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Microbial Anatomy

Microbiology tends to be the biology course that "rocks your world", as you find not all cells are alike, and many pathogens lack cells altogether.  For this reason, you must bear with us as we talk once again about "the nucleus is the powerhouse of the cell".  Or not! Prepare yourself for seeing cells and life in new and interesting ways!

In this section we will look at the structure and appearance of microbes, their "anatomy".  The focus will be on unicellular organisms, and so our review of cell structure will be a review at times of the cell structure lessons found in most biology courses.  However, there is a surprise when we discuss bacteria, because their cell structure is radically different from the cells we've studied in the past.  For that reason, the emphasis of this section will be on bacterial cell anatomy and its comparison with normal plant, animal, and fungal cells.

Microbial anatomy is a big deal because differences between pathogens and our own cells provide us with "targets of opportunity" to kill pathogens while leaving our own cells untouched.  If we can destroy bacterial ribosomes without harming human ribosomes, we will kill bacteria selectively and effectively.  So pay close attention to differences between bacteria and cells like ours when it comes to cell walls, ribosomes and other structures.  They are our "targets of opportunity" in our fight against disease-causing microbes.