Usefulness and harmfulness of microorganisms to many fish dating

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Since the advent of antibiotics in the s, the use of plant derivatives as bottom of the sea, it would be all the better for mankind—and all the worse for the fishes” (92). . d“General” denotes activity against multiple types of microorganisms (e.g., . Flavonoid compounds exhibit inhibitory effects against multiple viruses. Because of the dual importance of Agrobacterium as a plant pathogen and as a Immunization is becoming the method of choice in controlling fish diseases. Phosphate, which is toxic to fish in high concentrations, is taken up by many bacteria and The introduction of harmful microorganisms can result in severe food. Food Product Dating When certain disease-causing bacteria, viruses or parasites Listeria monocytogenes is a harmful bacterium found in many foods. . Tip: Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature on the Refrigerated smoked fish; Partially cooked seafood, such as shrimp and crab.

With its implications for medicine still being realized, this could prove the most important single development in all branches of microbiology. It hardly seems likely that one of the youngest fields within the science of biology, which got off to a slow start and whose major discoveries and applications came long after the birth of modern science, could permeate our lives so much today. It's used in cosmology as we attempt to understand the biological and chemical processes of our universe, in food science to ensure what we eat is safe and in researching anthropological and archaeological applications of industrial microbiology such as fermentation.

With the opening up of genetics and gene sequencing, we are getting closer to understanding the building blocks of life through the microscope, and not forgetting the positive as well as the negative impact that microbes have on our planet and our lives The Sub-Disciplines of Microbiology Each new scientific discovery in any field demonstrates a potential to divide that into separate disciplines and then into subdisciplines as researchers delve deeper into those niche areas.

The following is a list of current subdisciplines that exist within microbiology. Aeromicrobiology This is the subdiscipline focused on examining minute organisms that survive in the air Microbes exist in all areas of the Earth's ecology and researchers here examine particles that exist, live, thrive and multiply in the air, or diseases that are transmitted through the air.

They are known as bioaerosols and can exist in the lower levels of the atmosphere to the highest, in clouds, and can travel great distances through weather systems. The major area of study we might consider is airborne diseases, but this is not the only area - organic atmospheric pollutants, the transmission of pollen and spores for plant reproduction, but also on the chemical processes of how substances crystallize and preserve microorganisms. However, it is also of interest to environmental health inspectors and industry to determine leaks of organic matter and to control and mitigate it.

Agricultural Microbiology Ever since humanity first began to cultivate crops and livestock for food and other produce, we have sought to understand the physical processes that take place - the effects of genetic modificationthe processes of breaking down dead plant material into nutrients, the importance of nutrients for the soil and the chemical and biological processes of algae and other microorganisms in keeping balance in the environment for our agricultural benefit.

Agricultural microbiology is the coming together of the wider discipline of microbiology and applying the practical side of biotechnology. The ultimate task is to understand the complex relationship between microorganisms and the environment of agriculture and its processes - including but not limited to: Some argue that agricultural microbiology could prove the next big step in sustainable agriculture by employing microbes to improve yield, longevity, resilience and ecological balance 19 while reducing the traditionally intensive costs of agriculture.

Astromicrobiology Also known as exomicrobiology, astromicrobiology looks not at our own planet, but to astronomical bodies The vast areas of space are a surprising source of signs of microbiological life, from asteroids that strike the Earth to fossilized remnants of simple life or chemicals that could have led to life found on other planets. This process has already been synthesized and now the goal is to identify markers elsewhere in the universe and to search for life no matter how simple or complex.

As microbial organic life is the most abundant and the most commonly found in harsh environments, those searching for extraterrestrial life tend to focus their SETI efforts toward life at the micro level, but also on the chemical processes that will lead to liquid water - believed to be necessary for all organic life.

Bacteriology Bacteriology is the study of bacteria - some of the earliest forms of life to have ever evolved on the planet and still present today We may approach bacteriology from many angles. The most obvious is that of the medical perspective as some bacteria cause diseasebut also from evolutionary microbiology to study how life evolves, from the perspective of industrial application of such useful processes as fermentation to create alcohol, for agriculture such cheese and other dairy products, and the gut flora vital for animal life and humans for digesting food.

In each case, bacteria is the tool that permits these processes. Experts in this area may study a wide variety of attributes of bacteria from their genetics to evolution and mutation, their potential medical applications or the diseases they cause or in some cases, how one bacteria may be used to fight another in a medical application. It has been fundamental in the development of vaccines in the earliest times right through to today and continues to deliver knowledge for disease prevention.

