Essay on The Impact of Microorganisms on Human Affairs

4186 Words Mar 22nd, 2013 17 Pages
The Impact of Microorganisms on Human Affairs What is microbiology? Microbiology is the study of microorganisms or microbes. The word micro means small in Greek, implying that microbes are very minute or small life forms that cannot be seen with just the naked eye. One would need a microscope to see these small life forms. Microbes are everywhere and have a large impact on the world. It all started when one of the most important discoveries in history was made in 1665. Englishman, Robert Hooke discovered “little boxes” or “cells” in a slice of cork through the microscope and explained that these were life’s smallest structural unit (Tortora et al, 2010). This event marked the beginning of the cell theory, that all living things are …show more content…
Some unique characteristics about microbes are that they are ubiquitous, dominant, diverse, and free living. Since the experiments of the great scientists such as Pasteur and Koch, the world of microbiology has taken great strides in understanding the impact that microbes have on the world, whether beneficial or destructive. A period from 1857 to 1914 was called “The Golden Age of Microbiology” which marked the beginning of rapid advances and discoveries such as vaccines for disease to fermentation and pasteurization. This period came to be one of the most influential and ever-changing sciences in the world today. If it wasn’t for the first experiments in the field, we would not know that microorganisms are the main cause of most diseases in the world. We all live in a world filled with microbes from birth to death and we have numerous microorganisms on our bodies as well as inside of our bodies. These microorganisms are known as normal microbiota or normal flora. These microorganisms benefit us in that it prevents us from being sick all the time. They also produce growth factors such as Vitamin K and folic acid. Though these microbiota live in harmony with their host under normal conditions, they can be harmful if they find their way into different parts of the body or a different habitat. These microbes would be considered pathogenic or disease-causing, and are not exclusive to the body’s normal flora. An example of a normal

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