What is Microbiology and Why do we need it?

In this article, we will discuss a topic which in particular is a great matter of interest, microbiology. We would go through the basic idea of what this science is focused on and why do we need it.

Microbiology by its definition is the study of an organism or acellular biological entities that are too small to be seen by unaided eye (AKA a microbe).

Microbiology a science or an art?

Before microbiology evolved into a science as we know it, it was considered an art, a skill known by only a few people in the society. It was a part of human life even before the bread and curd were prepared, gradually over the historic time people have learned to observe their role not just in human body but also as a part of the entire ecosystem. Involvement of microorganism in a disease is not a rare knowledge to a people but it has been proposed since the 1770s and was observed and proved by many renounced scientists of their time.

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Hand print on petri plate and microbial growth.

In this article, we discuss the various field included in microbiology with due emphasis on their effect on human life.

Major field of Microbiology.

Medical Microbiology

Medical microbiology deals with the disease of human and animals by identifying the agents causing and the measures to be taken against them. This stream utilizes the various machinery and modern culturing techniques in order to provide the society knowledge of a particular disease-causing microorganism. With the recent advancements in genetic engineering, microbiology as a science has taken a huge leap in improving the life of human society. Note that this field particularly requires an in-depth study of immunology as well as molecular biology.

Microbiology is an art which requires fine detailed study.
A microbiologist handling petri plates.

Microbial Ecology

Microbial ecology is a field with its prime concern towards the environment and its protection from various pollutants. Since the beginning of time microorganism are considered to be the first to have habituated the earth. This field is concerned with the study of the diverse microorganism according to their morphology, physiology and their relationship with other organisms in an ecosystem.

Agricultural Microbiology

As closely agriculture and its products are associated with human, agricultural microbiology is associated with medicine and microbial ecology. Microorganisms are important factors in the field of agriculture from the basic nitrogen-fixing bacteria to the latest techniques in the production of genetically modified plants. In this area of microbiology, the knowledge of the interaction of microbes with plants is extensively studied to produce newer methods to produce more yield from the land.

Food and Dairy Microbiology

Agricultural Microbiology and Food and Dairy Microbiology work for the same goal in the production of a quality food. Food and Dairy microbiology has been in close relation with humans since the historic time, the mere production of bread and curd are in fact the oldest techniques used by laymen without even the complete understanding of the process involved. This field includes the study of microbes and their application in the food and dairy industries.

Industrial Microbiology

The entire field of industrial microbiology is based on the manipulation of microorganisms into producing the desired product and enhance the yield of product in large-scale industries. Microbiology is involved in all the basic industries associated with human life, such as wine industry, beer industry to the advanced vaccine and antibiotic industries. Industries try to identify and isolate unique strains of particular microorganism which are capable to give some unique or improved products with greater yield.

Microbiology as a study has many different fields intertwined with it including immunology, biochemistry, plant and animal physiology etc. The latest advances in microbiology are the result of continuous and vigorous experiments conducted by many microbiologists all over the world since the time known to men. The science of the study of microorganism is as unique and intriguing as the diversity of them on earth. Microbiology has a great scope in near future with undeniable influence on the growth and upliftment of human society.

For further references read PRESCOTT’S MICROBIOLOGY 10E“>Prescott’s Microbiology.

1 thought on “What is Microbiology and Why do we need it?”

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