What are the BIG questions??

Mark Fuller ez044157 at dale.ucdavis.edu
Sat Apr 1 20:35:17 EST 1995


It's kind of amusing that you're asking what the BIG questions in 
MICRObiology are.  Welcome to the biggest little field.  We're glad 
you've come over from physics to a living science...

The way I see it, as a microbial ecologist, the biggest questions to be 
asked in microbiology are pertaining to the ecology of microbes.  We have 
only been able to isolate and grow an estimated 0.1-1% of ALL bacteria 
thought to exists.  But beyond merely studying them in the lab, we need 
to more about how these little critters survive in the environment, even 
in SOLID ROCK several hundred meters below the surface (look up papers by 
P. Amy).  It's mind boggling!!!  And to top it off, we are still only in 
the very early stages of understanding how microbes interact in 
populations, communities and with other trophic levels in a wide variety 
of environements.

I'd say any area of general microbial ecology will lead you into the BIG 
questions that need to be answered.


Mark E. Fuller

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