Microbiologists Job Description video

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Microbiologists explore a world invisible to the naked eye -- but which has a significant impact on our health and well-being. These scientists study organisms and cells that we can see only through a microscope. The universe of micro-organisms is so vast, microbiologists have many areas of specialization to choose from. Some become disease detectives such as virologists, who focus on how viruses evolve, often studying newly identified strains in search of a cure. Immunologists study how the body fights disease; bacteriologists strive to understand microscopic bacteria. Mycologists study molds, yeast and mushrooms. Their work has led to antibiotics and other medicines. Most microbiologists work in laboratories with high-tech equipment and microscopes, but there are opportunities for travel. Field epidemiologists often trek to remote regions of the globe to study frightening outbreaks of rare diseases. No wonder they're called "virus hunters!" As in so many scientific careers, advancement comes with education and research experience. An entry-level spot on a research team requires at least a bachelor's degree, while PhDs are needed for senior level positions. Though microbiologists work in education and government, the most lucrative salaries -- and keenest competition --- are in the private sector. Many microbiologists grew up dreaming of becoming doctors, but find they love being scientists more. Every day brings the promise of unfolding another one of Nature's secrets.

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