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Thread: Bacteriology vs Virology - what do you think?

  1. #1 Bacteriology vs Virology - what do you think? 
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    I graduated from high school (in Sweden..) in Jule and have now gotten the opportunity to be part of a research group in microbiology. It's a friend of our family who is the head of microbiology department.

    The groups in bacteriology has a focus on antibiotic resistance, studying genes and also horizontal gene transfer. The harmless bacteria transferring genes to the pathogenic ones. Also, the bacteriology groups seems to be more interacting with the physician and clinic. Many of the researchers are clinical microbiologist and doing research and also help physicians in clinics with culturing, antibiotic choice etc which is also a pro for me since I'm into reading medicine next year.

    The groups in virology focuses on the connection between virus and cancer, together with tumor-/cell- and molecular biologists. It seems to be a lot of work how virus interacts with the body environment.

    I do feel that bacteriology is nice because it is so "hands-on", you culture the bacteria and you can see them, whilst virology uses more sophisticated methods etc. I feel those two are of equivalent interest to me, and hence I'm asking you for input, are you into any of these two areas? Which one do you find most interesting, why? Which one do you think have the most interesting future?

    Thankful for any input


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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    When I did my undergrad in microbio I had a tough time deciding between bacteriology and virology as well. Personally, the lab work isn't particularly exciting in either field. You'll probably find things in both fields to interest you.

    Virology is usually the larger component of almost any microbiology department. HIV research alone tends to make up the bulk of research in the field. If it was about future opportunities in research, that would be the field I'd favour.


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  4. #3  
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    NASA had a press conference today. They report a finding, very interesting: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/universe/..._chemical.html

    "Researchers conducting tests in the harsh environment of Mono Lake in California have discovered the first known microorganism on Earth able to thrive and reproduce using the toxic chemical arsenic"

    "The newly discovered microbe, strain GFAJ-1, is a member of a common group of bacteria, the Gammaproteobacteria. In the laboratory, the researchers successfully grew microbes from the lake on a diet that was very lean on phosphorus, but included generous helpings of arsenic. "

    Summarizes it pretty well, then there is some additional information in the article, I recommend everyone to have a look.

    Bacteriology, here I come!

    i_feel_tiredsleepy Thanks for your input. Actually they have a some very successful groups in HIV-research, but I don't find that research so interesting (maybe weird I know). I would like to go for some more unknown field in virology or bacteriology, where much still is unexplored. One must admit that HIV-research has explored a lot, even though the findings has not yet yielded any vaccine etc.
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    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
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    Viruses, for gene therapy.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Professor Zwirko's Avatar
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    Personally, I'd opt for the virology option. It's really very much an unexplored territory that interfaces nicely with the molecular aspects of cell biology, between non-life and life.

    There is a nice podcast called "This Week in Virology" - have a listen to that to get a flavour of some of the current research in virology and a feel for what it's like to be a virologist.
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    Forum Junior JennLonhon's Avatar
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    Personally, I'm going for a different field of science, but between those two, definitely virology.... Its a bigger challenge(by my opinion) and its a way more interesting field....
    "Be the change you want to see in the world"
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    Forum Freshman Mark Ian's Avatar
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    Talk to the guys at the lab and ask their opinion on which of the two would be better for your carrier and look good on your resume, and in which of the two fields they expect to get the most credit in the shortest amount of time. You want to be part of that (or at least able to say u were working in the lab with those people). Both viruses and bacteria are interesting, so base your decision on which of the two will give you the most credit & look good.
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  9. #8  
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    Thanks everyone for your input. I have met some researchers and talked to them and have choosen to go for virus-tumor research. I choosed it because my supervisor is very well known in the field, and has publications in Nature, Science and PNAS etc, also he is known to be a very good supervisor, so probably I will get some nice tips from him about doing research.
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  10. #9  
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    Any choice would be good I guess. Both are interesting. Life usually takes its course no matter what you choose. My undergraduate studies were in Microbiology. I choose virology as the focus of my research after that. Then I did MSc in Toxicology and now I am employed in pharma industry in the field of biopharamceuticals. Go figure :P
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  11. #10  
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    I live in Dominican Republic, and here we have many problems with viruses (like cholera), but to me the virology is more interesting, and i'm thinking study agronom yor microbiology to make a postgrade in biotechnology.
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  12. #11  
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    Cholera is bacterial, not viral. Still, there are many viruses that are as dangerous as cholera.
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