View Full Version : Quesion for people taking Micro-biology!

04-20-2007, 09:02 PM
OK, well, for my language arts class we had to do this career thing. And we took a quiz, and after that it gave us what 40 jobs would suit us best. And, in the top 7 (the ones we had to chose from) well... the 2nd one was a micro-biologist. So... (this is mostly directed at kskerr) could you maybe tell me a little bit about micro-biologists, and what they do and stuff. I would rather get live information from anyone, then on a website.

04-21-2007, 08:34 AM
microbiology is the study of biology at a microscopic level, really. it involves elements of genetics, ecology and biochemistry too, but as an overview, it focuses mainly on bacteria and viruses (and fungi) and the diseases they can cause, as well as theyre lifestyles and anatomical makeup (e.g. protein coats on viruses). The scope of microbiology also encompases biotechnology such as beer production and pharmacology. The majority of these giant microbes on this site are studied by microbiologists and used by them in experiments, however some are not (e.g. a red blood cell isn't really a "microbe" as such, more a cell, and a housefly is not really studied by microbiologists!).

But if you're interested in bacteria and viruses/microbial disease, then microbiology is a good place to start, or for a more broad overview, stick with biology or biochemistry.

04-22-2007, 11:24 AM
Cool! I alway's thought micro-biology was the study of microbes. (duh) I mean like, magnifiying them to learn more about the sickness or disease and how to cure it.;) I'm not really sure though.:(

04-23-2007, 05:33 PM
thank you a lot! i was telling my LA teacher about this and she was all... cool:) and so, thank you a lot! and if anyone else wants to, they can post what they know:D

04-24-2007, 03:14 PM
I'm a lab tech, so I can tell you a bit about microbiology in a basic hospital setting. Keep in mind that there are alot of other job types microbiologists could do in industrial, envronmental, or research settings. I don't know as much about those though.

Typically while in the microbiology department in a hospital lab you would recieve different types of samples from patients. These samples can be pretty much anything that can be drawn from, cut out of or oozed out of a body :D Some of the more common samples would be urine, stool, sputum, blood cultures, or tissue samples. You could also recieve swabs from wounds, stools, nose, or throats. The microbiologist then takes these samples and puts them on a petri dish with some type of media in it (different types depending on the sample) and lets it grow for 18-24 hours. At that time you would read the plates to see see what is growing and try to pick out the potential pathogenic colonies from the normal flora or contaminants. Then you would run some biochemical tests that would identify the bacteria and in most cases you also do a susceptibility test to see what kind of antibiotics it will respond to.

There are also rapid tests that may be done in the microbiology department. A good example of this would be a strep test. The microbiologist would take a swab from someone's throat and run it through a test kit that will tell you in about 5 minutes if you had strep throat or not. There are lots of different kinds of these tests, and depending on the policies of where you work you might still need to go ahead and culture the sample to confirm the rapid test result.

04-25-2007, 12:18 PM
Sorry it took me awhile to answer, I have been really busy at work. Microbiology can be considered the study of microbes, microbes being microscopic organisms. As stated before they generally include bacteria, viruses, and fungi but also protists (like giardia), and archaea (kinda a cross between bacteria and eukaryotes, which is what we are). Microbiology is important in many areas of science including Genetics, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Ecology, Food Science, Animal Science, Agricultural studies, Evolutionary studies, and many many more. There is so much diversity in the field because there is so much diversity in the organisms themselves. You can study anything from pathogens (disease causers), to probiotics (health benefiters) and there are millions inbetween. Pathogens research is important and popular, in that area alone there are many options, from food safety to more environmental aspects to clinical microbiology. I am biased towards the probiotics, I find it fascinating that there are so many beneficial microbes, many many more than there are pathogens but the pathogens get the most attention for obvious reason. Industrial microbiology is also huge, there you have the biofuels, enzymes and other beneficial microbial products. The list and examples go on and on.

If you are interested in a specific area I can try and give you more information :D. If you are considering going into the field then really any science degree would get you there, especially one focusing on biology or health science, you would not have to have the degree in micro. My undergraduate degree is in molecular biology, my doctorate will be in micro. Best of luck!

05-20-2007, 06:46 PM
thank you everyone:):D you guys helped a lot in my research project!