Blood cell infected with malaria parasite

Malaria is caused by the single-celled parasite Plasmodium. It is transmitted from one person to another by certain species of blood sucking mosquito. The parasite spends part of its complex life cycle inside red blood cells.

More about microbes

About Microbiology

Micro-organisms affect every aspect of life on Earth. Some microbes cause disease but the majority are completely harmless.

These minute life forms are essential to the cycling of nutrients in the eco-systems of the planet.

We need to understand the role of microbes in global terms, but there are many aspects of our daily lives where knowledge of microbiology can help us answer everyday questions such as

  • How can I avoid flu?
  • Should I have the HPV vaccine?
  • Should I take probiotics?
  • How is yoghurt made?
  • What precautions do I need to take to stay fit and healthy when travelling abroad?

And even...

  • What happens to my poo when I go to the loo?

Biotechnology, which often uses microbes or their products, is a fast-growing area of science. Some of the techniques used, such as genetic modification, cause public concern. A good understanding of the science behind such controversial issues enables balanced judgements to be made.

Since microbes are of such biological, economic and social significance, it is important that microbiology is a part of everyone’s education.

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