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Systems Microbiolo47

Systems Microbiolo47 - because plants are photosynthesizing...

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Systems Microbiology o The vast amount of diversity on Earth exists in the microbial world. o Microbes represent more than 50% of biomass in the oceans. o They control all the elemental cycles that shape Earth’s habitability. o They can live without us… but we can’t live without them. o It used to be that microbes were the only way that nitrogen got into the atmosphere… ° But now, with fertilizers etc., people are contributing to the nitrogen cycle more than microbes are. o Slide: photosynthesis and respiration ° Plants °° Animals: both are codependent o Slide: Energy: The Anthropocentric perspective ° We’re using up all the oil, putting carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. o Slide: graph of atmospheric carbon dioxide over time, as measured at Mauna Loa. ° Shows a steep, steady increase – we haven’t seen an increase like this in a very long time – it doesn’t look natural. ° There are spikes of carbon dioxide every winter and lower areas every summer,
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Unformatted text preview: because plants are photosynthesizing more in the summer. ° This increase in carbon dioxide could have serious consequences as the greenhouse gas effect. • Slide: “The Popular View of ‘Bugs’” o People popularly think that microbes (“bugs”) are somehow dirty or damaging, but the truth is that you cannot get rid of them – they’re all over your body, and most of them are good for you. ° It’s a symbiotic relationship. ° Slide: host bacterial symbiosis in the human intestine. • Fundamentally, pathogenic microorganisms use the same machinery as nonpathogenic ones. o Short movie: bacteriophage infecting a cell. • Biotechnology and biological engineering: research examples o Functional diversity in rhodopsin – in the presence of light, this will move a proton, creating an electrical gradient that allows ATP production o The functional parts of a cell: people are working on creating a registry of standard biological parts....
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