MAY 08, 2014 04:01 PM PDT

Microbes under the microscope


The study of microorganisms began with Anton van Leeuwenhoek's discovery of microorganisms in 1675, using a microscope of his own design.

Microorganisms live in all parts of the biosphere where there is liquid water, including soil, hot springs, on the ocean floor, high in the atmosphere and deep inside rocks within the Earth's crust. Microorganisms are critical to nutrient recycling in ecosystems as they act as decomposers. As some microorganisms can fix nitrogen, they are a vital part of the nitrogen cycle, and recent studies indicate that airborne microbes may play a role in precipitation and weather.

Microbes also exploited by people in biotechnology, both in traditional food and beverage preparation, and in modern technologies based on genetic engineering. However, pathogenic microbes are harmful, since they invade and grow within other organisms, causing diseases that kill humans, other animals and plants.
About the Author
You May Also Like
NOV 15, 2018
Cardiology
NOV 15, 2018
An Updated Look At Pacemakers
As pacemakers are now used for a wide range of heart conditions, most of us know someone who has this life-saving medical device. Hundreds of thousands of...
NOV 15, 2018
Videos
NOV 15, 2018
Viewing the Interactions Between Cellular Structures
Scientists have used powerful microscopy techniques to learn more about how the dynamics of a live cell....
NOV 22, 2018
Videos
NOV 22, 2018
The science of gratitude
On a day like Thanksgiving, it is easy to remember all that we are thankful for. But for a while now scientists have been trying to crack the code behind t...
NOV 26, 2018
Health & Medicine
NOV 26, 2018
The Fight Bite
  Human bite wounds are a common source of polymicrobial infections accounting for many emergency room visits. One bacteria, Eikenella corrodens, ...
DEC 06, 2018
Videos
DEC 06, 2018
Stopping the Spread of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
This informative video from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlines the problem of antibiotic resistance....
DEC 10, 2018
Space & Astronomy
DEC 10, 2018
Learn More About How NASA Built the Parker Solar Probe
When NASA built the Solar Parker Probe to embark on its mission to study the Sun, they knew it’d need to be built with bleeding-edge technology to ma...
Loading Comments...