Chapter 1 Notes

Chapter 1 Notes - 1)Introduction discovered

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MMBio 221 Chapter 1 Notes: 1) Introduction: - Microbiology could be defined as the study of organisms too small to see with the naked eye,  though a newer deinition is necessary because bacteria near 1 mm in size have been  discovered. - We should consider micro to be the  study of organisms that can exist as single cells,  contain a nucleic genome for at least part of their life cycle, and are capable of  replicating that genome  – this is a very broad definition that includes a large group of  organisms, including viruses. - Micro also involves a collection of techniques to study and manipulate these very small  creatures 2) Microbes have a large impact on human health: - Microbes cause many infectious diseases - Vaccines, antibiotics, and many other advances have lessened the impact of infectious  disease in the developed world, but infectious disease in developing countries is high - New illnesses caused by microorganisms continue to emerge and known pathogens are  becoming resistant to treatment 3) Microbes are often helpful, not harmful: Microbes form important mutualistic relationships with all sorts of organisms.  Many of  these relationships are important from a human perspective.   - Microbes living in our intestines and on our skin actively antagonize other bacteria and take up  space, preventing potential pathogens from taking a foothold on out bodies.   - Some also provide needed vitamins, such as B12, among others than contribute to our overall  health - Human health and nutrition depends heavily on healthy farm animals, such as cows, sheep,  horses, and other ruminant animals – they utilize their microbial associates to degrade plant  material into useful nutrients.  Without microbes, ruminant animals would not be able to digest  the food that they eat. - Commerical crops also depend on the activities of microbes   legumes form a cooperative  relationship with certain bacteria, where the bacteria converts nitrogen gas to ammonia for the  plant.
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- Microbes also help produce valuable products such as cheese, beer, yogurt, wine, organic acids, and more. 4) Microbes have profound effects on the environment: Microbes make up the major portion of the biomass present on the earth. Therefore, the nutrients they eat and the products they form greatly influence the environment. Cyanobacteria and algae in the oceans are responsible for most photosynthesis and are
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This note was uploaded on 03/30/2011 for the course MMBIO 221 taught by Professor Robison during the Fall '09 term at BYU.

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Chapter 1 Notes - 1)Introduction discovered

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