reading notes from "An Evolving Science" (ch 1, 3.1, 6.1)

Chapter 1
-microbes generate the very air we breath (nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide)
-microbe: a living organism that requires a microscope to be seen. (range in size from mm-0.2 micrometers)

  • each microbe contains in its genome the capacity to reproduce its own kind
  • some can be seen by the naked eye
  • some form complex multicellular assemblages

-virus: consits of noncellular particle containing genetic material that takes over the metabolism of a cell to generate more virus particles.
-are considered microbes, but are not fully functional cells
-prokaryotes: cells lacking a nucleus
-eukaryotes: cells with a nucleus
-genome: the total genetic information contained in an organisms chromosomal DNA
-helps determine how a microbe grows and associates

Chapter 3.1
-fundamental traits of prokaryotes:

  • thick complex outer envelope
  • protects cell from environmental stress/predators
  • mediates communication and exchange
  • compact genome
  • small genomes maximize cell production from limited resources
  • tightly coordinated cell functions
  • enables high reproduction rate

-microbial eukaryotes:

  • extend over a full size: range encompassed by prokaryotes in addition to reaching much larger sizes
  • thick outer covering
  • contain subcellular organelles with membranes that are more extensive than prokaryotes

-all cells share common chemical compounds:

  • water
  • essential ions (potassium, magnesium, chloride ions)
  • small organic molecules (lipids, sugars)
  • macromolecules (nucleic acid, proteins)

-the model bacterial cell contains a highly ordered cytoplasm in which DNA replications, RNA transcriptions, and protein synthesis occur coordiantely
-the biochemical composition of bacteria includes relatively high nucleic acid content, as well as proteins, phospholipids, and other inorganic and organic constituents
-proteins in the cell very depending on the species and environmental conditions

Chapter 6.1
-viruses: consist of noncellular particles that infect a host cell and direct its expression apparatus to produce more viruses
-viron: a capsid enclosing a nucleic acid genome
-all classes of organisms are infected by viruses
-viruses contain infective genomes that take over a cell reprograming its cell machinery to make progeny virus particles (virons)
-viroids that infect plants consist of RNA hairpins with no capsid
-prions: infectious proteins that induce a cells native proteins to fold incorrectly and impair cell function

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