What Is Microbiology?
Microbiology is the study (logy) of very small (micro) living (bio) things. Microbiology is the study of microorganisms. These "bugs" include: bacteria (that's the Latin plural for bacterium); viruses (that's the non-Latin plural for virus - virii sounds weird, so I don't say it); and, fungi (that's the Latin plural for fungus - which by now you have guessed, or already knew, and may not be all that interested to know, anyway). Microbiology is actually made up of several sub-disciplines. Microbiology, one of the fastest growing areas of science, is the study of organisms so small that they must be viewed with a microscope. These organisms are primarily bacteria, yeasts, molds, and viruses. Many of the most important scientific discoveries of recent years have been made by microbiologists: since 1910, one-third of the Nobel Prizes in medicine and physiology have been awarded to microbiologists. They are concerned with the welfare of humankind, concentrating not only on aspects of host-microbial interactions influencing disease and immunity, but also on ecological concerns impacting food production and the environment. There is a great demand for microbiologists. Graduates with a concentration in Microbiology find positions in the areas of medical, agricultural, food, industrial, or pharmaceutical microbiology, or microbial genetics or physiology. They may become teachers, science writers, technical librarians, or managers of scientific companies. Some of these professions require advanced degrees. The concentration in Microbiology is designed to furnish necessary experience in academic and practical skills to prepare graduates for immediate entry into the job market or for continuing graduate education in pure or applied biological sciences. Microbiology is the branch of science dealing with microorganisms. It is one of the most relevant, dynamic and exciting disciplines in the biological sciences. Microorganisms benefit society by cycling inorganic and organic matter into molecules needed for life and detoxifying discarded wastes. Historically, they have served as microscopic factories for the production of cheeses, alcohol and antibiotics. Microorganisms have also been engineered to produce a wide variety of products for our benefit through the emergence of biotechnology. Microorganisms have, however, also inflicted great distress to human, animal and plant populations through disease, spoilage of crops, foods and the fouling and degradation of man-made structures. More recently, microorganisms have been used as terrorist weapons. Microbiology has become an umbrella term that encompasses many sub disciplines or fields of study. These include: - Bacteriology: the study of bacteria
- Mycology: fungi
- Protozoology: protozoa
- Phycology: algae
- Parasitology: parasites
- Virology: viruses
An understanding of these various life forms in the environment has created other sub disciplines of: microbial ecology, microbial physiology, microbial genetics and molecular biology. Our need to control infectious diseases has brought about the fields of pathology and immunology. Bioinformatics, the in silico research, is a new area of research in microbiology which analyzes the genomes of life forms. Microbiology is the study of microscopically small, living organisms, such as fungi, algae, protozoa and bacteria, which require a light microscope for observation, and viruses which are visible only under an electron microscope at more than 20 000x magnification, to increase scientific knowledge and develop medical, veterinary, industrial, environmental and other practical applications. Basic characteristics of the microorganisms, including their form, structure, physiology, growth, reproduction and genetics are studied in courses on mycology, yeast biology, bacteriology and the molecular biology of bacteria, viruses and yeasts. Other courses deal with the composition, activities, ecology, practical...
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