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Microbiology - (Greek μικρός, mikrós, „tiny“, βίος, bíos, „life“ and λόγος, lógos, „science“) is a science in the composition of biology, which is occupied by the study of microorganisms (bacterium, (archaebacteria), microscopic fungi, protozoa,alga,and viruses). Into the field of the interests of microbiology enter their systematics, morphology, physiology, biochemistry, evolution, role in the ecosystems and also the possibility of practical use. Bacteriology is a division of microbiology.

Leeuwenhoek on a Netherlands postage stamp

History[change | change source]

In 1665, Robert Hooke saw that cork was made up of little cubes that he named cells. Later Anton van Leeuwenhoek made the important connection that cells are living things when he saw through his early microscope smallest one-celled organisms. Later Christian Ehrenberg found that protista or bacteria were different kinds of cells. In the late part of the 1800s Martinus Beijerinck showed that there were small particles called viruses.

Another important change in the study of microorganisms came from the discovery of DNA and RNA. This allowed using a vector to change the inside of a cell without killing it. One recent discovery that changed the study of microbiology is the discovery of transposons or jumping genes. Another one is the discovery of animal genes in the cells.

cork Micrographia 1665

Branches[change | change source]

The branches of microbiology can be classified into pure and applied sciences.  Microbiology can be also classified based on taxonomy, as in the cases of bacteriology, mycology, protozoology, and phycology. There is considerable overlap between the specific branches of microbiology with each other and with other disciplines. Certain aspects of these branches can extend beyond the traditional scope of microbiology