The Microbiology reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
(provided by Fixed Reference: snapshots of Wikipedia from wikipedia.org)

Microbiology

Videos from a children's charity on sponsorship
Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, including unicellular (single-celled) eukaryotes and prokaryotes, fungi, and viruseses. Today, most of the work in microbiology is done using methods from biochemistry and genetics. It is also related to pathology, as many microorganisms are pathogens.

Microbiologists have made many fundamental contributions to biology, especially in the fields of biochemistry, genetics, and cell biology. Microbes have many traits that make them ideal model organisms:

These traits allowed Joshua and Esther Lederberg to devise an elegant experiment in 1951 demonstrating that adaptive mutations arise from preadaptation rather than directed mutation. For this purpose, they invented replica plating, which allowed them to transfer numerous bacterial colonies from their specific locations on one agar-filled petri dish to analogous locations on several other petri dishes. After replicating a plate of E. coli, they exposed each of the new plates to phage. They observed that phage-resistant colonies were present at analogous locations on each of the plates, allowing them to conclude that the phage resistance trait had existed in the original colony, which had never been exposed to phage, instead of arising after the bacteria had been exposed to the virus.

The extensive characterization of microbes has allowed them to be used as tools in other branches of biology:

See also Immunology -- Virology -- Genetics -- Biochemistry -- Geomicrobiology
Return to Biology,

External links


General subfields within biology
Anatomy | Bioinformatics | Botany | Ecology | Evolutionary biology | Genetics | Marine biology | Human biology | Cell biology | Microbiology | Molecular biology | Biochemistry | Origin of life | Paleontology | Physiology | Taxonomy | Xenobiology | Zoology