Boundries of Microbiology?

Dr.Abhay Shendye abt at PN3.VSNL.NET.IN
Mon Jun 28 08:26:28 EST 1999

Dear Netters,

I have been doing microbiology for over 15 years now [I am Ph.D.]. I
have been constantly thinking about exact scope of this subject.
Everytime I think more, I am confused more and more.

Initially, a simple description of microbiology to me was study of
microbes - the tiny little friends that need the aid of microscope for
the visualization. But then take example of mushrooms. They are microbes
too! Added to the list of  non microscopic individuals are various fungi
and even protozoa.

Similarly if one tries to define microbes as unicellular/ prokaryotic
etc. does not include all of them.

Somebody said "microbes are those creatures which can't be fully studied
without microscope". But with such a concept even human beings become

It is because microbes receive immune response, even immunology is
included in microbiology syllabus. So is the waste water treatment
reactor design and fermenter design; both of which are hard-core
engineering subjects.

I understand that all these studies are necessary for a microbiologist,
but they make the definition of  "What is microbiology?" more and more
difficult. [consider botany or zoology for that matter. They can define
the scope by defining the terms "plants"  or "animals".]

Could somebody change the level of  my confusion [either way is
acceptable!] by providing his/her version of definition of either
"microbes" or "microbiology".



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