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suny notes - Welcome to BIO 244 What is microbiology...

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Welcome to BIO 244
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What is microbiology? Microbiology, traditionally, is the study of "small life forms", those that are not easily observable with the unaided eye. These organisms include viruses, bacteria, protists, and even some fungi and animals. Many of these organisms are pathogenic, so a large portion of the course will deal with them in this arena. We will discuss microorganisms in many contexts. The major topics with which we will be concerned include: 1. Biochemistry and Cell Biology 2. Bacteriology 3. Virology 4. Immunology 5. Pathogenesis and epidemiology 6. Human infectious diseases
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Organisms too small to be seen with the naked eye are called microorganisms (microbes) Why are they so important?
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Significance of Microorganisms ECOLOGY Primary photosynthesizers in aquatic environments (account for more than half of the earth’s total photosynthesis and molecular oxygen production) Primary decomposers in the soil In terms of biomass and niche-utilization, microbes (especially bacteria) are the dominant organisms on earth. Over half of the biomass on the planet is comprised of bacteria!
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