Microbiology refers to the study of microorganisms. As the name suggests, microorganisms are organisms that are so small they can only be seen using a microscope. Bacteria, fungi (such as yeasts and molds), protozoa, viruses, algae, and some parasites are all types of microorganisms. Some people also list prions as microorganisms even though they are proteins and not organisms. These broad areas encompass several specific fields. These fields include: immunology (the study of the immune system and how it works to protect us from harmful organisms and harmful substances produced by them); pathogenic microbiology, microbial genetics (which is linked to molecular biology); food microbiology (studying the effects of food spoilage); and so on. Stewart (1899) described the first impedance change for the detection of microbial growth. The method became popular in the 1970s as it could detect microorganisms within 24 h (Cady, 1975, 1978; Richards, Jason, Hobbs, Gibson, & Christie, 1978). However, the work on impedance microbiology still required improvement due to the lack of sensitivity and accuracy compared to that of the traditional methods. Microorganisms are all around us, and they are capable of surviving in a wide array of environmental conditions. They are a necessary part of our world and perform a variety of useful functions.
Fermentation, the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar and wine, many types of cheeses and breads, and some sausages. Microorganisms help people digest fruits and vegetables, just as they help animals digest plants
Many microbes are either pathogens or parasitic organisms, both of which can harm humans .Microbiology focuses on organisms that are very small using various tools, which is a process done by microbiologists. As microbes are essential for human life and as microbes can cause human diseases, microbiology is therefore very important. The numbers of individual microbes and the number of microbes in and on the earth is staggering in proportions
Reasons for choosing microbiology
In the food industry, the number of bacteria is generally more important than specific identification. Developments for the food industry have ranged from simple modifications of traditional techniques to more sophisticated systems for physically counting cells in a sample. Probably, the most sophisticated and fastest technique available is flow cytometry, which can provide counts of viable microorganisms within an hour compared with 3 days for the average traditional technique. This knowledge was used to control undesirable microbes and effectively use the desirable types. A microbiologist should have a good understanding of current developments in food microbiology as we as the characteristics of microorganisms important in food.
Problems of microbiology
There are many unsolved problems in Microbiology. One of the main problems is our lack of knowledge of most of the bacterial species on the planet. We have sequenced many thousands of species, however, most of this fall within only a few phyla.
Aims of microbiology
Microbiologists aim to answer many important global questions by understanding microbes. However, the basic aim of microbiology is to study and understand the tiniest life forms on Earth, and how they improve food safety. Food safety is paramount to human health, and welfare. Pathogens can invade food due to improper handling, storage, and preparation. Food microbiology job objectives include studying these microorganisms that cause spoilage to understand how to inhibit the growth and improve food safety. Another job objective is the study of helpful bacterial microbes, such as probiotics, and how they relate to food science.
Microbiology is the study of microorganisms those being unicellular, (single cell), multicellular “cell colony” or acellular (lacking cells). An agar plate streaked with microorganisms Microbiology composed of sub-disciplines below
Virology is the study of viruses , submicroscopic, parasitic particles of genetic material contained in a protein coat and virus-like agents. It focuses on the following aspects of viruses: their structure, classification and evolution, their ways to infect, and exploit host cells for reproduction, their interaction with the host organism physiology and immunity, the diseases they cause, the techniques to isolate and culture them, and their use in research and therapy. Bacteriology is the branch and specialty of biology that studies the morphology of bacteria as well as many other aspects related to them.
Protistology is a scientific discipline devoted to the study of protists, a highly diverse group of eukaryotic organisms. mycology is the branch of biology concerned with the study of fungi, including their genetic and biochemical properties, their taxonomy and their use as a source for tinder, food, and entheogens, as well as their dangers, such as to toxicity or infection.
Immunology is a branch of biology that covers the study of immune systems in all organisms. Immunology charts, measures, and contextualizes the physiological functioning of the immune system in states of both health and diseases; malfunctions of the immune system in immunological disorders (such as autoimmune diseases, hypersensitivities, immune deficiency, and transplant rejection); and the physical, chemical, and physiological characteristics of the components of the immune system.
Parasitology is the study of parasites, their hosts, and the relationship between them. As a biological discipline, the scope of parasitology is not determined by the organism or environment in question but by their way of life.