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Biotechnology Biotechnology can come under many of the subdivisions of the biological sciences Within the division of microbiology, it is the application of using microbiology in technological functions and industrial applications. This typically presents us with modern or future applications such as genetic engineering, but arguably it can also be applied to medical biotechnology and the search for organic solutions to the problems of today, environmental remediation in using microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses to clean up oil spills etc.

However, these future applications are not the only way humans have used microbiology - we have harnessed the natural process of fermentation for millennia - to make bread, cheese and other dairy products, alcohol, and preserving foodstuffs, and as sterilizing agents in simple medical procedures.

All of this is biotechnology too. Cellular Microbiology Today, biology is a complex and interdisciplinary subject broken down into hundreds of disciplines and subdisciplines. Microbiology is one of them; another is cell biology. It's a relatively young discipline, the term was coined in the mids and explains the fusing together of these two subdisciplines to fill gaps in the knowledge and explore areas of mutual overlap. Cellular microbiology utilizes microbes in the research of cell biology, and to examine them to explain their pathogenic attributes.

However, it is also used to study transmission of biological signals between cells, metabolism, the various cycles and processes of a cell, as well as investigating the biological structure and science of individual cells - rather than simply as a culture. In the future, we expect this area of microbiology to be fundamental in the study of and fight against antibiotic-resistant bugs Environmental Microbiology Environmental microbiology is the study of microbes in various environments - water bodies, the air, the soil, in our homes, and their habits in that environment This is a growing area that is expected to subdivide further in the future as it contains so many smaller fields such as microbial ecology, geomicrobiology and microbial diversity as a form of biodiversity as well as the other subfields in this list such as aeromicrobiology, to understand the relationships between microbes, between microbes and their environment, and their wider ecological impact - both positive and negative.

Here, they study all single and multi-celled organisms that are too small to be seen with the eye including prokaryotes 25eukaryotes, bacteria and viruses, as well as archaea. Their role cannot be underestimated, either in terms of their ecological impact nor their metabolisms in devouring organic material and the results that come from them. This area has applications in environmental remediation, for altering an ecology for human habitation - which is expected in future to include terraforming other planets.

Evolutionary Microbiology This small niche area has and will continue to prove vital in the study of evolutionary biology As already discussed, microbes represent the earliest forms of life on our planet. Understanding how they evolve and the development of DNA, proteins and other simple chemical and biological processes could be the key to unlocking all of life.

Specialists in this area could work on a number of subareas Including microbial taxonomy defining microbial life into categories and subcategories, the naming and classification and explain the various evolutionary relationships, mutations, and environmental forcings on such microbes, and microbial systematic which is the study of genetic relationships between the microbes and of diversity. Food Microbiology This area examines many issues related to our food.

Our relationship with food microbes is very mixed - some positive creating or transforming foodstuffs and some negative infecting and contaminating while others are just present as a natural byproduct of food processing, such as yogurt inhabiting.

It can cover food production safety issues 27 such as the presence of illness in livestock, bacteria in food handling due to it passing safety levels, the processes and cleanliness of the production facilities, but also examining the natural and artificial biochemical processes that turn food from one state to another. We utilize bacteria safely in the production of dairy produce, alcohol and breadmaking. Some of these have been vital to human civilization's development over thousands of years.

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However, it will also look at industrial microbiology, using algae and other microorganisms as thickening agents Generational Microbiology This small niche subdiscipline of microbiology examines the issues surrounding heredity - this is possible in the simple single cell organisms.

It could help to shed light on some of the issues surrounding the evolution from simple to complex life forms. To understand how and why genetic mutation occurs and its role in shaping a genetic makeup could be key to understanding all life. Immunology This is the branch of medical science that studies the role and function of the immune system in any living organism. The relationship between complex lifeforms and microbes has always been one of symbiosis in terms of the positive relationships and one of battle with those deemed negative.

Immunology as a branch of microbiology seeks to improve longevity and quality of life through vaccines and other preventive measures, medicines and other aftercare treatment. More recently, researchers have been studying the genetic codes of microbes to understand how we can better combat their causes at the microbial level.

Industrial Microbiology This is the human application of microbes for commercial or industrial processes, some of which we have already discussed. Typically, it involved the cultivation and processing of microbes to produce many of our most common foods such as fermentation for alcohol production, yeast fermentation to produce bread, the processes that lead to making cheese and other dairy products, but on an industrial scale. Also, this includes the cultivation of bacteria that create yogurt.

