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Lecture 1 & 2: A glimpse of Microbiology


Microbiology is literally the study of micro things, you know, small itty bitty things that can only be seen under the microscope. These tiny little guys are called microorganisms or microbes. Microbes existed long before human existence. The study of Microbiology advanced only through time with investigators, physicians, and other scholars who dedicated much of their time to proactive growth of microbiology.

Our air today began with microbes.

During the reduction of the atmosphere, while earth was evolving, there were many eukaryotes called cyanobacteria. These bacteria (one type of microbes) is a blue green algae, autotrophic, and is most numerous in our ocean today. Cyanobacteria is crucial to the reduction of carbon dioxide, CO2, to make oxygen, O2.

The air we breathe, started off with this itty bitty bacteria!

Why do we even care?

Microbes can:

  • cause diseases and eliminating infections (making antibiotics from fungus: bacteriocidal antibiotic-kills bacteria and bacteriostatic antibiotic– stops bacteria from growing)
  • used in agriculture
  • food beverages (cause by fungi ie yeast)
  • chemicals (bioremediation – using fungi and algae to remove oil/toxins from environment)
  • basic research
  • biotechnology (cloning)

TANGENT: remember that nursery rhyme “ring around the rosies, pocket full of rosies, ashes ashes, we all tumble/fall down” – it is really singing about the Great Plague of Europe in 1665.

These little pocket full of pozies (flower) basically means that the air is bad (with harmful toxins) that plagued Europe causing death to gazillions of people. This form of disease transmission through the air is called miasma.

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