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Microbiology Study Guide Essay

The history and scope of microbiology

1) What are the organisms/entities of study in the field of microbiology? 2) Who was the first human to publish extensive descriptions of microorganisms? 3) How did Louis Pasteur dismantle the theory of spontaneous generation in bacteria? 4) Who established microorganisms as the causative agent of infectious disease? How did he do this? What was the result of this body of work? 5) What are some of the advancements that were made possible once microorganisms were identified as the causative agents of infectious disease. 6) What are some of the future challenges in battling microorganism? Why are some of these challenges emerging?

The methods of microbiology

1) If you are viewing a specimen though a 60X objective lens on a compound microscope, what is the likely total magnification?
2) What type of lens does a microscope use to produce a magnified image? How does a lens produce a magnified image?
3) What are some ways to increase contrast in microscopy?
4) Define: simple stain, differential stain and special stain.
5) What are the steps in a gram stain?
6) How can staining aid in the diagnosis of TB?
7) In general, can viruses be imaged with a light microscope?
8) Are all bacteria microscopic (beyond the ability to see with the naked eye)?

Prokaryotic structure and function

1) What are nanobacteria? What is some of the evidence for and against classifying them as a new type of bacteria?  2) What are some of the shapes that bacteria exist as? 3) Are all bacteria of a single species the exact same shape? 4) What are some of the ways in which prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells are different? 5) Explain some of the consequences of the small size of bacteria. Why do these consequences arise? 6) Label the basic structures of a bacterial cell.

7) What are some of the functions of the plasma membrane? 8) What is the basic building block of the plasma membrane? What properties of this building block lead to the structure of the plasma membrane? 9) What is the difference between a peripheral and integral membrane protein? 10) What are some of the ways that Archaeal plasma membranes are different? 11) What are the primary categories of bacterial cell wall organization? 12) What are the constituents of bacterial peptidoglycan?

13) How are the sugar chains connected? 14) Describe the organization of a gram positive cell wall. 15) Describe the organization of a gram negative cell wall. 16) What are the main components of the outer membrane of a gram negative cell wall? 17) What are some differences between the outer membrane bilayer and the plasma membrane bilayer? 18) What is the composition of a mycobacterial cell wall? What unique function does this organization impart? How does it contribute to the pathogenicity of these bacteria? 19) What are the primary functions of the cell wall?

20) Do all bacteria have cell walls? 21) (How) do they survive? 22) What is the mechanism of the gram stain? 23) What are the differences between the Archaeal cell wall and the bacterial cell wall? 24) What is the bacterial capsule? What are some clinical implications of extensive capsulation of bacteria? 25) What are the bacterial homologs to the Eukaryotic cytoskeleton? What are their functions?

26) Give some examples of materials stored in bacterial storage granules (inclusion bodies). What would be the reason for storing these molecules/compounds? 27) What is the function of the bacterial ribosome? How is it different than the Eukaryotic ribosome? 28) What is the most common form of the bacterial genome? Are there alternative organizations? 29) What is the composition of the bacterial nucleoid? 30) What is a bacterial plasmid? 31) What are some different types of plasmids? 32) What are the functions/consequences of containing these plasmids?


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