"Always trust a microbiologist because they have the best chance of predicting when the world will end." -Teddie O. Rahube

Although there are many intellectually gifted persons, it's worth stating that those who dedicate themselves to study a scientific discipline such as biology, chemistry, or physics spend a lot of time honing essential skills such as logical thinking, problem-solving, and observing complex matters. The abilities acquired through their studies makes them more well-rounded academically, and they comprehend how intricate issues of the natural world work together.

Also, it's worth highlighting that to understand sciences, a student needs to have a firm foundation of mathematics, which aren't always easy to grasp at higher levels.

Therefore, it's not misguided to think that biology majors and individuals who work in science and technology are among some of the most intelligent people on the planet. If you decide to study microbiology, you are entering an elaborate topic that will help you improve your intellectual abilities.

Without further ado, we'll take a closer look at microbiology and its different branches and unique techniques that can be implemented as part of experimental biology.

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What is Microbiology?

organisms unseen by the naked eye
Through the use of microscopes, microbiologists can take a look at tiny organisms to determine their characteristics. (Source: Unsplash)

Though you might be familiar with biology, the field of study that examines the natural world at a scientific level, you may not be so sure about the definition and characteristics of microbiology. So, to better comprehend the matter, microbiology can be defined as the study of all living organisms that are too small for the naked eye to notice; hence the term "micro!"

Biologists are interested in microbiology since microorganisms living on the earth's surface are essential for healthy interaction amongst species. 

Microbes or matter that are too small for the naked eye to observe may include the following:

  • Bacteria,
  • Archaea,
  • Viruses,
  • Fungi,
  • Prions,
  • Protozoa,
  • Algae. 

Microbes interact with the human body, animals, food, the outdoors, and, surprisingly enough, climate change.

Through microscopes to look at living organisms and samples, microbiologists may determine how to successfully produce and clean food items, develop natural technologies that will help the climate, and create life-saving drugs and medicine. So, you could say microbiology is fundamental!

But, is there only one type of microbiology or are there various subgenres worthy of consideration? Let's take a look at the following subheading!

Branches of Microbiology

microbiologists conduct investigation
Through the extensive research of microorganisms, microbiologists can develop life-saving medicine introduced to patients by physicians. (Source: Unsplash)

Since the world is such a vast place and biology is the study of the natural world, it's no shocker that there are various subdisciplines such as microbiology that boast their variety of subgenres studied by individuals all around the world.

It's worth stating that all of the branches of microbiology can be classified into pure and applied sciences that make up two categories of study. Also, since there are a lot of tests conducted in the lab across the different domains of microbiology, it is known as a subconcept of experimental biology.

Without further ado, the following are several branches of pure microbiology:

  • Protozoology, 
  • Bacteriology, 
  • Parasitology, 
  • Immunology, 
  • Virology, 
  • Microbial genetics, 
  • Molecular microbiology. 

As for applied microbiology, the following list highlights the different topics that can be studied:

  • Medical microbiology, 
  • Pharmaceutical microbiology, 
  • Industrial microbiology, 
  • Food microbiology, 
  • Environmental microbiology, 
  • Agricultural microbiology. 

The previously mentioned lists truly cement the fact that microbiology is one of the most substantial fields of biology.

In the following subheading, we'll learn a bit more about the most common techniques of microbiology that are encompassed across the various unique subdisciplines of microbiology.

The Most Common Techniques of Microbiology

Microbiology is a crucial aspect of biology since it helps us understand things that we cannot see. These "things" such as microbes, fungi, and bacteria are essential to know more about because they can either assist or harm humans.

Also, even though many advancements have been made in scientific fields such as microbiology, experts estimate that only 1% of microorganisms present in familiar environments can be cultured in isolation using today's means. Additionally, microbiologists use a lot of techniques that are usually utilised in the field of molecular biology.

Since microbiology studies microbes, bacteria, and other small particles, various methods exist to survey, stain, culture, identify, engineer, and manipulate microbes. For each particle that is analysed, there are multiple techniques used by biologists.

