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Unformatted text preview: ents of disease
leading to the popular image of a malignant and hostile microbial
•Pathogenic microbes constitute only a very small fraction of the
microbes on Earth.
•Vast majority of microorganisms serve critical and beneficial roles in
• But the small proportion of microorganisms that do cause disease do
inflict serious suffering on other forms of life.
• Microbiologists have spent much time developing methods to
control microbial populations by either killing microbes outright or by
inhibiting their growth. A boring prokaryotic world?
• When observing prokaryotes under the
microscope, one finds that compared
to macroscopic eukaryotic plants and
animals most are
• morphologically boring: they don’t look
• behaviourally boring: they don’t behave
in ways that are obviously interesting.
• One can’t “emotionally connect” with the
microscopic prokaryotic world visually.
• One can really only connect with it at a
molecular-chemical level. Mr. Spock:
Unemotional role model A boring prokaryotic world?
• Read the article “More than meets the eye”.
• Ask yourself these questions:
• Am I really interested in microbiology
that does not deal with microbial
infections of humans (medicine)?
• Do I connect with a molecular-chemical
approach to biology?
• Is MICB 201 really the biology I can
• Can I study and do well in a subject that
I might not be able to connect with?
• Can I be like Mr. Spock? Mr. Spock:
Unemotional role model A convert from the macroscopic to
the microsopic world
Edward O Wilson Distinguished 20th-21st century
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- Fall '12