The globe of microorganism includes a diversity of species of bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoan parasites. The introduction of microscope and inventive methods of isolation and recognition of such microbial organisms released a latest field of study known as Microbiology.
The study of microorganisms mainly deals with the structure, form, reproduction, metabolism, physiology and classification of micro-organisms. The segment of microbiological studies include various aspects of their distribution in nature, their link to one other and to other organisms, their effect on animals, plants and human beings, their roles in the sustainability of natural habitats such as air, soil and water and as well their valuable features to biotechnology.
As an application of microbiology, medical microbiology is often started with medical principles of immunology as microbiology. Or else, microbiology, immunology and virology as basic sciences have really surpassed the medical variants.
Fields of Microbiology:
The field of microbiology can be usually splitted into many sub disciplines as follows:
1) Microbial physiology: It is the study of how microbial cell functions biochemically. It comprises the study of microbial growth, microbial metabolism and the cell structure of microbes.
2) Microbial genetics: It is the study of how genes are arranged and regulated in the microbes in relation to their cellular functions. It is mainly associated to the field of molecular biology.
3) Medical microbiology: It is the study of role of microbes in human illness. It comprises the study of microbial pathogenesis and epidemiology and is associated to the study of disease pathology and immunology.
4) Veterinary microbiology: It is the study of role in microbes in veterinary medicine or animal nomenclature.
5) Environmental microbiology: It is the study of the function and variety of microbes in their natural surroundings. It comprises the study of microbial ecology, geo-microbiology, microbial microbial-mediated nutrient cycling, diversity and bioremediation. Characterization of key bacterial habitats like the rhizosphere and phyllosphere, soil and ground-water ecosystems opens oceans and extreme environments (extremophiles).
6) Evolutionary microbiology: It is the study of the evolution of microbes. It comprises the study of bacterial systematics and nomenclature.
7) Industrial microbiology: The utilization of microbes for use in industrial techniques. Illustrations comprise industrial fermentation and waste-water treatment.
8) Aero-microbiology: It is the study of airborne microorganisms.
9) Food Microbiology: It is the study of microorganisms causing the spoilage of food.
10) Pharmaceutical microbiology: It is the study of microorganisms causing the pharmaceutical contamination and spoilage.
Early history of microbiology:
Historians are uncertain who made the first study of microorganisms, however the microscope was available all through the mid-1600s and an English scientist named Robert Hooke made key examinations. He is supposed to have noticed strands of fungi among the specimens of cells he viewed. In the year 1670 and the decades afterward, a Dutch merchant named Anton van Leeuwenhoek prepared careful examinations of microscopic organisms, which he termed animalcules. Until his death in year 1723, van Leeuwenhoek disclosed the microscopic world to scientists of the day and is considered as one of the first to propose accurate explanations of fungi, protozoa and bacteria.
After van Leeuwenhoek died, the study of microbiology didn't expand speedily as microscopes were uncommon and the interest in micro-organisms was not high. In such years, scientists discussed the theory of spontaneous generation, which proposed that microorganisms come up from lifeless matter like beef broth. This theory was disagree by Francesco Redi, who illustrated that fly maggots don't occur from decaying meat, if the meat is wrapped to prevent the entry of flies. An English cleric named John Needham go forward spontaneous generation; however Lazzaro Spallanzani disputed the theory by exhibiting that boiled broth would not give rise to the microscopic forms of life.
Louis Pasteur and the germ theory:
Louis Pasteur worked in the middle and late 1800s. He carried out many experiments to discover the reason why wine and dairy products became sour and he found that bacteria were to blame. Pasteur called attention to the significance of microorganisms in daily life and stirred scientists to think that when bacteria could make the wine 'sick', then possibly they could cause the human illness.
Pasteur had to invalidate spontaneous generation to maintain his theory and he thus devised a sequence of swan-necked flasks filled by broth. He left the flasks of broth open to the air; however the flasks had a curve in the neck so that micro-organisms would fall to the neck, not the broth. The flasks didn't become contaminated (as he predicted they wouldn't), and Pasteur's experiments place to rest the idea of spontaneous generation. His work as well encouraged the principle that microorganisms were in the air and could cause disease. Pasteur hypothesized the germ theory of disease, which illustrates that microorganisms are the causes of communicable disease.
Pasteur's endeavors to prove the germ theory were unsuccessful. Though, the German scientist Robert Koch proposed the proof by cultivating anthrax bacteria apart from any other kind of organism. He then injected pure cultures of the bacilli to the mice and exhibited that the bacilli invariably caused anthrax. The methods employed by Koch came to be known as Koch's postulates. They provided a set of principles whereby other microorganisms could be associated to other diseases.
The growth of microbiology:
In the late 1800s and for the first decade of 1900s, scientists seized the chance to further build up the germ theory of disease as articulated by Pasteur and proved by Koch. There come out a Golden Age of Microbiology throughout which most of the agents of various infectious diseases were recognized. Most of the etiologic agents of microbial disease were discovered throughout that period, leading to the capability to halt epidemics through interrupting the spread of micro-organisms.
In spite of the advances in microbiology, it was hardly ever possible to render life-saving therapy to the infected patient. Then, after World War-II, the antibiotics were proposed to medicine. The incidence of tuberculosis, pneumonia, meningitis, syphilis and most of the other diseases declined with the utilization of antibiotics.
Work by means of viruses couldn't be efficiently functioned till instruments were built up to help scientists see such disease agents. In the year 1940s, the electron microscope was build up and perfected. In that decade, cultivation processes for viruses were as well introduced and the knowledge of viruses builds up rapidly. By the development of vaccines in the year 1950 and 1960, these viral diseases like polio, mumps, measles, and rubella came beneath control.
Modern microbiology reaches to numerous fields of human endeavor, comprising the growth of pharmaceutical products, the utilization of quality-control techniques in food and dairy product production, the control of disease-causing microorganisms in the consumable waters and the industrial applications of micro-organisms. Microorganisms are employed to produce amino acids, vitamins, enzymes and growth supplements. They prepare numerous foods, comprising fermented dairy products (such as sour cream, yogurt and buttermilk) and also other fermented foods like sauerkraut, pickles, breads and alcoholic beverages.
One of the main areas of applied microbiology is biotechnology. In this discipline, the micro-organisms are employed as living factories to generate pharmaceuticals which otherwise couldn't be manufactured. These substances comprise the human hormone insulin, the antiviral substance interferon, many blood-clotting factors and clot dissolving enzymes and a number of vaccines. Bacteria can be reengineered to raise plant resistance to frost and insects, and biotechnology will show a main application of micro-organisms in the next century.
Significance of Biology:
1) Disease: From the discovery of infectious microbes, most of the infectious diseases controlled by sanitation, preventive medicine and chemotherapy.
2) Agriculture: There are microbes which are vital in processing the materials in soil, example: nitrogen, sulphur and so on.
3) Food and drink. Microbial fermentations are responsible for all the alcoholic beverages, breads, cheeses, pickles and so on. Control of food and drink spoilage is the main concern of food industry.
4) Chemical products: Microbes encompass incredible diversity of metabolic tricks; and can be employed to produce acetone and other commercial solvents, antibiotics, pharmaceuticals, preservatives and so on.
5) Basic research: Microbes grow fast, produce many offspring. Easy to find events which take place only 1 in a billion times if contain 100 billion bacteria in test tube. It is very important to the modern biology.
6) Biotechnology: Example-genetic engineering, capability to move genes freely from one organism to the other; choose genes of interest and amplify their expression. Bacteria are natural hosts for these activities.
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