The various topics discussed in this unit include life and death of microorganisms, the microbial world, microorganisms and humans, infectious diseases and applied microbiology. These topics will enable me to understand and apply the knowledge learnt in the microbial world.
The topic of life and death of microorganisms will enable me to understand the basic lifetimes of microorganisms and their causes of death. The knowledge learnt can be applied in eliminating disease causing microorganisms as a way of improving animal and plant life. I will also understand the morphology of microorganisms from single celled microorganisms to the recent bacteria, algae and fungi.
Knowledge of the microbial world will provide me with information on vital information about microorganisms. I will be aware of the various types of microorganisms i.e. bacteria, archaea and protozoa among others. I addition to knowing them, I will know the areas in the biosphere where most of the microorganisms live i.e. the soil, hot springs, rocks etc. and the environmental conditions that support their survival. However, I will also be able to understand the positive roles played by microorganisms to the ecosystems by recycling of nutrients while acting as decomposers, nitrogen fixing microorganisms which form a vital part of the nitrogen cycle and airborne microorganisms that are vital in precipitation and weather conditions. I will be able to understand the manner in which microorganisms reproduce such as conjugation, transduction and transformation processes and their application to mutation and natural selection to survive in new environments while responding to environmental stresses. Finally, I will be able to understand the various classification and structure of microorganisms i.e. prokaryotes, bacteria, archaea, eukaryotes, Protists, fungi among others. The knowledge learnt here will be applied in various life cycles by creating a conducive environment that favors the growth and reproduction of microorganisms that provide a positive impact to the ecosystem.
The topic on microorganisms and humans will enable me to understand the relationship established between microorganisms and the human fraternity. The human body is also made up of microorganisms called eukaryotes. Therefore, I will be able to understand how microorganisms (eukaryotes) play a major role in the formation of the various human organelles such as the cell nucleus, Golgi apparatus and mitochondria cells among others. The knowledge learnt can be applied in the use of microorganisms in the processes of fermentation and processing of food for humans. The current human food products that incorporate microorganisms include yoghurt, curd, cheese, ayran, kefir and xynogala among others. They are also used to make leaven bread, converting sugars to alcohol, wine, and beer in the brewing industries. The knowledge can also be applied in controlling fermentation to develop cultures that provide flavors and aroma that inhibit the development of undesirable organisms such as disease causing microorganisms.
The topic on infectious diseases will provide me with knowledge and understanding of microorganisms as causative agents (pathogens) of various infectious diseases. The pathogenic bacteria cause diseases such as tuberculosis, plague, and anthrax; protozoa causing malaria, dysentery and sleeping sickness and fungi causing ringworms and candidiasis. Moreover, pathogen viruses result in influenza, yellow fever, and AIDS. The knowledge learnt from this topic will enable me to apply various hygiene practices to prevent infection or food spoilage by eliminating microorganisms from the surrounding environment. When preparing food, they can be reduced by using appropriate cooking methods, storing the food in low temperatures and cleansing of utensils. In sterilizing surgical equipment, an autoclave will be used to eliminate the microorganisms by use of heat and pressure.
Nick, Lane. The Unseen World: reflections of Leeuwenhoek. 19 04 2015. document . 14 07 2017.
World Health Organization. World Health Organization. 18 05 2017. document. 14 07 2017.
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