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Microbiologists examine microscopic organisms (microorganisms, microbes, or germs) such as algae, bacteria, fungi, molds, protozoans, viruses, and yeasts. They are interested in the form, structure, classification, and distribution of microorganisms, as well as their interactions and relationships with each other. Microbiologists study ways that microorganisms affect human, plant, and animal life and our environment, indoors and out. They search for ways to use microorganisms to make improvements in food and drugs, as well as to understand their involvement in the spread or control of disease and pollution. For example, antibiotics are produced using bacteria or fungi, and microbes can be used to break down waste. Microorganisms are used in the making of foods like cheese and tofu, in food preservation, and in meat tenderizing processes. Flavors, colors, and added vitamins are all made from microbes.
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