Topics: Electron microscope, Optical microscope, Bacteria Pages: 3 (950 words) Published: August 18, 2008
Cyanobacteria including those that form stromatolites

There have been many technological advances that have lead to a greater understanding to the world that we live in, especially over the past 50-75 years. Developments in technology such as the light microscope and the transmission electron microscope particularly have made research in the field of bacteria and in this case Cyanobacteria much easier, removing barriers and creating a situation where there are barley any limits. Cyanobacteria are among the easiest microfossils to recognize. Morphologies in the group have remained much the same for billions of years; this is because they may leave chemical fossils behind, in the form of breakdown products. Small fossilized Cyanobacteria have been extracted from Precambrian rock, and studied through the use of SEM and TEM (scanning and transmission electron microscopy). The STEM has become an important tool for research into all sorts of unicellular organisms. It has the ability to provide both images and quantitative data simultaneously; this is a very useful tool for structure determination.

Another useful tool in the research and increased understanding of prokaryotic organisms is the optical microscope, or the light microscope, which is a type of microscope which uses visible light and a system of lenses to magnify images of small samples. The upside to using this form of microscope is that you are able to observe living organisms. However the use of electron microscopes allows greater magnification. Over all, the uses of both electron microscopes and light microscopes have increased the understanding of Cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria are found in almost every conceivable habitat, from oceans, fresh water, bare rock and soil. They have the ability to occupy most habitats. However without sunlight they cannot survive therefore limiting there habitats to those that are not in total darkness. The majority of Cyanobacteria are aerobic photoautotrophs. To...
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