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Microbiology Chapter 1 Spring 07

Microbiology Chapter 1 Spring 07

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Published by: fallingupward312 on Oct 14, 2008
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06/18/2010

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Chapter 1. Scope & History
Why Study Microbiology
Ecological Significance:
 
Microorganisms are the most abundant
primaryproducers
and the ultimate
decomposers
of biomass on Earth. As such,microorganisms drive the energy and nutrient flows of the whole ecosystem, onwhich human life depends.
Beneficial Microbes:
o
Microbial inhabitants out-number human cells by 10-fold on an average body. They are mostly harmless, normal residents, existing on body partsexposed to the outside environment (such as skin and digestive tract).Many of them are beneficial to human health, providing necessarynutrients.
o
Microorganisms are used extensively in the production of food (e.g.,cheese, yogurt, bread, wine, beer, vinegar) and pharmaceuticals (e.g.,antibiotics, genetically-engineered human insulin)
Pathogenic ("disease-causing")
Microbes: Less than 1% of known microbes are pathogens. Most pathogens belong to groups like bacteria, viruses, and fungi.Many normally harmless microbe become "opportunistic" pathogens in immune-comprised human hosts.
Microbes are indispensable research tools. They have simpler structures,reproduce quickly, and can be obtained in a large quantity. Most crucially,knowledge learned from model microorganisms (e.g.,
 E. coil 
and yeast) helpunderstandings of basic human biology, because of the
common ancestry
(therefore, basic structure) of all life on earth.
Scope of Microbiology
Tree of Life:
o
The traditional 5-kingdom classification exaggerate the biodiversityvisible to human eyes (plans, animal). Contemporary classification is moreobjectively based on genes shared by all organisms. For example, a tree of life based on 16S ribosomal RNA showed
three domains
of life,including Eukarya, Bacteria, and Archaea.
o
Distance between organisms on the three-domain tree of life is proportional to their evolutionary and genetic distances. The visible biodiversity is only a tiny part of the overall phylogenetic diversity, whichconsists mostly of microorganisms.
Scientific nomenclature
of microbes: binomial naming system, e.g.
 Bacillusanthracis
(first part genus name, capitalized, may be initialized; second partspecies name, all lower case; both italicized or underlined)
Organisms studied in Microbiology
 
o
Bacteria: Single-celled prokaryotes ("lack of a nucleus"). Bacteriology isthe study of bacteria.
o
Algae: Single-celled, photosynthetic eukaryotes ("having a nucleus").Phycology is the study of algae.
o
Fungi: Heterotrophic ("living on organic matters"), often microscopiceukaryotes. Mycology is the study of fungi.
o
Viruses: Non-cellular (acellular), obligate ("non-free-living") parasites
o
Protozoa: Single-celled, mobile eukaryotes. Protozoology is the study of  protozoa.
o
Helminths & arthropods: Parasitic worms. Mosquitoes, ticks, mites, andlice often serve as vectors of infectious diseases.
Other fields of microbiology: e.g.,
o
Immunology (study of host response to infection)
o
Epidemiology (study of the frequency and geographic distributions of diseases)
History of Microbiology
Historical roots
o
1665, Robert Hooke, first observed cellular structures of a slice of cork and named them "cells"
o
Antoi van Leeuwenhoek was the first to observe
live
microorganisms
o
The cell theory
: all living organisms are composed of cell
The Golden Age of Microbiology and the development of the "Germ Theory of Disease"
o
Debate over "spontaneous generation"(a belief that life arisesspontaneously from nonliving matters)
o
Lewis Pasteur's experiment
using swan-necked flasks disprovedspontaneous generation, proved the ubiquity of microorganisms around us
o
Pasteur's other signficant contributions include the discovery of microbialsources of fermentation and invention of "
pasteurization
" (killing of microbes using low heat), and the development of the first vaccine againstRabies.
o
Robert Koch's contributions: Invented techniques for obtaining "purecultures" of bacteria; Proposed "Koch's Postulates", a series of experimental protocols for establishing microbial agents of a disease;Identified important pathgenssuch as
 Bacillus anthracis.
o
Development of "
aseptic techniques
" (techniques of preventingcontamination by unwanted microorganisms) by Semmelweis (importanceof hand-washing in clinics) and Lister (first aseptic surgery)
o
Discovery of vaccination and immunity by Edward Jenner 
Development of Specialized fields:
o
Discovery of viruses by Beijerinck 

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