What Is The Microbiology Study?

The study of microbiology is essentially an advanced biology course. Ideally, students taking microbiology will have some background in biology. Although biology is the study of living organisms (from bios, referring to living organisms, and logy, meaning “the study of”), microbiology includes the study of certain nonliving entities as well as certain living organisms. Collectively, these nonliving entities and living organisms are called microbes.

Microbiology is the study of microbes. With only rare exceptions, individual microbes can be observed only with the use of various types of microscopes. The two major categories of microbes are called acellular microbes (also called infectious particles) and cellular microbes (also called microorganisms). Acellular microbes include viruses and prions. Cellular microbes include all bacteria, all archaea, all protozoa, some algae, and some fungi.

Microbiology Science
Micro means very  small— anything so small that it must be viewed with a microscope (an optical instrument used to observe very small objects). Therefore, microbiology can be defined as the study of microbes. With only rare exceptions, individual microbes can be observed only with the use of various types of microscopes. Microbes are said to be ubiquitous, meaning they are virtually everywhere.

The various categories of microbes include viruses, bacteria, archaea, protozoa, and certain types of algae and fungi (Fig.1). Because most scientists do not consider viruses to be living organisms, they are often referred to as “acellular microbes” or “infectious particles” rather than microorganisms.
Acellular and cellular microbes. Acellular microbes (also known as infectious particles) include prions and viruses. Cellular microbes include the less complex prokaryotes (organisms composed of cells that lack a true nucleus, such as archaea and bacteria) and the more complex eukaryotes (organisms composed of cells that contain a true nucleus, such as algae, protozoa, and fungi).
Fig 1 - Microbiology: Acellular and cellular microbes. Acellular microbes (also known as infectious particles) include prions and viruses. Cellular microbes include the less complex prokaryotes (organisms composed of cells that lack a true nucleus, such as archaea and bacteria) and the more complex eukaryotes (organisms composed of cells that contain a true nucleus, such as algae, protozoa, and fungi). - Microbiology

Your first introduction to microbes may have been when your mother warned you about “germs” (Fig.2). Although not a scientific term, germs are the microbes that cause disease. Your mother worried that you might become infected with these types of microbes. Disease-causing microorganisms are technically known as pathogens (also referred to as infectious agents) (Table 1-1). Actually, only about 3% of known microbes are capable of causing disease (i.e., only about 3% are pathogenic).
“Germs.” In all likelihood, your mother was your first microbiology instructor. Not only did she alert you to the fact that there were “invisible” critters in the world that could harm you, she also taught you the fundamentals of hygiene like hand washing.
Fig 2 - MicrobiologyGerms.” In all likelihood, your mother was your first microbiology instructor. Not only did she alert you to the fact that there were “invisible” critters in the world that could harm you, she also taught you the fundamentals of hygiene like hand washing.

Phatogens table
Phatogens table Microbiology
Thus, the vast majority of known microbes are nonpathogens—microbes that do not cause disease. Some nonpathogens are beneficial to us, whereas others have no effect on us at all. In newspapers and on television, we read and hear more about pathogens than we do about nonpathogens, but in this post you will learn about both categories—the microbes that help us (“microbial allies”) and those that harm us (“microbial enemies”).

Microbes that cause disease are knownas pathogens. Those that do not causedisease are called nonpathogens.

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