Types of microorganisms
Eukaryotic these are microorganism possess membrane-bound organelles and include fungi and protists.Prokaryotic organisms all of which are microorganisms classified as lacking membrane-bound organelles and include Bacteria and Archaea
Viruses have been variably classified as organisms, as they have been considered either as very simple microorganisms or very complex molecules. Prions, never considered as microorganisms, have been investigated by virologists, however, as the clinical effects traced to them were originally presumed due to chronic viral infections, and virologists took search discovering ‘infectious proteins’.
The existences of microorganisms were predicted many centuries before they were first observed, for example by the Jains in India and by Marcus Terentius Varro in ancient Rome. The first recorded microscope observation was of the fruiting bodies of molds, by Robert Hooke in 1666, but the Jesuit priest Athanasius Kircher was likely the first to see microbes, which he mentioned observing in milk and putrid material in 1658. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek is considered a father of microbiology as he observed and experimented with microscopic organisms in 1676, using simple microscopes of his own design. Scientific microbiology developed in the 19th century through the work of Louis Pasteur and in medical microbiology Robert Koch.
Historical background of microbiology
The 17th-century discovery of living forms existing invisible to the naked eye was a significant milestone in the history of science, for from the 13th century onward it had been postulated that “invisible” entities were responsible for decay and disease. The word microbe was coined in the last quarter of the 19th century to describe these organisms, all of which were thought to be related. As microbiology eventually developed into a specialized science, it was found that microbes are a very large group of extremely diverse organisms. Daily life is interwoven inextricably with microorganisms. In addition to populating both the inner and outer surfaces of the human body, microbes abound in the soil, in the seas, and the air. Abundant, although usually unnoticed, microorganisms provide sample evidence of their presence sometimes unfavorably, as when they cause decay of materials or spread diseases, and sometimes favorably, as when they ferment sugar to wine and beer, cause bread to rise, flavor cheeses and produce valued products such as antibiotics and insulin Streptococcus pyogenes.
Applications of Microbiology
Microbes are used for industrial fermentation, and antibiotic production Microbes act as molecular vehicles to transfer DNA to complex organisms such as plants and animals. Bacteria can be used for the industrial production of amino acids. A variety of biopolymers, such as polysaccharides, polyesters, and polyamides, are produced by microorganisms. Microorganisms are used for the biotechnological production of biopolymers with tailored properties suitable for high-value medical application such as tissue engineering and drug delivery. Microorganisms are beneficial for microbial biodegradation or bioremediation of domestic, agricultural and industrial wastes, and subsurface pollution in soils, sediments and marine environments. Symbiotic microbial communities confer benefits to their human and animal hosts health including aiding digestion, producing beneficial vitamins and amino acids, and suppressing pathogenic microbes
Microbiology is used to identify microorganisms that are of a concern to food. It is also used to identify the microbial toxins in Food. To determine which pathogens have been, or could be, associated with the product and on the availability of human (or animal) health data on the occurrence and levels of pathogens in the product of concern In microbiology, Hazard identification may also be the first step in understanding a new, or emerging, food safety problem. In such circumstances, microbiological hazard identification is quite similar to hazard identification for toxic chemicals
Microbiology is a biological science involved with the study of microscopic organisms. Microbiology is made up of several sub-disciplines including bacteriology (the study of bacteria), mycology (the study of fungi), phycology, parasitology (the study of parasites), and virology (the study of viruses, and how they function inside cells). These broad areas encompass several specific fields. These fields include: immunology (the study of the immune system and how it works to protect us from harmful organisms and harmful substances produced by them); Microorganisms are all around us, and they are capable of surviving in a wide array of environmental conditions. They are a necessary part of our world and perform a variety of useful functions. Fermentation, the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar and wine, many types of cheeses and bread, and some sausages. Microorganisms help people digest fruits and vegetables, just as they help animals digest plants.
Conclusion and recommendations
In conclusion, Microbiology is an ancient biological science in which identification and characterization of microorganisms and their interactions with the surrounding environment are studied. It plays a huge role in our food industries and food safety. The human civilization began when hunters and gatherers adopted not only production but also the preservation of foods. We recommend that before the existence of microorganisms was discovered, their importance on food spoilage and health hazards was conceived by our early ancestors. Once their association and importance in food were proven, efforts were made to understand the basic principles associated with food and microbial interactions. This knowledge was used to control undesirable microbes and effectively use the desirable types. A microbiologist should have a good understanding of current developments in food microbiology as we as the characteristics of microorganisms important in food.
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