The Microbe World

What are Microbes?             |              Where Do They Live?

Microbes are everywhere - a largely unseen world of living things that support life processes. "The Microbe World" provides a comprehensive directory of micro-organisms and their activities.
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Careers in Microbiology

Being a microbiologist is like being private detective whose clientele lives in every country - microbiologists travel to all corners of the earth—and beyond—to study microbes. Some microbiologists discover strange, new forms of life that no one even knew existed. Some find new ways to use microbes to work for our benefit, making medicines or getting rid of pollution. Some spy on disease-causing microbes to discover their weaknesses so they can eventually be destroyed

Microbiologists work in almost every industry—from food, agriculture and pollution control to biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and health. They also work in government agencies and labs, water treatment facilities, and hospitals. And they work in education as teachers and researchers.

Because there are so many different species of microbes existing and they do such very different things, no one microbiologist can study everything! That's why people who become microbiologists usually focus on a particular microbe or research area to explore the effects of microbes in many countries, and to help them solve microbial problems. Here are a few examples:

  • Some microbiologists focus on bacteria and how they help or hurt us. These scientists are called bacteriologists.
  • Some specialize in viruses and how they infect cells. These scientists are called virologists.
  • Some study fungi in particular and are called mycologists.
  • Some microbiologists research epidemics of disease to learn what caused them and if we're facing a deadly new microbe. They are called epidemiologists.
  • Some study how the body defends itself against harmful microbial cells. They are called immunologists.

This is only a partial listing of the many different things microbiologists do. If you really want to get find out more what microbiologists do, you should talk to some of them. You might start with your science teacher or scientists in your area (your teacher or parents may be able to help you find some and set up interviews).

If you're interested in microbiology, talk to your parents and your science teacher. They can help you follow this interest and learn more about the sciences and microscopic living forms.

Find books on life sciences and microbiology in your library. Visit a science museum. Find out if your school or community has a science club, science fairs or other activities you could get involved in.

In high school, you should plan on taking biology, chemistry, physics, computer science and math. English courses are also important because microbiologists spend much of their time writing articles or papers and giving speeches. Foreign languages are helpful for exchanging information with scientists around the world.


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