Therefore, since there is a widespread fascination with growing bacteria, multiple methods focus on that. Such as? The following list highlights the techniques that are used by microbiologists to study the growth of bacteria.

  • Sterilisation: in some cases, instead of growing bacteria, it is necessary to kill all types of bacteria, which is accomplished by using sterilisation. Through sterilisation, all the microorganisms or bacteria living on an object are killed. Through developments in microbiology, we can now have cleaner surfaces and things due to sterilisation.
  • Incubation: to have certain bacteria grow, like yoghurt, for example, is a technique known as incubation. When in the right environment and at the right temperature, mini molecules work together to develop something worthwhile. Incubation is a controlled technique, yet it can also be observed in nature.
  • Inoculation: often put into the same category as vaccination and immunisation, injection is the process of artificially inducing immunity towards infectious diseases. Microbiologists study a specific disease or virus and modify its microorganisms so that the bacteria in our body can fight against unwanted germs.

The previously mentioned techniques of microbiology deal closely with bacteria and germs. However, there are many additional methods of microbiology, such as the following:

  • Fixation,
  • Negative and Simple Stains, 
  • Staining for Electron Microscopy, 
  • Morphology, 
  • Physiological Techniques, 
  • Pasteurisation. 

It's worth mentioning that all of the microbiology methods grant us the information we need to comprehend tiny molecules and cells more thoroughly. Scientific microbiology appeared in the 19th century, and with the application of its techniques, we have since been able to live in a cleaner society.

Also, microorganisms and microbiology are utilised for the biosynthesis of essential substances such as the following:

  • Xanthan,
  • Alginate,
  • Cellulose,
  • Levan,
  • Hyaluronic acid.

Another technique of microbiology that is closely related to other aspects of biology is microbial biodegradation which ensures that elements in the soil and marine environments biodegrade and allow new things to grow. Microbiologists test and explore biodegradation.

Through the use of microbiology and studying our bacteria and cells, scientists are working towards developing ways to treat cancer cells and other life-threatening diseases that take millions of lives every year.

Whichever microbiology technique you wish to study, it's essential to keep in mind that there are various, and when you dive down deeper, there may be a lot more than you previously thought.

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Hiring a Microbiology Instructor

a biology instructor
The most successful biology tutors can significantly help their pupils comprehend the intense concepts of microbiology. (Source: Unsplash)

Without the help of others, it is often challenging to comprehend complex topics and academic disciplines; and microbiology is no different. But, where can a microbiology student find support at a GCSE, A-Level, or university level? While it is true that professors and educators may provide pupils with the knowledge they need to succeed, the traditional classroom may be filled with various distractions, and, truthfully, most teachers don't have the time to provide remedial help.

Is there a solution? Absolutely! By hiring a personal microbiology tutor, students of all levels of expertise and ages can acquire the assistance they require through personalised lessons tailored to each person.

But where does one find a professional microbiology tutor in the UK? Look no further than Superprof! With more than 16 million professional instructors available in the Superprof community, learners are spoiled for choice.

According to the most updated version of our website, there are currently 11 microbiology tutors in the UK who are ready to teach you more about microbiology fundamentals either in-person or virtually. We recommend glancing at their profile to learn more about their past accreditations, teaching experience, and areas of expertise.

By choosing a Superprof microbiology tutor, you are assured of the following things:

  • A personalised approach, 
  • Affordable prices per hour that work with everyone's budgets, 
  • Experienced and engaging private tutors, 
  • The choice between online and face-to-face courses.

Also, it's worth highlighting that most tutors offering their services on Superprof provide the first lesson for free; another brilliant reason to choose Superprof! All in all, you won't regret hiring a microbiology instructor to help you navigate through the complex world of biology.

In conclusion, we sincerely hope that through the definitions and explanations of microbiology techniques in today's article, you are more prepared to deal with experimental biology methods and that you successfully build a brilliant career for yourself!

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Brentyn

Avid movie-goer, reader, skier and language learner. Passionate about life, food and travelling.