BIOL438%20Lecture%201_082708

BIOL438%20Lecture%201_082708 - I mpor tance of Micr obes...

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Unformatted text preview: I mpor tance of Micr obes Microbesin terms of number and massgreatly exceed every other group of organisms on Earth. Microorganisms colonize every environment on Earth! Geothermal vents Acid mine drainage Arctic ice Pathogenic microbes globally are the most important cause of human disease and death, although most are benign and often helpful. Microbes have profound effects on the environment and play essential roles in the biogeochemical cycling of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur. Studying microbes provides insight into life at the molecular level. Work on microbes has paved the way to taking control of the genome. Appearance of life approx. 3.6- 3.7 billion years ago. Most likely the first cells were anaerobic, heterotrophic bacteria. 2.5 billion years ago: oxygen- evolving photosynthesis. ~2.2 billion years ago: aerobic respiration ~1.5 billion years ago: first evidence of fossil eukaryotes Life is Micr obial (To The Fir st Appr oximation) Ancient H istor y Ancient Egyptians were the first known civilization to use fermentation to brew beer. Historical evidence also suggests a knowledge of infectious disease. The Roman philosopher Lucretius (98-55 BC) suggested that disease was caused by invisible living creatures. Ancient Rome, in 600 BC, built elaborate aqueducts and employed a Water Commissioner to oversee the safety of the public water supply. Micr obiology: A H istor ical Per spective The Black Death (1347-1350) 25 Million Dead The Black Death was one of the worst natural disasters in history. I n 1347 AD, a great plague swept over Europe and ravaged cities causing widespread hysteria and death. One third of the population of Europe died....
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BIOL438%20Lecture%201_082708 - I mpor tance of Micr obes...

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