Elementary Microbiology

This course focuses on the importance of microorganisms in health, disease, agriculture, and industry. Specifically, Microbiology 106 looks at the unique nature of microorganisms and their importance to life on earth. Microbes were the first form of life to evolve, and even though different in structure from other forms of living things, many similarities can be found in terms of genetics, metabolism, and the roles they play in nature. Bacteria, viruses, and other forms of microscopic life will be examined in some detail, as will their biological activities both beneficial and harmful.Most people think of microbes in their negative roles: disease, food spoilage, and bio-deterioration. Indeed, we spend a lot of time and resources controlling microbes in our environment and treating diseases they cause. But microbes are found naturally on and within the human body with beneficial effect. They are also important in the production of food, vitamins, drugs, and other useful products. They are used extensively in biotechnology. They have important ecological roles and are essential to the continued existence of life on earth.