Intro To Microbiology
Education & Training
The word MICROBIOLOGY describes exactly what the discipline is: the study of small living things. MICRO = small, BIO = living, and LOGY = to study. Microbiology (or specifically, bacteriology) is still a very young science and not yet completely understood. Only about three hundred years have passed since the discovery of the first bacteria. Many estimates suggest that we have studied only about 1% of all the microbes in any given environment1. In the scope of the world, it is obvious to see that the discipline of microbiology is still in its infancy.
What is microbiology all about? In their text, Drs. Thomas Brock and Michael Madigan summarize several aspects of microbiology2.
- Living cells and how they work.
- Microorganisms, an important class of cells capable of independent existence.
- Microbial diversity and evolution.
- What microbes do in the world, in human society, in our bodies, and in the bodies of animals and plants.
- It is about the central role microbiology plays as a basic biological science and how an understanding of microbiology helps in the understanding of the biology of higher organisms–including humans.
Advanced Instruments Microbiology products are integral to the fields of Clinical Microbiology, Food Microbiology and Biotechnology. Through use of the Advanced Instruments Anaerobic Jar System, scientists can isolate, capture, plate, and grow organisms for diagnosis or research purposes.
Of the many microbiology methodologies, Advanced Instruments concentrates on a small segment of the field.
Microbial physiology: How the microbial cell functions biochemically, including the study of microbial growth, microbial metabolism and microbial cell structure.
Microbial genetics: How genes are organized and regulated in microbes in relation to their cellular functions. This is closely related to the field of molecular biology.
Evolutionary microbiology: The evolution of microbes.
Medical microbiology: The role of microbes in human illness, including the study of microbial pathogenesis and epidemiology and the related study of disease pathology and immunology.
Veterinary microbiology: The role of microbes in veterinary medicine.
Environmental microbiology: The function and diversity of microbes in their natural environments.
Industrial microbiology: The exploitation of microbes for use in industrial processes. Examples include industrial fermentation and wastewater treatment. This field is closely linked to the biotechnology industry.
Aeromicrobiology: The study of airborne microorganisms.
Food Microbiology: The study of microorganisms causing food spoilage and public health concerns.
These are just some examples of research areas where Advanced Instruments, Inc. has been applied to help microbiologists study “germs” and bacteria. Microbiology has become an umbrella term encompassing many sub disciplines or fields of study. These include3:
- Bacteriology: the study of bacteria
- Mycology: the study of fungi
- Protozoology: the study of protozoa
- Phycology: the study of algae
- Parasitology: the study of parasites
- Virology: the study of viruses4
2 Brock, Thomas D and Madigan, Michael T, Biology of Microorganisms (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc), p. 1.