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Why have the effects and potential benefits of microbial life not been fully explored?

Topic

Impact of Microorganisms

Framing Question

Why have the effects and potential benefits of microbial life not been fully explored?

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the great plate anomaly/viable but nonculturable state.
  • Give an example of a process/product that was recently attributed to being carried out by microbes.
  • Discuss the beneficial impact of microbes to at least two different environments.
  • Predict how the removal of microbes can negatively affect a given system.
  • Explain how an uncultured organism’s evolutionary relationship to other organisms on a 16S rRNA phylogenetic tree may be established.
  • Describe how you would go about prospecting for antibiotics in a new environment.

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