Microbiology-related web sites
The internet is chock-full of microbiology sites. Some of them are rather dubious, but many are accurate and quite useful. Here is a handful of places for you to begin to dig a little deeper into this discipline. If you happen across a site that you think would make a useful addition to this list, please drop me an email.
In this ASM-sponsored site you can explore the world of microbes with vivid images and descriptions. Learn about microbiology, what microbiologists do and how they do it.
MicrobeWorld is a daily, 90-second, syndicated radio feature produced by Finger Lakes Productions International, Ithaca New York. It is produced in cooperation with the American Society for Microbiology, based in Washington, DC.
The purpose of this blog is to share Moselio Schaechter's appreciation for the width and depth of the microbial activities on this planet. He emphasizes the unusual and the unexpected phenomena for which he has a special fascination.
This exhibit provides a survey of that biodiversity through time, focusing on major lineages of organisms. Many of these lineages have gone extinct or currently exist at a much lower diversity than in the past, so there may be large exhibits on groups of organisms that are unfamiliar to you. They are featured because they play an important role in the history of life on Earth.
This site offers five different pavillions for you to explore some of the microbes that are in, on, and around you every day. These include dirt, water, food, animal, and space-borne microbes.
CELLS alive! represents 30 years of capturing film and computer-enhanced images of living cells and organisms for education and medical research. The site has been available continuously and updated annually since May of 1994 and now hosts over 4 million visitors a year.
This is a subscription-based online microbiology textbook. A subscription to this online book can be purchased by creating a username and password in the registration page. Once you are logged in, navigate to any page in the textbook. A paypal button will appear allowing you to purchase the textbook by clicking on the button.
The Tree of Life Web Project (ToL) is a collaborative effort of biologists from around the world. On more than 10,000 World Wide Web pages, the project provides information about the diversity of organisms on Earth, their evolutionary history (phylogeny), and characteristics.
Although it is something that we give little thought to, the naming and classification of objects play an important role in society. Imagine the problems that we would have if we were not given names and if we did not name our cities, streets or pets. This site gives some background on microbial taxonomy and specific information on the classification of fungi.
Protozoa are a very diverse group of organisms that vary widely in size, shape, features and habit. This page gives an overview of some commonly found freshwater protozoa. The protozoa have been grouped by their major features. Some of these are artificial groups (i.e. not necessarily related to their taxonomy) but are convenient ones for the pond dipper. This site is a good starting place for those interested in these free-living single-celled eukaryotes.
The Big Picture Book of Viruses is intended to serve as both a catalog of virus pictures on the Internet and as an educational resource to those seeking more information about viruses. To this end, it is intimately linked to All the Virology on the WWW, and our collection of Virology Courses and Tutorials.
Bacteriophages are viruses which attack bacteria. This is the index to dozens of safe, interesting experiments with bacteriophages which you can do at home. These experiments will open your eyes to many fields of biochemistry, biology, biophysics, genetics, molecular biology, and virology which would be difficult to study otherwise. Bacteriophage experiments are notable for their safety.
EcoCyc is a scientific database for the bacterium Escherichia coli K-12 MG1655. The EcoCyc project performs literature-based curation of the entire genome, and of transcriptional regulation, transporters, and metabolic pathways.
Before Watson & Crick Brenda Maddox, author of Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA, describes the discoveries that lead scientists to focus on DNA as the secret behind life.
The central dogma of molecular biology deals with the detailed residue-by-residue transfer of sequential information. It states that such information cannot be transferred from protein to either protein or nucleic acid.
This site gives a little background on the discovery and use of modern antibiotics.
This page gives a list of most modern antibiotics and describes how they work to kill or inhibit microbial growth.
Historically, the discovery of antiviral drugs has been largely fortuitous. Spurred on by success with antibiotics, drug companies launched huge blind-screening programs - with relatively little success. This page summarizes the action of the few decent antiviral drugs that we have today.
The spread of antibiotic resistances and the appearance of multiple-antibiotic-resistant pathogenic bacteria has been recognized by the WHO as a serious problem that complicates medical treatment of bacterial infections. WHO has called for urgent measures to fight against the spread of pathogenic strains that are resistant to several antibiotics.
Microbes are everywhere. They populate the air, the water, the soil, and have even evolved intimate relationships with plants and animals. Without microbes, life on earth would cease.
The human immune system is a truly amazing constellation of responses to attacks from outside the body. It has many facets, a number of which can change to optimize the response to these unwanted intrusions. The system is remarkably effective, most of the time. This site will give you a brief outline of some of the processes involved.
The immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to defend the body against attacks by “foreign” invaders. These are primarily microbes (germs)—tiny, infection-causing organisms such as bacteria, protozoa, fungi, and viruses. This PDF document is a good overview of the immune system.
As a part of its overall public health mission, CDC provides leadership in helping control the HIV/AIDS epidemic by working with community, state, national, and international partners in surveillance, research, and prevention and evaluation activities.
This timeline highlights some of the important discoveries in microscopy, culture methods, the germ theory of disease, defense or control of microbes, virology, and molecular methods over the past 400 years.
Though it would be several thousand years before the first microorganisms were viewed and studied, ancient Egypt was already practising fermentation. This site follows the development of microbiology through history and all the changes that it helped to bring about.
Like the title says, this ASM site highlights the most important discoveries in microbiology over the past 125 years.
Another time line (from Microbeworld) listing microbiology’s 50 most significant events from 1875–1995.
Although invisible to the naked eye, prokaryotes are an essential component of the earth's biota. They catalyze unique and indispensable transformations in the biogeochemical cycles of the biosphere, produce important components of the earth's atmosphere, and represent a large portion of life's genetic diversity.
Early views of pathogenicity and virulence were primarily pathogen centered and were based on the assumption that these characteristics were intrinsic properties of microorganisms, although it was recognized that pathogenicity was neither invariant nor absolute. This paper redefines these terms in a fresh look at microbial disease.
The goal of this exercise is to introduce you to the kinds of cells that make up all living systems, and to contrast cells with viruses. You should be able to name the six kingdoms, understand the differences between prokaryotes and eukaryotes, and be able to describe the basic functions of the eukaryotic cell organelles.
Many bacteria reproduce by binary fission, with each cell doubling in size, replicating and segregating its genetic material, and dividing to form two equivalent daughter cells. However, some bacteria follow alternative reproductive strategies, and researchers are steadily gaining insights about some of these other processes.