Before entering fully into the exhaustive definition of amoeba, it is worth knowing its etymological origin. In this case, it must be stated that it is a term that comes from scientific Latin, specifically from “amoeba”. A word this that, in turn, derives from the Greek "amoibe", which can be translated as "transmutation" or "change".

An amoeba is a protozoan : an organism of microscopic size that has a single cell or a set of cells that are identical to each other. In the specific case of the amoeba, it is a protist organism (it is eukaryotic but does not enter the classification of animal, plant or fungus) and rhizopod (to move and feed, it emits pseudopods).
There are multiple species of amoebae, which can live in moist soil, in water or even in animals (acting, in this case, as parasites ). The main characteristic of the amoeba is that, since it does not have a cell wall, its shape varies .

Discovered in the mid- 18th century , amoebas can be easily obtained and stored. That is why their presence in laboratories for the development of research is frequent.
In its structure, you can see the nucleus , the cytoplasm (composed of endoplasm and ectoplasm) and various organelles . The pseudopods that they emit are extensions of their cytoplasm, which are similar to tentacles. In addition to moving, these pseudopods allow them to capture their food and give way to phagocytosis .
Amoebas also have a contractile-type vacuole that serves to keep osmotic pressure stable. Through this vacuole, the amoeba captures the excess water in the cell and, from time to time, sends it to the outside through the cytoplasmic membrane.
To reproduce, amoebae resort to binary fission : their genetic material, through mitosis , is duplicated as the cell extends. The cytoplasm, in this process, undergoes a division and two cells emerge.
Other important aspects that are worth knowing about the amoeba are the following:

-It is considered that it reproduces every minute.

-Among the best known amoebas and that generate more controversy is the Up Amoeba, which is responsible for causing amoebic dysentery. This is a disease that manifests itself through vomiting, liver and colon lesions as well as severe diarrhea.
It is important to know that the aforementioned dysentery is one of the most serious consequences of the most well-known disease caused by amoebas, which is the so-called amoebiasis. This was discovered in the second half of the 19th century and is considered to be the third most deadly parasitic disease, along with schistosomiasis and malaria.

It occurs because amoebas lodge in the large intestine, where they produce all kinds of ulcerations. It is also important to know that it is spread through contaminated hands, food and also water.
Bloody stools, severe abdominal pain and pictures where constipation alternates with diarrhea are the main symptoms of amebiasis, which can be suffered for years.

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