Most of us will recognize the names of historical and famous microbiologists, like Louis Pasteur or Robert Koch. At the very least, we’re grateful for their efforts.
But when it comes to the modern career path, you may find yourself wondering, “What do microbiologists do, anyway?” When the term “microbiology” only prompts a blank stare, we’ve got you covered.
We’ve put together a simple guide on some of the contributions microbiologists make to society. However, keep in mind that there are many types of microbiologists. Each type will have its own role and responsibilities.
Below are a few of the most common fields microbiologists are involved in.
From the word itself, you might have guessed that “microbiologists” have a lot to do with the tiny organisms that cause illness and disease. This includes everything from the virus that causes the flu to the type of bacteria that causes tuberculosis. No matter the type of microbe, microbiologists work to create solutions that block them in their paths.
However, it’s worth noting that some of these tiny microbes are actually beneficial. As a result, microbiologists study these organisms as well. Researchers may even use them in drugs and therapies to combat some of the world’s most crippling illnesses and diseases.
As a result, microbiologists may be involved in tracking the outbreak of diseases, performing clinical research in hospital laboratories, or developing vaccines. They may even analyze our DNA! Check out this link to learn more.
Just as microbiologists are key in finding solutions for human health, they also contribute to the health of the planet as a whole.
For example, microbiologists may study how organisms survive in difficult habitats, like the deepest parts of the ocean or remote caves. They may study how microbes affect different species within an ecosystem. Some contribute to climate change research, working to understand how tiny pollutants affect our planet.
Essentially, these scientists work to help study and maintain the subtle patterns that keep our planet in balance.
We’ve come a long way with agriculture in the past decades, and we have microbiologists to thank for it! On many levels, microbiology is what allows us to have sustainable agriculture at all.
Microbiologists may study how microbes affect soil fertility. They might research the pathogens that cause plant and animal diseases, and they work to prevent serious outbreaks that could cause food shortages. In addition, they may work to create better fertilizers, pesticides, and other useful tools to help farmers make the most of their land.
At a very basic level, we have microbiologists to thank for ensuring the presence and safety of most of what we eat or drink.
So, What Do Microbiologists Do?
If you’re still wondering, “What do microbiologists do?” it may be time for a deeper dive.
Microbiologists are constantly working toward better solutions to the world’s fundamental problems. Check out some of the latest research in the field to see advances in the industries above!
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Andrea Parker is a reporter for Zobuz. She previously worked at Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Andrea is based in NYC and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe coffee addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.