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microbiology

By amreyes8 Nov 02, 2014 359 Words
1. Studying bacteria is vital to the production of many biotechnologies, such as food production. The study of bacteria also provides useful insight to medical practices. Lastly, bacteria provides a beneficial method of degrading pollutants. According to the book, Microbiology: a Human Perspective, the authors state that, “Microorganisms have an enormous impact on all living things. We could not survive without them, and they also make our lives far more comfortable” (Nester, Nester, Roberts, & Anderson, 2012, pg. 3). Bacteria facilitate human’s lives and maintain a balance in the ecosystem. The study of bacteria directly assists human’s life through food production. Many of the foods eaten today are either made with bacteria (cheese, yogurt, and buttermilk) or aid certain crops through biological engineering. For example, several crops are spoiled every year due to insect infestation. In the book Microbiology: a Human Perspective, the authors explain that, “Corn, cotton, and potatoes have been engineered to produce a biological insecticide called Bt toxin, which is naturally produced by the bacterium bacillus thuringiensis as it forms endospores” (Nester et al., 2012, pg. 220). These crops were able to protect themselves against insects; thus proving unnecessary food losses. This would not have been possible if researchers had not studied this bacteria.

2. Almost all bacteria contain peptidoglycan and they encompass the cytoplasmic membrane. Human cells do not contain peptidoglycan, or any eukaryotic cell. Most anti-biotics target the peptidoglycan simply because humans do not have it. Thus, if anti-biotics targeted the cytoplasmic membrane, human cells could be damaged. This would occur due to the similar phospholipid bilayer that both human cells and bacterium contain. According to the book, Microbiology: a Human Perspective, the authors convey that, “Compounds that interfere with the synthesis of peptidoglycan or alter its structural integrity weaken the molecule . . . These substances have no effect on eukaryotic cells because peptidoglycan is unique to bacteria” (Nester et al., 2012, pg. 62). Thus, interfering with the peptidoglycan anti-biotics can harm bacteria without harming human cells. Researchers had to find a way of defeating pathogens without harming human cells and targeting a certain characteristic to bacteria has proven to be beneficial to eukaryotes.

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