Lecture 1 spring 2011 - Whystudymicrobes?

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Why study microbes? They’re cool of course, but what are some other reasons
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Everyone is interested in some  part of microbiology Disease medicines Food Ecosystems Energy Garbage disposals
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General characteristics
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Microbes are essential to life on earth Human, animal, and plant  life on earth is made  possible by microbes Recycle carbon, nitrogen,  sulfur, hydrogen, and oxygen Estimated that there are 5 x  10 31  microbial cells on earth 60% of planet’s biomass Dominated planet for over 3  billion years
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Microbes balance and maintain Earth’s  environment Diversity Diverse biochemistry Ubiquity Abundance
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Microbes role in human  history Disease DNA, hereditary material Tools of molecular biology Model systems Treatments (i.e. antibiotics) Saving mankind
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Leeuwenhoek, 1676  Father of Microbiology
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1798 Edward Jenner  developed the first vaccine for  smallpox using the pustules from cattle as  inoculum.  -epidemiology -keen observations: cause and effect  before microbes & disease had been linked
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1855 Florence Nightingale employed statistics to  demonstrate the mortality by disease,  wounds, and other causes during the  Crimean war
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Germ theory It was hard to accept that organisms  that couldn’t be seen were responsible  for “disease” and “fermentations” Discoveries of today are hard to  believe/accept Latent viruses Prions Man’s activities are contributing to global  warming
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Louis Pasteur 1861  - coined the terms aerobic and anaerobic in  investigations of alcohol production by yeast - microbes cause spoilage of milk and wine - microbes and fermentation
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This note was uploaded on 11/30/2011 for the course MICROBIO 303 taught by Professor Kaspar/escalnte/downs during the Fall '09 term at University of Wisconsin.

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Lecture 1 spring 2011 - Whystudymicrobes?

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