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Microbiologists are scientists who study living things that cannot be seen with the naked eye, such as bacteria, fungi, protozoans, and viruses, as well as human and animal cells. They examine the effects these microorganisms and infectious agents have on people, animals, plants, and the environment. They are interested in learning about microorganisms that cause diseases, how microorganisms can be used to treat and prevent diseases, and ways microorganisms can be used in developing products. Microbiologists are a subspecialty of biological scientists. Approximately 19,880 microbiologists are employed in the United States.