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Life Sciences Libraries


Microbiology and Immunology

Microbiology and Immunology

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This chapter includes reference sources useful for microbiology and immunology. Microbiology is "the scientific study of microorganisms (e.g. bacteria, viruses and fungi)." For purposes of this discussion, however, fungi such as yeasts are included with plant biology in Plant Biology. Immunology is the study of immunity, "the state of relative insusceptibility of an animal to infection by disease-producing organisms". (Oxford Dictionary of Biology, 4th ed, 2000) Because microbial systems are convenient and effective for studying a whole range of life processes, there is a significant overlap between this section and the sections covering biochemistry and biophysics, molecular and cell biology, and genetics, respectively. Although medical microbiology and immunology are not comprehensively discussed in this chapter, some basic materials are included that pertain to the study of pathogenic microbiology and diagnostic immunology.



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Classification, Nomenclature, and Systematics

For more information concerning online nomenclature access sites, check the Databases section below. There is also overlap in the Methods section for techniques relevant to classification and systematics.


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Databases relevant to the Biochemistry and Biophysics, Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Genetics will likely be useful for microbiology and virology, also.


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Guides to Internet Resources

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Two publishers that should be especially acknowledged are the American Society for Microbiology in Washington, DC and the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press in Plainview, NY. Both of these publishers issue authoritative laboratory methods manuals and handbooks of importance to microbiologists, immunologists, and molecular biologists. Consult the biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology chapters for other handbooks relevant to microbiology and immunology.


Methods and Techniques

There are innumerable excellent books, series, and Web sites containing information on protocols for molecular biology. This selected list contains a great deal of redundancy in order to provide access to various levels and currency of techniques. It may be necessary and most effective to peruse several examples, concluding with protocols that have been updated in an online database. Also, refer to Chapters 5, "Biochemistry and Biophysics," and 7, "Genetics," and see the section "Methods, Protocols and Software" listed in the WWW Virtual Library of Cell Biology.


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