These are some of the oldest ways in which we harness the power of microbes in the environment. More modern processes involved identifying algae and bacteria useful in water waste treatment. Also, we are now employing microbiology in medicine and vitamin production to cope with growing demand of a growing population Microbial Studies Microbial studies is more concerned with the physical structure and function of a microbe than its processes.

Largely, this area is broken down into four general groups.


These are microbial cytology which is the study of minute details on a microbe; microbial physiology which examines cell functionality; microbial ecology which is the examination of their relationship within their environment; and microbial genetics which is the examination of a microbe's genetic structure.

Initially, this was crude and involving sending raw materials infected with harmful agents against enemies, for example, blankets and clothing that were worn by people who died from plague, cholera or smallpox. It also involved using catapults to send infected bodies over walls of cities under siege. In more recent times, it concerns the use of biological agents in war and in terrorism, starting with WWI and the use of chemical and biological warfare using botulism, ricin, anthrax and others.

This was outlawed internationally in but research continues largely for two reasons - to examine strains of such diseases to determine their effects and to develop vaccines, treatments, or cures, and research and prevention for the purposes of building international evidence for intervention against regimes that use them.

Molecular Microbiology Providing a bridge between biochemistry and microbiology, molecular microbiology studies the molecular causes for why biological entities and their cells act in the way they do It's considered an approach rather than a technique, looking at biological systems functionality and encouraging researchers in other areas of biology to think about the molecular framework of the biological system rather than only at the macro level.

As advances in genetics progress, this area is expected to prove vital in our understanding of all biological sciencesnot just for microbiology. Mycology This is the study of fungi and their biological processes. It was once assumed that the humble fungus was a plant; however, their genetic structure and other biological indicators suggest they are in a class of their own, neither animal nor plant, and - most surprisingly - more closely related to all animals than to any plant.

Mycologists examine all things that a botanist might study for plants but for fungi instead such as genetics, reproduction, evolution, taxonomy, habitat, ecology, disease pathology, and so on.

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Mycology is useful in a number of areas, most notably in evolutionary biology due to the vital ecological role than they play. They can occur as a yeast or a mold; some cause diseases and others have antiseptic or antibiotic properties from which we derive such medicines.

Nanomicrobiology It is possible to look at aspects of a biological entity at a much smaller scale than the cellular. Nanomicrobiology studies the aspects within the cell This includes the form and function of a cell wall and everything inside the cell. The importance of this area of study cannot be underestimated.

It is in the cell wall that we understand and explain how a virus might mutate - this is useful for planning vaccines in any given influenza season.

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  • Microbiology: Tiniest Lifeforms Under the Microscope

More recent advances in microscopes have allowed us to look even deeper than ever before, to examine microbe cell surfaces and to correct many of the misunderstandings we had about cells before we had the ability to examine them on the nano level. Some of these questions include how morphology might change with chemical interaction uses of medical drugsand what drives antibiotics to neutralize the effects of such cells.

Nematology Nematodes also known as roundworms are a type of parasitic worm too small to be seen with the naked eye. Until the invention of the microscope, it was not possible to study these.

The biological science of nematology is just years old even though interest in microscopic parasites go back thousands of years when civilizations understood the effects they could have but without the ability to see them.

Nematologists examine everything you can expect any other biological specialist to research - feeding, life cycle, reproduction, genetics, ecology, environments, and of course the diseases they can cause in animals and humans. Also, some may examine them from a medical perspective in studying their treatment. Some are not outright harmful to humans but can infect our most important food crops, and causing crop failure and famine.

Parasitology While nematology studies parasitic worms, parasitology as a subdiscipline of microbiology studies all minute parasites. These lifeforms are a group of biological entities that can only survive on or in another lifeform Parasites exist in the animal and plant kingdom.

In most cases, a parasite harms the host body. This is different from symbiotic relationships where there is a mutual benefit. Some argue that modern parasitology also studies or should study instances of symbiotic relationships. This area of study has many applications. We might consider it typically associated with human diseases such as ringworms and flatworms, it also concerns parasitology as problems for agriculture.

One of the biggest issues today is the effect of the varroa mite on honeybee populations globally. Evidence suggests that the growth in instances of this parasite is a major contributing factor to CCD Pharmaceutical Microbiology How do the microbiological entities present in our medicines work? What in their profile causes them to have the effects that they have? Pharmaceutical microbiology is the study of microorganisms and their relationship to pharmaceutical drugs. They are concerned with the questions above but also with safety and research integrity, compliancehealth issues, and quality assurance and quality control 36such as ensuring equipment is sterile during processing and removing the byproducts of microbes from water and other organic or chemical materials used in research.

