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Scientific names A name used by scientists, especially the taxonomic name of an organism that consists of the genus and species. Scientific names usually come from Latin or Greek. An example is Homo sapiens, the scientific name for humans.
Evolutionary Pertaining to evolution or development; developmental: the evolutionary origin of species.
Morphology The study of organismic structure.
Physiology The study of the function of an organism.
Genetics The science of heredity.
Eubacteria Term used for nonarchaea prokaryotes, means “true bacteria.”
Archaebacteria A group of microorganisms, including the methanogens and certain halophiles and thermoacidophiles, that have RNA sequences, coenzymes, and a cell wall composition that are different from all other organisms: considered to be an ancient form of life that
Emerging diseases Newly identified diseases that are becoming more prominent.
Pathogens Any agent (usually a virus, bacterium, fungus, protozoan, or helminth) that causes disease.
Bioremediation Decomposition of harmful chemicals by microbes or consortia of microbes.
Genetic engineering A field involving deliberate alterations (recombinations) of the genomes of microbes, plants, and animals through special technological processes.
Microbiology A specialized area of biology that deals with living things ordinary too small to be seen without magnification including bacteria, archaea, fungi, protozoa and viruses.
Microscopic Invisible to the naked eye.
Microorganisms A living thing ordinarily too small to be seen without magnification; an organism of microscopic size.
Microbes a minute life form; a microorganism, especially a bacterium that causes disease.
Bacteria (plural of bacterium) Category of prokaryotes with peptidoglycan in their cell walls and circular chromosome(s). This group of small cells is widely distributed in the earth’s habitats.
Viruses Microscopic, acellular agent composed of nucleic acid surrounded by a protein coat.
Fungi Heterotrophic unicellular or multicellular eukaryotic organism which may take the form of a larger macroscopic organism, as in the case of mushrooms, or a smaller microscopic organism, as in the case of yeasts and molds.
Protozoa A group of single
Algae Photosynthetic, plantlike organisms that generally lack the complex structure of plants; they may be single
Macroscopic Visible to the naked eye.
Adaptability able to adjust oneself to different conditions.
Immunology The study of the system of body defenses that protect against infection.
Epidemiology The study of the factors affecting the prevalence and spread of disease within a community.
Biotechnology The use of microbes or their products in the commercial or industrial realm.
Infectious caused by or capable of being transmitted by infection.
Prokaryote small cells, lacking special structures such as a nucleus and organelles. All prokaryotes are microorganisms.
Eukaryote a cell that differs from a prokaryotic cell chiefly by having a nuclear membrane (a well
Parasites an organism that lives on or within another organism (the host), from which it obtains nutrients and enjoys protection. The parasite produces some degree of harm in the host.
Hosts organism in which smaller organisms or viruses live, feed, and reproduce.
Spontaneous generation early belief that living things arose from vital forces present in nonliving, or decomposing, matter.
Abiogenesis the belief in spontaneous generation as a source of life.
Biogenesis belief that living things can only arise from others of the same kind.
Scientific methods principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge, involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of a hypothesis.
Hypotheses a tentative explanation of what has been observed or measured.
Deduction problem
Deductive of or based on deduction.
Theories a collection of statements, propositions, or concepts that explains or accounts for a natural event.
Law a statement of order or relation holding for certain phenomena that so far as is known is invariable under the give conditions.
Sterilization any process that completely removes or destroys all viable microorganisms, including viruses, from an object or habitat. Material so treated is sterile.
Aseptic techniques methods of handling microbial cultures, patient specimens, and other sources of microbes in a way that prevents infection of the handler and others who may be exposed.
Germ theory of disease a theory first originating in the 1800s which proposed that microorganisms can be the cause of diseases. The concept is actually so well established in the present time that it is considered a fact.
Nomenclature a set system for scientifically naming organisms, enzymes, anatomical structures, etc.
Taxonomy the formal system for organizing, classifying, and naming living things.
Taxa taxonomic categories.
Classification the systematic grouping of organisms into categories on the basis of evolutionary or structural relationships between them; taxonomy.
Identification an act of identifying: the state of being identified.
Domain in the levels of classification, the broadest general category to which an organism is assigned. Members of a domain share only one or a few general characteristics.
Kingdom in the levels of classification, the second division from more general to more specific. Each domain is divided into kingdoms.
Phylum in the levels of classification, the third level of classification from general to more specific. Each kingdom is divided into numerous phyla. Sometimes referred to a division.
Division in the levels of classification, an alternate term for phylum.
Class in the levels of classification, the division of organisms that follows phylum.
Order in the levels of classification, the division of organisms that follows class. Increasing similarity may be noticed among organisms assigned to the same order.
Family in the levels of classification, a mid
Genus in the levels of classification, the second most specific level. A family is divided into several genera.
Hierarchies levels of power. Arrangement in order of rank.
Scientific method The general approach taken by scientists to explain a certain natural phenomenon.
Species in the levels of classification, the most specific level of organization.
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