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BIOL 140 (5)
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Department
Biology
Course
BIOL 140
Professor
Paul Hewitt
Semester
Summer

Description
Fundamentals  of  Microbiology  (Biology  240)   Course  notes   Dr.  Josh  D.  Neufeld   Topic  1:  Microbiology  in  context   Welcome  to  Biology  240!   In  this  course,  you  will  be  introduced  to  the  world  of  microorganisms,  learn  how  these   organisms  are  studied,  and  become  aware  of  the  position,  role  and  importance  of   microorganisms  in  the  world.  Microbiology  is  a  science  that  is  not  much  more  than  a   century  old.  It  is  thus  a  young,  vigorous  and  modern  science.  Microbiology  has  had   profound  influence  on  almost  every  sector  of  human  interest:  health,  agriculture,  food   and  environment.  It  has  given  rise  to  molecular  biology  and  biotechnology.  Even  if  you   do  not  plan  to  specialize  in  microbiology,  it  is  important  to  develop  an  understanding  of   microbiology  and  the  microbial  impact  on  our  lives.     While  one  of  the  most  important  drivers  for  the  development  of  the  science  of   microbiology  was  the  recognition  that  many  diseases  are  caused  by  microorganisms,  in   reality,  only  a  very  small  fraction  of  microorganisms  cause  disease.  In  fact,  for  most  of   the  time  that  microorganisms  have  existed  on  earth,  there  were  no  multicellular   organisms  available  to  infect.  The  physiological  activities  of  microorganisms  resulted  in   the  formation  of  a  “biosphere”,  that  allowed  some  of  them  to  evolve  into  multicellular   organisms.  Even  today,  microorganisms  comprise  >50%  of  the  Earth’s  biomass.  The   overwhelming  majority  of  these  microorganisms  are  "friendly".     Microorganisms  have  been  very  important  as  model  systems  in  the  study  of   biochemistry  and  genetics.  Most  of  the  fundamental  biochemical  and  genetic  principles   of  life  were  developed  through  the  study  of  microorganisms.  Microbial  cells  can  be   cultured  to  high  densities  in  the  laboratory,  facilitating  biochemical  analysis,  and  they   are  easy  to  manipulate  genetically.     Although  microbial  cells  do  not  differentiate  into  distin
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