02. 2011-01-05

Pathogenic microbes constitute only a very small

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Unformatted text preview: ents of disease leading to the popular image of a malignant and hostile microbial world. •Pathogenic microbes constitute only a very small fraction of the microbes on Earth. •Vast majority of microorganisms serve critical and beneficial roles in the biosphere. • 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 interesting. • 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 connect with? • 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 biologist Studie...
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