Microbiologists study the basic anatomy, genetics and physiology of micro-organisms, such as bacteria, fungi and viruses, as well as the vital interaction between micro-organisms and the environment.
They apply this knowledge to manipulate micro-organisms both ecologically and industrially, to improve the quality of life and to diagnose and control micro-organisms which contaminate human beings, animals and plants.
Micro-organisms are found everywhere, from places such as Antarctica, to the volcanic pipes on the bottom of the ocean with temperatures of 268 degrees centigrade, the salt pans in Namibia, the bloodstream of animals, and swamps where the only source of food is carbon dioxide. Even though they are very small and usually invisible to the naked eye, micro-organisms play vital roles in biological activities in our environment as they interact with human beings and animals, either detrimentally or beneficially.
In the medical world, microbiologists are involved in the quick and accurate location and identification of pathogenic micro-organisms. They develop effective vaccines and methods of preventing epidemics of dangerous diseases.
Microbiologists are involved in various activities such as:
Schooling & School Subjects
Degree: BSc Microbiology, and supporting majors such as Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics, Biology, Mathematics and Statistics - US, UL, UCT, UFS, UZ, NMMU, RU, UV, UKZN, UP.
Diploma: N.Dip: Microbiology of Biotechology - CPUT, DUT, VUT. National diplomas in related study fields, such as the N.Dip. Food Technology are offered by CPUT and DUT. These courses take 3 years to complete and include theoretical as well as in-service training.
Post-graduate study: advanced study is required for teaching posts at universities and for research and administration.
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