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Human pathogens: infectious diseases

Pathogens are microbes that harm their host and cause the particular symptoms we recognise as an infectious disease. Pathogens come from four of the five groups of microbes: viruses, bacteria, …

Meet Professor Glenn Gibson

In the previous Step, you quantified the number of aerobic bacteria in a sample of food to determine if it was safe to eat. In this Step, I meet with …

Meet Matthew Shepherd – a microbiology graduate

In this video you’ll meet Matthew, who studied microbiology at the University of Reading. Matthew explains how his experiences of a microbiology work placement and studying microbial ecology on a …

How to analyse a DNA sequence

In Step 2.5, you watched Harriet demonstrate how to isolate bacteria from a sample, make a pure bacterial culture and perform a Gram stain. When we were watching Harriet demonstrate …

Meet Dr Louise Johnson

You may be surprised to hear that many scientific discoveries have been made by chance. Our chance discovery was that we accidentally left experimental samples out for longer than needed …

Further learning

Are you considering applying to study Microbiology at University? We’d like to invite you to follow your passion for the hidden world on the BSc in Microbiology at the University …

How to isolate viruses in a lab

Viruses are acellular microbes. If you want to culture them in the lab you need to provide them with host cells in which to replicate. Viruses are usually only able …

How to isolate bacteria in a lab

As you saw in Week 1, there are many species of microbe and they differ in how they gain energy and building blocks (nutritional requirements) and what environmental conditions they …

Microbes living on the edge

The extremophiles, or “lovers” (from the Greek –philos) of extremes, are microbes that form communities in seemingly inhospitable environments such as: acidic hot springs, alkali peat bogs, salt lakes, deep …

An invitation to extend your learning

Congratulations on completing Week 1! Are you considering applying to study Microbiology at University? We’d like to invite you to follow your passion for the hidden world on the BSc …

Meet Professor Rob Jackson

In this second of our ‘Meet the expert videos’, I am joined by Professor Rob Jackson on the University of Reading campus. Rob and I discuss a bacteria that causes …

The spectrum of microbe-host interactions

Many microbes have adapted to live in association with another organism, which we refer to as their host. Every animal and plant is colonised by a huge number of different …

Meet Spencer Long- a microbiology graduate

In this video you’ll meet Spencer, who studied Biological Sciences at the University of Reading. Spencer introduces his final year research project with Dr Renee Lee (who you met earlier …

How do microbes survive?

Microbes may be invisible to the unaided eye, but they form an integral part of every ecosystem on Earth: grasslands, forests, tundra, deserts, marine and freshwater habitats. In Step 1.11, …