Microbiology

breakfastcorrieBiotechnology

Feb 22, 2013 (4 years and 1 month ago)

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The Scope of Microbiology


Specialized area of biology (study of living organisms) that deals
with
microscopic organisms

(microbes/microorganisms)

too small
to be seen with the naked eye


Major groups of organisms: bacteria, viruses, protozoa, fungi, algae
and helminths

Different branches of
study


Immunology

studies immune
chemicals and cells that are
produced due to infection (CH 14,
15, 16, 17)


Epidemiology

monitor/control
spread of diseases in
communities/ around the world
(CDC, WHO) (CH 13)


Food, Dairy, Aquatic

microbes
in food and water (CH 26, 27)


Biotechnology

use of microbes
to produce large quantities of
substances
--
drugs, enzymes,
amino acids, vitamins (CH 7, 10,
27)


Genetic engineering

alters the
genetic make
-
up of organisms to
mass produce hormones/drugs,
new substances and new
organisms (CH 10)

Small Beginnings


Using the Evolutionary timeline
(fig 1.1), Earth originated 4.5
billion years ago


Prokaryotes appeared ~1 B yrs
later


They made it possible for all other
life to evolve: through
photosynthesis they changed the
atmosphere from one w/o oxygen
to one with oxygen


Even today photosynthetic
microbes (including algae)
account for more than 50% of the
earth’s photosynthesis

which
accounts for the majority of
Earth’s oxygen

Eukaryotes


According to the
Endosymbiosis Theory

(CH 5, pg 123) larger cells
engulfed smaller ones and
over time the small cells
become the organelles and
eukaryotes evolved


Microbes are found in nearly
all of earth’s habitats

polar
ice caps, hot springs, deep
ocean vents


That is why scientists that
are looking for life
elsewhere in our universe,
are studying all the extreme
conditions on earth that
microbes call home


Not only are microbes
producers, they are also the
main decomposers,
recycling vital nutrients

Human Use


Biotechnology

humans
manipulating microbes in an
industrial setting
: mining precious
metals, enzymes used in laundry
detergents


Home setting
: yeast causing bread
to rise, fermenting sugar into alcohol


Genetic Engineering

manipulates
genetics of organisms to modify the
organisms to produce products


Insulin was the first genetically
engineered hormone, along with
Factor VIII for hemophiliacs


Bioremediation

use of microbes
to remedy environmental
problems

breaks down harmful
chemicals/toxic pollutants:


Treatment of sewage/water


Oil spills/heavy metals


Landfills

especially plastics


Diseases


10 B new infections occur each
year worldwide (many people
acquire more than 1)


Due to
pathogens

disease
causing microbes


Top 3 causes of death in the US:
heart disease, cancer & stroke


Top 3 infectious causes of death
worldwide: respiratory infections
(flu, pneumonia), AIDS and
diarrheal diseases (cholera,
typhoid, dysentery)


Many diseases once considered
non
-
infectious have been found to
be caused by microbes:


Gastric ulcers:
Helicobacter pylori


Cancer: viruses (HPV); cervical in
women and throat and neck in
men


Schizophrenia: borna agent virus


Female infertility:
Chlamydia

General Characteristics {specifics later….}


Viruses

small amount of
hereditary material wrapped in
protein covering

odd shapes

dependent on host cell


Called “particles”

not considered
alive

very small, measured in
nanometers (nm)


Prokaryotes

cells without
organelles

all are microbes

measure from 200nm to 1 micron
(
µm)


Eukaryotes

much larger

contain organelles

some are
microbes

most are not


http://scaleofuniverse.com/


http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/c
ontent/begin/cells/scale/