The word MICROBIOLOGY describes exactly what the discipline is: the study of small living things. MICRO = small, BIO = living, and OLOGY = to study. Microbiology (or specifically, bacteriology) is still a very young science and not completely understood. Only about three hundred years have passed since the discovery of the first bacteria. Many estimates suggest that we have studied only about 1% of all the microbes in any given environment1. In the scope of the world, it is obvious to see that the discipline of microbiology is still in its infancy.
What is microbiology all about? In their text, Drs Thomas Brock and Michael Madigan summarize several aspects of microbiology2.
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2Brock, Thomas D and Madigan, Michael T, Biology of Microorganisms (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc), p. 1.