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  • Writer's pictureMonique Gaddy


Mushrooms growing from soil

Microbiology. A big word for a small world. There are so many things that occur on the microscopic level on our planet and in our bodies, and sometimes these tiny organisms affect our daily lives, wreak havoc, and even control our thoughts...

But maybe I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with the basics. What is helping us, what is harming us, what is out there, and what can we do to help ourselves understand the complexities of a very influential tiny environment that is quite literally affecting the entire world at this very moment in very large ways.

What Is Microbiology:

According to Microbiology Society, “Microbiology is the study of all living organisms that are too small to be visible with the naked eye.” There is more than just one type of microorganism, though, and some of them are helpful to our body and our environments, and some of them are harmful to us. I learned from the article above that there are seven classifications of microbes: bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa, algae, archaea, and prions. To do more extensive research on the topic, I would recommend reading each of the sections in that article and then move to one of our amazing library resources. There is so much to learn, and your library card can help you find the information you need at any time!

For this blog, we are going to focus on two main microbes: bacteria and viruses.

Yogurt, seeds, and fruit in glass cup


Gut bacteria and body bacteria help us out in many ways, from regulating our immune system to helping us keep unwanted weight off. Microbes help bodies of all ages, from newborn to adult. Sometimes it’s enough for them to be around us, as they provide defensive space around us from other harmful elements. Want to learn more? Read up on the article 6 Great Things Microbes Do For Us!

Fungus and bacteria in soil and plants help create food for us, enrich nutrients, and replenish oxygen levels in our environment. From The Impact of Microbes on the Environment and Human Activities, we learn that "The most significant effect of the microorganisms on earth is their ability to recycle the primary elements that make up all living systems, especially carbon (C), oxygen (O) and nitrogen (N)." What a huge impact that microbes have on everything around us!

A microscopic view of the coronavirus


Some bacteria can be very harmful to the body. One such is Helicobacter pylori. In the article, Helicobacter pylori: A Noble Pursuit, from the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology, Dr. Barry Marshall talks about the early stages of developing treatment and how he conducted his first study of this bacteria on himself to make a path to discovery.

Viruses are one of the most harmful microbes for humans, animals, and other living creatures to be around. While viruses are contracted in various ways, they still provide a very serious threat to our population. Without appropriate measures for combating these organisms, entire social structures can be affected. We have absolutely seen this today as we are in the middle of this intense pandemic. Every precaution must be taken to ensure the safety of our communities until progress is made on finding cures or solutions to this strain. For more information on our latest virus, visit the CDC website.

Opera glasses on a table

For More Information Available in our Collection:

This subject is vast and so intriguing that I encourage you to take some time to explore it further. We have so many books in our collection on the topic and they are all available to you with your library card. Here are just some of the few I found that you can find throughout Treasure Valley. Click the titles to put any of them on hold, and then book a curbside appointment to pick them up:


View of several stacks of books viewed from the bottom of the books


Open disc drive with disc

For Kids:

little girl with book as seen through a book shelf

Happy reading and remember that your librarians are here to assist you in finding a wide range of topics for you and your family. Drop-in, send us a message on the website, or give us a call and let us know how we can assist you!

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