Tiny, rapidly swimming animals 1st observed under a
microscope by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek in the 1670s.
A process widely employed by various industries that uses
microbes to solve biological problems; to produce large
quantities of useful items, such as antibiotics, vitamins, and food supplements; and to degrade toxic materials (especially in raw sewage).
germ theory of disease
The belief that microbes will grow in humans and are the cause
of diseases that spread from person to person and town to town.
Four requirements developed by Robert Koch in the 1870s that
must be satisfied in order to establish that an organism is the
cause of a disease: show that a given organism exists in animals
infected with the specific disease but not in animals that are not
infected with the disease; obtain a pure culture of the organism;
produce the same symptoms seen in the infected animals by
inoculating healthy animals with this isolate; and isolate the
identical microbe from the newly infected animal.
Enzyme discovered by Alexander Fleming in the early 20th
century that destroys bacteria by degrading bacterial cell walls.
Tiny, medically relevant organisms including prions, viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites.
A group of microorganisms consisting of a single species of cells with no external contamination.
A logic-based process scientists use to make observations about a specific phenomenon, develop a hypothesis to explain these observations, and arrive at provable conclusions.
A 2-titled naming system for organisms that includes the
organism's genus and species.
Once thought to be blue-green algae, this form of bacteria uses
sunlight to produce carbohydrates and fix nitrogen from the air,
creating a bad taste and odor in drinking water supplies during
summertime. Cyanobacteria perform a major role in the
worldwide production of oxygen.
The various species of the domain Eukarya, which includes all
organisms except bacteria. Eukaryotes contain a true (eu)
Bacterial organisms that have no nucleus. The term derives from the Greek terms "pro" (meaning before) and "kary" (meaning nucleus).
A technique for making microbes visible by placing them on a glass slide and magnifying them by a light microscope.
High-resolution microscope observation that uses electrons to illuminate tiny virus particles.
scanning electron microscopy (SEM)
A viewing process in which scattered electrons are detected and the object's surface is reconstructed by computer technology; especially good for visualizing surface structures.
transmission electron microscopy (TEM)
A process in which electrons pass through a specimen and heavy
metals pile up around the virus and scatter electrons. This leaves
dark areas that reflect the viral outline on the viewing screen.
A single piece of double-stranded DNA composed of thousands of genes. The 2 strands are complementary so that they always pair in a certain order.
A variety of nucleic acid and, along with ribonucleic acid, 1 of 2 types of molecules that encode genetic information.
Proteins that serve to break down complete nutrients into
smaller, useful molecules according to the energy requirements of each cell.
Relatively small macromolecules that span the membrane of every cell. Most membrane lipids contain phosphate and are called phospholipids.
Large types of molecules found in numbers of 1 to 100,000
copies per cell. Macromolecules include proteins,
polysaccharides, nucleic acids, and lipids.
A single-strand structure that contains the sugar ribose and
uridine (U) in place of the thymine present in DNA. Messenger
RNA is used as the actual template for protein synthesis.
A macromolecule consisting of a sugar-phosphate repeating structure that is usually large and can be millions of units long. Each sugar has 1 of 4 possible basic molecules, called bases or nucleotides, attached.
Macromolecules in which sugars are polymerized into long chains. Polysaccharides provide strength to microbial cells to keep them from breaking open.
Macromolecules that comprise 100 to 600 amino acid residues. The majority of proteins are enzymes.
A variety of nucleic acid and, along with deoxyribonucleic acid, 1 of 2 types of molecules that encode genetic information.