75th Anniversary: showcasing why microbiology matters
Why microbiology matters
Microbes are everywhere and affect almost all aspects of our lives. We cannot see them, but our world would not function without them. Bacteria, viruses, fungi, protists, archaea, algae and other microscopic life forms are on us and in us, in the air, soil and water, and in our food. They are in and on the surfaces of everything in our homes, workplaces and other environments. Most do not harm us and many are essential for the good health of humans, animals and the planet.
Microbes help keep the planet healthy by recycling waste and supplying nutrients. Agricultural systems would not function without some while others are harmful pests. Industry uses microbial processes to produce foodstuffs and drugs, benefiting society and creating wealth.
Why our community thinks microbiology matters
To celebrate our 75th anniversary we invited microbiologists to nominate the discovery or event that best showcases why microbiology matters and helps us demonstrate the impact of microbiologists past, present and future. We received strong submissions that led us to finalising key topic themes which we will be showcasing throughout the anniversary year. Find out more about why microbiology matters below.
Research into the microbiome has evolved over time allowing us to study microbial communities, genes and proteins in more depth. We will explore three key areas of microbiome research: the microbiome and human health, agricultural and food microbiomes and environmental and industrial microbiomes.
There are approximately 10 times as many bacterial cells as human cells in the human body and they are found in every habitat on Earth. In an era where antimicrobial resistance has become a global issue, we will explore why developing novel antimicrobial strategies, discovering the world of biofilms and understanding bacteria in industry is important to the world of microbiology.
Vaccines are made from microbes that are dead or inactive so that they are unable to cause disease. Not only do vaccines protect individuals, they can also provide herd immunity. We will explore four key areas of vaccination, including how vaccines work, are produced, more about herd immunity and eradicating disease.