This is also a useful discipline in detecting potential side effects such as carcinogenicity, infection control, mutagenic issues and using microorganisms to alter the chemical state of a product - examples include human growth hormones and insulin. Phycology The study of algae has its own separate discipline within botany - However, it also comes under microbiology because despite being able to see the physical presence of algae on water, it is impossible to see the structure of these minute lifeforms without a microscope.

They are tiny microbes, often eukaryotic single-celled and vital to aquatic ecosystems the world over.

They represent some of the earliest forms of life, differing from other plants in that they lack roots, stems, flowers and most other signs of being plants.

Phycology also covers plankton and seaweed such as kelp, and multi-celled organisms such as the blue-green algae and cyanobacteria, and lichen. Ancient cultures knew about these lifeforms and some even cultivated them for agricultural and medicinal use.

Modern uses of algae include environmental remediation as some devour pollutants and create harmless byproducts. Phylogenetics Many of the subdisciplines and microbiology as an umbrella term study biological entities on the cellular level in isolation But phylogenetics looks at the evolutionary history of species, and evolutionary relationships, at the cellular level.

Researchers do this by comparing genes and proteins between biological organisms to determine where on the family tree of life they may have diverged and for identifying potential common ancestors in paleontological sequences. Today, we can use such evolutionary trees for all forms of life - simple and complex, for tracing pathogens and their genetic mutations, and searching for common ancestors for most species. Using genetic studies as well as assemblage profiles, the tree may be complete by looking at the cellular level.

Predictive Microbiology This is the application of technology such as predictive modelling in determining how a microorganism might react in any environment, under any given circumstances, and what factors might influence a change in behavior.

Being able to predict what a microorganism might do or how it might react has many complex uses but remains a theoretical framework at present as not all factors can always be accounted for The most obvious and prevalent application would be predicting how viruses might spread or mutate and what factors may be useful in its eventual decline. Predictive microbiology assumes that the actions and results of microorganisms are predictable and reproducible based on such factors as genetics and past history.

Other uses include environmental and food safety sciencelooking at safe and unsafe levels of bacteria, the actions of harmless bacteria and other inclusions and what might happen to make them unsafe. Soil Microbiology With many uses in agriculture for improving yield and resilience - especially where problems of long-term monoculture are concerned 40ecology for environmental balance, land management, and environmental remediation, soil microbiology is an important niche area that studies the microbes in soils to understand the process of how they break down dead organic material to produce nutrients.

It is largely through these microbes that vegetation will break and digest down these nutrients in order to sustain growth. Microbes are a vital part of the soil nutrient cycle and that is no better demonstrated than in soils. Protistology Microscopic single cell organisms do not have a single profile. Some are plant-like while others share many more attributes with animals than they do with bacteria independent movement, feeding such as predation or algae and other plants It is this animal-like group that interests protistology - also known as protozoology.

This can include parasites and symbiotes as well as predator and prey behavior. Typical examples of lifeforms that protistologists might study include the parasite that causes malaria and those that digest harmful microfungi and bacteria in the environment. However, this approach is most successful for organisms that had hard body parts, such as shells, bones or teeth. Further, as prokaryotes such as bacteria and archaea share a limited set of common morphologies, their fossils do not provide information on their ancestry.


Evolutionary tree showing the divergence of modern species from their common ancestor in the centre. More recently, evidence for common descent has come from the study of biochemical similarities between organisms. For example, all living cells use the same basic set of nucleotides and amino acids. The next major change in cell structure came when bacteria were engulfed by eukaryotic cells, in a cooperative association called endosymbiosis.

Here, the majority of types of modern animals appeared in the fossil record, as well as unique lineages that subsequently became extinct. The image shows a cyanobacterial -algal mat. Stromatolites are formed from microbial mats as microbes slowly move upwards to avoid being smothered by sediment.

A microorganism or microbe is a microscopic living organismwhich may be single-celled [66] or multicellular. Microorganisms are very diverse and include all bacteriaarchaea and most protozoa. This group also contains some species of fungialgaeand certain microscopic animals, such as rotifers.

Many macroscopic animals and plants have microscopic juvenile stages. Some microbiologists also classify viruses and viroids as microorganisms, but others consider these as nonliving.