Bug Battle cards

This Saturday kids of all ages will be able to collect cool cards, each with a different microorganism

Let the Bug Battles begin!

Any time there are kids around, you are likely to pick up a variety of nasty bugs. At this weekend’s Science Festival, however, you will be able to pick up over 33 bug cards (plus two wild cards – Medicine and Vaccine) which showcase everything from the gruesome to the incredible from the world of microorganisms.

Let the Bug Battles begin! Take the opportunity to sort the goodies from the baddies, and pit the bugs against each other. From the most villainous viruses to the wiggliest of worms, collect Bug Battles cards and find out who is the biggest bug in the bunch? Who is the deadliest? Who delivers the biggest ouch?

Bug Battles playing cards are available to collect from five stations around the festival on Saturday (to include the Bug Battles station at the café and the information marquee), and from the Bug Battles hub on the Sunday. Download a collection card from the Cambridge Science Festivals website, or pick up one from our Bug Battles hub.

Kids can collect two packs of four random cards at each station, with swap boxes available so that you can trade with others! Collectors can also take part in ‘Microbial Whodunnit?’ - a competition to win a set of soft fluffy microbes.

The bugs in Bug Battles aren’t creepy crawlies – most of them are so small we can only see them through a microscope. There are five main types of bugs in Bug Battles, including viruses, bacteria, parasites, prions, and fungi.
Some favourite microbes include:

Lancet liver fluke – This crazy little worm hangs out in snails and ants, but its favourite place is the liver of anything that eats grass. In order to get to the liver, this little critter has mastered mind control. When baby flukes are eaten by ants they have the ant behave oddly, making them climb to the top of a blade of grass – perfectly placed to be gobbled by a horse or cow!

Wolbachia – Who would have thought a bug could turn boys into girls? This bug infects up to 70 per cent of insect species. Because it can only survive in girl insects, it either kills young boy insects or causes the boy insects to develop into girls!

Streptomyces coelicolor – This is a good bug which breaks down the bodies of dead things, and it is used in thousands of different types of antibiotics.

Taenia solium – Also called the ‘slimming bug’, this worm leaves in humans’ guts after they eat meat that has not been properly cooked. It can grow up to seven metres, and its larvae were sold by Victorians as ‘diet pills’!

For more information about the Science Festival, please visit: http://www.cam.ac.uk/sciencefestival/

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