BIOL 1003 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Louis Pasteur, Athanasius Kircher, Marcus Terentius Varro

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22 Nov 2017
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Microbiology (from Greek μ κρος, mīkros, "small"; βίος, bios,
"life"; and -λογία, -logia) is the study of microorganisms, those being
unicellular (single cell), multicellular (cell colony), or acellular (lacking
cells).[1] Microbiology encompasses numerous sub-disciplines
including virology, parasitology, mycology and bacteriology.
Eukaryotic microorganisms possess membrane-bound cell
organelles and include fungi and protists, whereas prokaryotic organisms
—all of which are microorganisms—are conventionally classified as
lacking membrane-bound organelles and include eubacteria and
archaebacteria. Microbiologists traditionally relied on culture, staining,
and microscopy. However, less than 1% of the microorganisms present
in common environments can be cultured in isolation using current
means.[2] Microbiologists often rely on molecular biology tools such as
DNA sequence based identification, example 16s rRNA gene sequence
used for bacteria identification.
Viruses have been variably classified as organisms,[3] as they have
been considered either as very simple microorganisms or very complex
molecules. Prions, never considered microorganisms, have been
investigated by virologists, however, as the clinical effects traced to
them were originally presumed due to chronic viral infections, and
virologists took search—discovering "infectious proteins".
The existence of microorganisms was predicted many centuries
before they were first observed, for example by the Jains in India and by
Marcus Terentius Varro in ancient Rome. The first recorded microscope
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