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Crowdsourced Microbes Heading to Station

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Classifications

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Friendly Fungi

Some fungi are quite useful to us. We've tapped several kinds to make antibiotics to fight bacterial infections. These antibiotics are based on natural compounds the fungi produce to compete against bacteria for nutrients and space. We use Saccharomyces cerevisiae (sack-air-oh-my... Read More

What They Eat


Fungi absorb nutrients from living or dead organic matter (plant or animal stuff) that they grow on. They absorb simple, easily dissolved nutrients, such as sugars, through their cell walls. They give off special digestive enzymes to break down complex nutrient... Read More

Fungi and Bacteria


Ages ago, as land plants were evolving, they ran into a few impediments. Soil can sometimes prove a nutrient-poor and inhospitable environment. In order to grow and thrive, plants need nitrogen to make proteins, but they lack the chemistry set to convert f... Read More

Petri, Plates and Flasks

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Culture Media

Microbes require nutrients to grow. These are supplied by either solid or liquid culture media. The standard solid medium is nutrient agar, a gelatinous substance derived from seaweed. The basic liquid medium is nutrient broth, typically a mix of water, meat extract peptone, and sodium chlori... Read More

Pipetts and Swabs

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Culture Equipment

When microbiologists want to identify microbes in a sample or study microbes in-depth, they often try to culture, or grow, the microbial cells in their labs. The scientists can then manipulate the cells or their environments to see what effects these changes have on the organisms.


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Electron

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Microscopes

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Light

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Genetic Tools and Techniques

Genetic Tools and Techniques

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PCR

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Science is Boring and Other Myths

There are a lot of young people who haven't thought much about a career as a scientist. Some of them may think they're not smart enough. Some think science is boring. In other words, people believe a lot of myths. Here are some of the most common ones.



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History of Microbiology

Microbiology’s 50 Most Significant Events 1875–Present


Browse specific time periods.


How to Get Started in Microbiology

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DNA Microarrays

If a microbiologist is studying bacteria that bioremediate, or break down, toxic wastes and wants to know which specific genes are active when that bacterium is degrading, say, PCBs, he would likely use a tool called the DNA microarray.


Microarrays enable scientists to monitor the act... Read More

16S rRNA

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Gene Sequencing

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Tools of the Trade


Microbiologists perform a wide range of jobs and activities, and the tools they use are just as diverse. The instruments and techniques that microbiologists use range from the simplest to the most complex.


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