For majors courses in Introductory Microbiology in departments of biology and microbiology, and for upper-level non-majors courses in Microbiology.The authoritative text for introductory microbiology, Brock's Biology of Microorganisms continues its long tradition of impeccable scholarship, outstanding art, and accuracy. It balances the most current coverage with the major classical concepts essential for understanding the science. The authors' clear, accessible writing style speaks to today's students while maintaining the depth and precision science majors need.
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As we enter the new millennium the rapid pace of basic research and the enormous possibilities for applications have thrust the field of microbiology into the forefront of the biological sciences. Through the years the science of microbiology has kept its roots firmly planted in fundamental principles. But now with the explosion of new molecular methods for both field and laboratory studies microbiologists can ask questions and do experiments that they could only dream of years ago. Indeed, as one notable microbiologist put it recently, the science of microbiology is "on a roll." It is during this exciting time that we present to students and instructors of microbiology a snapshot of microbiology today in the form of the ninth edition of Brock Biology of Microorganisms (BBOM).
What's New in Organization?
In the 30 years since the first edition of this book, originally titled Biology of Microorganisms, was published, many things have changed in the field of microbiology. The new edition of BBOM has also seen many changes—some minor, some not so minor—from that of the previous edition. In terms of chapter organization, the ninth edition follows along the lines of the eighth with two exceptions: (1) The chapter on "Microbial Evolution and Systematics" has been moved forward to Chapter 12 to set the stage for later chapters on microbial diversity, metabolic diversity, and ecology. With this move, every chapter in the book that deals with organisms and their activities in nature (including medical microbiology) can be seen, as it should be, within a phylogenetic context. And (2), the chapter entitled "Microbial Growth Control" has been moved back to Chapter 18 in this edition to immediately precede the medical/ immunology block of chapters where it fits better as an introduction to this material.
Because medical microbiology is such an important area of our science, the disease chapter has been restructured and split into two chapters. Chapter 23 is now entitled "Person-to-Person Microbial Diseases" and exclusively covers microbial diseases transmitted in this fashion. Here one will find up-to-the-minute coverage of airborne and sexually transmitted pathogens and the diseases they cause. In Chapter 24, entitled "Animal-Transmitted, Vectorborne, and Common-Source Microbial Diseases," one finds coverage of important diseases transmitted by insects or animals such as malaria, Lyme, hantavirus and rabies, and diseases caused by a common vehicle such as foodborne and waterborne diseases. Those instructors who structure their introductory courses around a theme of medical microbiology will now find more than enough coverage of diseases and the disease process in the ninth edition.
Finally, it should also be mentioned that the new organization in BBOM 9/e conforms very closely to the recommendations of the Education Division of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) for teaching introductory microbiology courses. This includes the content outline of the new ASM telecourse in microbiology, whose 12-part series produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting and funded by the Annenberg Corporation closely mirrors the organization of material in the ninth edition.
What's New in Content?
What isn't new? Every chapter in this book has seen revision, in some cases, very extensive revision. The authors' goal in producing this new edition was to maintain the breadth and depth of coverage that users have come to expect from this book while at the same time keeping things within bounds, both in terms of what students should be expected to master in one semester, and the overall length of an "introductory" textbook. As for previous editions of this book, the ninth has tried to strike a balance between concepts and details such that the beginning student is not overwhelmed while the more experienced student can still use the book as a general resource.
A very important point for instructors to note is the numbered head system used in this book. As for all eight previous editions, BBOM 9/e is constructed in a modular fashion, using numbered heads to group off major topics within each chapter. Instructors should take advantage of this system by assigning to their students as much or as little (depending on the depth and breadth desired) of the material of a given chapter as necessary. Instructors know that most textbooks can not (and should not) be covered in a single semester course, and BBOM 9/e is no exception. While some chapters of this book should be covered in their entirety in the introductory course, others need only be sampled. The numbered head system makes sampling convenient for instructors and at the same time partitions concepts into more digestible portions for students.
Highlights of the revision include: (1) a more streamlined chapter on cell chemistry (now entitled "Macromolecules") to put the focus on the structure of the cells' major molecules; (2) a major new section on prokaryotic genomics (Chapter 9) to reflect the great excitement and advances occurring in this area today; (3) a major reorganization of the material on prokaryotes (Chapters 13 and 14) along phylogenetic lines to better integrate the evolutionary material in Chapter 12 with the properties of the organisms themselves; (4) extensive coverage of the exciting areas of phylogenetic probes and other fluorescent probes and their use in clinical medicine and microbial ecology (Chapters 16 and 21); (5) an expanded treatment of eukaryotic microorganisms and eukaryotic cell structure (Chapter 17); (6) a heavily reorganized immunology chapter which, following the pattern of the successful "nucleic acids" box in Chapter 6, separates out the molecular details of immunology into a box ("Molecular Biology of the Immune Response") for those instructors that wish to cover the field at the molecular level, while retaining the basic concepts of immunology in the text for those who wish to take a more practical approach to teaching this important area; and (7) an exciting description of the recent emergence of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (in the new Chapter 24).
In summary, long-time users of this book will find a number of old friends between the covers and will meet a number of new ones as they go along. New users of this book will likely find it to be a refreshing, modern approach to teaching the science of microbiology. Either way, the book itself, coupled with the helpful pedagogical and instructional aids that make up the complete package (see below), should make the ninth edition of BBOM the most "teachable" for the instructor and the most useful to the student, of them all.
Previous users of this text will quickly notice the entirely new art program in BBOM 9/e. Every piece of art has been re-done, with special care to introduce more three dimensionality where pedagogically useful, and with a better eye for color usage. As before, color is a learning tool in BBOM 9/e and instructors will find that students quickly grasp the significance of color for reinforcing important concepts.
High quality photos and photomicrographs have been a mainstay of Biology of Microorganisms since the first edition appeared in 1970. BBOM 9/e is no exception and contains over 75 new color and black and white photos, most of which, like in previous editions, were supplied by top researchers in the field. Indeed, the combination of a more pleasing art style and superb photos should be well received by today's "visual" generation of students.
As has become a tradition with this book, BBOM 9/e incorporates several study aids into the body of each chapter. Concept links (signaled by the blue "chain link" icon) are the ties between what has just been read and related material found elsewhere in the book; Concept Checks (found at the end of each numbered head) are a brief overview of the previous material followed by several short questions designed to ensure understanding of critical concepts; and the Working Glossary (that begins each chapter) is a dictionary of the essential terms to be encountered therein. With regular use of these study aids students will (1) know where to go within the book to read more about a particular topic; (2) instantly know whether they have mastered a given concept; and (3) have a fingertip reference to the key terminology. In addition to these study aids built into each chapter, BBOM 9/e contains an extensive list of end of chapter study questions designed to both recall important concepts and apply them to solving problems.
This new edition of Brock Biology of Microorganisms comes complete with a companion Website (prenhall/brock). On this site you will find supplementary materials for each chapter, an advanced readings list, and a new learning aid introduced with the ninth edition, the "Testing Center." Instructors are well aware that students nowadays like to prepare for upcoming examinations by taking "practice exams." In the BBOM 9/e Testing Center students can do this by taking a "Virtual Exam" for each unit of material, testing their preparedness with thousands of on-line questions deFrom the Back Cover:
Over the past 30 years eight editions of Biology of Microorganisms have introduced the field of microbiology to hundreds of thousands of students. As we enter a new millennium, this ninth edition of Brock Biology of Microorganisms promises to be a classic among microbiology textbooks with its modern treatment of microbiology firmly rooted in fundamental principles.
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