If I had been told I’d be studying microbiology, I’d have laughed very hard at whoever it was that implied it, till I exhausted every form of Endorphin there was to be released, because I wasn’t even a fan of reading long and bulky notes that were the clichés associated with Biology.
Well, here I am; A Microbiologist. As earlier said, it was completely unforeseen, but if I were to go over and choose again there’s not a chance on earth that I wouldn’t have picked microbiology out-rightly because my love for this particular field has grown immensely over time like a Binary fission process that had previously been stalled over the years by stages of dormancy.
Well if you truly loved something enough, you’d be so proud of it and there’s no way eventually you wouldn’t start introducing them to other people like “Heyy, This is Jessica, My Fiancée” also “Heyy, James, peep my new Ferrari”. So this is me introducing Microbiology to you.
If you’ve passed through one form of education to another involving Biology, it’s a no-brainer that Biology is the study of life and when the word “Micro” comes in, our mind is automatically redirected to anything small, tiny or minute.
Through this it may be safe to infer that Microbiology is the study of small life but you’d only be partially right.
Because Insects could be small, better still the term small is entirely relative. So to properly define Microbiology you’d have to be a little more specific.
Never mind, do not panic, I’ll be your guide.
Hi, I’m @Shobozil, Welcome to the beautiful World of Microbiology. Ensure to read the subsequent posts; Microbiology just got easier, it promises to be fun, enlightening and educative at the same time.
What is Microbiology?
Simply put, Microbiology can be defined based on the split words as explained above; as the study of organisms that are very minute and cannot be easily or clearly viewed with the unaided eye; hence the use of magnifying lenses or the generally accustomed to, the microscope.
Examples of such organisms are protozoa, viruses, bacteria, archaea, fungi and algae.
• N.B: Viruses are examples of microorganisms but only differ with respect to the fact that they exclusively replicate within the host cells.
Branches of Microbiology
When the term microbiology is mentioned, the very first thing that comes to most people’s minds are those broad faced, non-social, less interactive guys that spend almost half their entire life in a laboratory and are basically responsible for finding the cure to certain variants and weird diseases that break out every now and then, making them some sort of super-heroes (which would be absolutely true), except it’s much broader.
Due to the diversified use of microorganisms and certain microbiological principles in various aspects of life, they can be classified into certain fields and branches.
• Industrial Microbiology: This is a branch of microbiology that deals the use of microorganisms in various industrial processes e.g. production of food products on a large scale, drugs, fuels, recycling of waste, generation of electricity etc.
•Environmental Microbiology: This basically revolves around microbial ecology. It is the study of the various microorganisms in their respective habitats(basically encompassing air, soil marine microbiology even host habitats), their adaptive mechanisms, their interaction, the effects of the environment on them and vice versa (pathogenic or non-pathogenic).
So basically we are all up in your faces. Microorganisms and Microbiologists are everywhere prodding and poke-nosing and peering to and through every microscopic hole trying to provide answers to nature's pertinent questions.
The most important factor that contributes to the availability and ease of use of microorganisms is the ubiquitous nature of these microorganisms.
Other factors contributing to these are: speed of growth(in case of most bacteria, rapid binary fission processes), their ease of being cultivated on a very large scale (mass cultivation) and the potential to utilize very cheap compounds as source of nutrients, ranging from different varieties of industrial wastes to naturally occurring compounds.
Recently, the ability of most microorganisms to readily undergo genetic manipulation has further bolstered the use of microorganisms in virtually all scientific fields and development.
Deep down in our minds, we cannot truly deny the stereotypes about most microorganisms.
We’ve been told that they are tiny scary monsters responsible for most of what is wrong with our health; ranging from our school teachers in our younger years, telling us that, if we don’t brush our teeth at night, these little scary creatures will poke holes in our gums or if we do not wash our hands after leaving the toilet, these little dirty monsters will make us sick.
Even as we grow old, the news seems to always portray these microorganisms as the bad guys. It’s not really our faults, all we’ve seen on the TV is enough to send us hiding into a sterile cocoon for the rest of our human lives.
Few years back, if you had switched on the TV, all you’d be seeing, would be awareness about was HIV/AIDS and various STIs and STDs, SARS, Malaria, Cholera, Typhoid fever etc. Skip to the present and here you find the Ebola Virus and the Lassa Fever Virus.
It’s really hard not to peg these guys as the bad guys,innit?
So I’m here as the Attorney for the accused and I’d like to show you that in as much as we’d like to view the defendant in all its evilness, there is good in it and the good is also in abundance. I would also very much like to prove this to you in subsequent posts but before then, a few highlights.
As we must have encountered through every form of media; from word of mouth, to the newspapers, radio, television and the internet. Here are the bad sides of my client:
Leading cause of diseases in humans and responsible for the higher percentage of death tolls, Food borne diseases, Deterioration of food/Food spoilage and Degradation of food materials, Causes plants and animal diseases, Degradation of industrial materials.
My Client pleads guilty to the above charges but do not crucify it yet. In order to plead for leniency, here are some of the good sides:
―My deceased Grandma
Bet you’ve never considered that right?
As said earlier, I’ll be your tour guide, stay tuned or glued for subsequent posts.
Willey, J.M., Sherwood, L.M. and Woolverton, C.J. (2008) Prescott, Harley, and Klein’s Microbiology. International Edition. McGraw-Hill, New York. pp. 1-15.
[Aplustopper - Uses of Microorganisms in our daily life].
Encyclopedia - Economic Uses and Benefits of Microorganisms
Lumen Learning - Examples of Microorganisms
Prezi - Harmful effects of microorganisms
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