About This Chapter
Microrganisms & Microbial Ecology - Chapter Summary
We live in a world full of microorganisms, and their impact on our everyday lives is almost immeasurable. They are useful in a wide range of industries and can be found in some of the most hostile environments imaginable. They can clean our environment, help us detect cancer-causing agents, help grow food crops and much more. In these lessons you will study the following material:
- Importance of nitrogen fixation, the nitrogen cycle, acid rain and more
- Bacteria found in anaerobic and deepwater vents
- Definition and explanation of thermophiles
- Sources of microbes in drinking water
- Processes of fermentation and their applications
- Microbial applications in creating compounds, bioremediation and the clothing industry
- Use of bacteria to detect carcinogens
This study guide combines video and text lessons, quizzes and chapter exams into a powerful and comprehensive study tool that you can incorporate into your overall study strategy. The lessons are short, yet informative and interesting, and our instructors are acknowledged experts. The convenient online platform allows you to study whenever your schedule permits, and the brevity of the lessons, tests and quizzes enables you to work quickly and efficiently.
1. Nitrogen Fixation: Significance to Plants and Humans
Almost 80% of our atmosphere is nitrogen, but we can't use it. We will look at how this unusable nitrogen is converted into a form we can use and why nitrogen is important to plants and humans.
2. The Nitrogen Cycle, Acid Rain and Fossil Fuels
Do you know the difference between nitrite and nitrate? Do you have any clue how all the nitrogen in the atmosphere becomes usable? If you can't answer these questions, then you need to watch this lesson on the nitrogen cycle.
3. Types of Bacteria Found in Anaerobic Environments
This lesson will focus in on the world of anaerobes. We'll discuss the different types of anaerobes that abound on this planet, including obligate, facultative and aerotolerant anaerobes.
4. Bacteria that Live in Deepwater Vent Ecosystems
In this lesson, we will talk about hydrothermal vents, what they are, and what they release. We'll also look into why the substances they release are important for bacteria and higher life forms such as crabs and tubeworms.
5. Thermus Aquaticus and Other Thermophiles: Definition & Examples
This lesson will go into some very interesting creatures known as thermophiles. We will discuss exotic sounding names such as Strain 121 and Thermus aquaticus and how they revolutionized our thought process and technology.
6. Microbial Contamination in Drinking Water: Sources & Control
This lesson will discuss what microbes may contaminate drinking water, what problems they may cause you, how we can test for them, and how we can control them. Find out as we look into coliform bacteria, giardia, and noroviruses.
7. Lactic Acid Fermentation: Using Fermentation to Make Food
You eat food every day that is teeming with bacteria. It might surprise you to learn that many of them were intentionally put there. In this lesson, we will examine bacterial fermentation, required during the production of certain foods.
8. Yeast Fermentation: Using Fermentation to Make Alcohol
Without microbiology, you wouldn't be able to enjoy a refreshing adult beverage after work. In this lesson, we will examine the role of yeast in alcohol production.
9. Microbial Factories: Using Bacteria to Make Specific Compounds
Microbial factories make use of microorganisms to produce commercial products. In this lesson, we will examine the advantages to using microbes and look at a few commonly produced compounds.
10. The Ames Test: Using Bacteria to Test for Carcinogens
We often think of bacteria as the bad guys. But in the Ames test, special mutant bacteria can help us avoid getting cancer! Take a look at how they do that in this lesson and test your knowledge with a quiz.
11. Bioremediation: Microbes Cleaning Up the Environment
Bioremediation uses living organisms to clean up pollution. In this lesson, we will examine the role of microbes in bioremediation and why it is not a perfect solution for degrading environmental pollutants.
12. Microbes and the Clothing Industry
Most people wash their clothing to the clean dirt and bacteria on them. It might surprise you to learn just how many bacteria were intentionally put into them during production. In this lesson, we explore the use of microbes in the clothing industry.
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