Nina Parker, Shenandoah University
Pub Date: 2016
ISBN 13: 978-1-9381681-4-7
Publisher: OpenStax CNX
Conditions of Use
This is a six-chapter, comprehensive textbook that would be easily covered in a 10-week quarter term, but may have less material to sustain a 15-week read more
This is a six-chapter, comprehensive textbook that would be easily covered in a 10-week quarter term, but may have less material to sustain a 15-week semester term. The six chapters are appropriate for an introductory course in microbiology, but unlike other texts that include a clinical side to microbiology, like one or more chapters on natural and medical (eg. vaccines) defenses, and anti-microbials, this textbook, except for the clinical focuses in each chapter, sticks to the basics of microorganisms (and worms - due to microscopic eggs and larvae) - except for comprehensive coverage of viral infections in Chapter 6. For such a comprehensive text, a lot was devoted to the history of microbiology, and details about historical figures. There also was more than enough light-physics in Chapter 2. There was no glossary at the end of any chapter or a the end of the text. In place of the glossary, the author(s) bolded words in the chapters, and then gave an explanation of each word. There were summaries at the end of each chapter that also partially-substituted for glossaries. The index at the end of the text appeared to list just about all of the important terms and where to locate them.
Overall, very good. There are some areas that should be re-written. Figures 3.22-3.24 are confusing and inaccurate. Figure 3.22 shows 6-sided green molecules diffusing through a plasma membrane. Six-sided molecules in these cases are usually reserved for glucose, and it does NOT simply diffuse through a lipid bilayer (it uses facilitated diffusion). Figure 3.23 also uses 6-sided green molecules for facilitated diffusion, which be okay for glucose, except that in Figure 3.24, the 6-sided green molecules are labeled as sodium (Na+) - this would be very confusing to students. On top of that, the active transport of Na+ and potassium (K+) in Figure 3.24 is wrong. Three Na+ are exported (not two) and two K+ are imported (not one). Table 6.3 states that the mechanism of transmission for Kuru is eating infected meat, but the disease appears to be associated with the consumption of brain tissue from the dead relative (which makes sense of for a TSE).
I believe the content is up-to-date, particularly on the topic of Archaea in Chapter 4. It looks like updates would be easy to implement. With refinement, this text could be useful in an introductory microbiology for a long time.
The text is well-written, and should hold most students' interest. It also helps to have the "Clinical Focus" broken into parts in each chapter, and the "eye on Ethics" topics throughout the text. The links throughout the text to other resources and to YouTube video-clips also makes the text more "accessible" to the modern student. As mentioned above, bolding terms followed by explanations provides context for technical terms, and also would do the same for microbiology jargon.
I agree with the statement. Each chapter is organized the same, from an introductory images and comments, a clinical focus and other "boxed" topics, appropriate figures and tables, access to online resources, to the "Check Your Understanding" questions in each chapter, and summaries and review questions at the end of each.
The chapters are divided into three (Chapter 1) to six (Chapter 4) subheadings. Each subheading is appropriate for the chapter and makes the subheading (and chapter) very readable and accessible.
Chapters 1 (history and overview) and 2 (techniques to view microorganisms and certain characteristics) are an excellent introduction to microbiology. Following these with the cell (Chapter 3) and then prokaryotes followed by eukaryotes is a logical progression. Ending with acellular pathogens (Chapter 6) also is a logical place for these.
Except for the problem I wrote about for Figues 3.22-3.24 and Tabl3 6.3, the images and charts are very good and helpful. I did not experience any navigation problems in the clinical focus topics, where one could "jump" ahead or back, or any problems accessing other online resources or videos when I clicked on the appropriate orange-colored terms.
The only grammatical error I discovered was on page 167, under the heading Lactobacillales. In the last line at the end of paragraph three you'll see: "life threatening (eg. necrotizing...)" and then "life threatening" again at the very end.
I did not see anything in the text (outside of the explanation of how Guatemalans were infected in the 1940s in the "Eye on Ethics" in Chapter 1) that could be construed as offensive or culturally insensitive.
This is a good text to introduce students to the field of microbiology, and I have adopted it for my 10-week microbiology course. However, the microbiology course at my institution is geared towards students interested in health fields, so other resources are necessary for my course. I suggest expanding the text by a couple of chapters, adding the topics of natural and medical defenses against infections and how the body responds to infections, and how medicine (particularly anti-microbials and vaccines) helps.
The textbook covers all concepts of microbiology appropriately and clearly. Information is easy to locate. The glossary is clear and concise. read more
The textbook covers all concepts of microbiology appropriately and clearly. Information is easy to locate. The glossary is clear and concise.
The content is accurate and is presented from an unbiased viewpoint.
The content is relevant and up to date. The text is organized in such a way that future revisions will be easy to implement so that it should not ever be out of date.
The book is written clearly using appropriate terminology.
The text seems consistent in terminology throughout.
The text is easy to divide into modules that can be reorganized and assigned to suit the curriculum.
The topics in this textbook are presented in a clear and logical fashion. It is very "readable."
The text is easy to navigate and the images and charts are relevant.
The text seems free of grammatical errors.
The text is unbiased with respect to races, ethnicities, and backgrounds of the students.
I had been eagerly awaiting completion of this textbook! I love the way that it is tied to ASM objectives. I love that OpenStax is leveling the playing field for students -- making knowledge accessible for all, regardless of economic status.
Microbiology covers the majority of topics found in a first-year microbiology text with a distinct leaning toward medical microbiology. While one read more
Microbiology covers the majority of topics found in a first-year microbiology text with a distinct leaning toward medical microbiology. While one section covers the role of microbes in biogeochemical cycles, the majority deals with human pathogens and methods to control them. The genetics, pathogenicity, and immunity are well covered. Each of the body systems are briefly described before microbial infections of the body system are addressed. This provides context for those students who have not had an anatomy class yet. The sections on biochemistry, cell structure and function, and the fundamentals of physics and chemistry provide the basics for those who haven't had a prior biology course. The use of the clinical focus boxes gives students the opportunity to apply information.
The information presented appears accurate and up-to-date. Materials are frequently referenced. CDC and WHO, both excellent sources of accurate and unbiased information, are frequently cited.
As noted earlier, the information is up-to-date. There are sections on Ebola and Zika, both diseases currently in the news. I would expect the genetics and pharmacological information will need to be updated frequently, but those areas change so rapidly that updating is only to be expected. Those chapters are distinct which would make updating easier.
The writing is collegiate without being convoluted. It reads easily, and the glossary provides well-written definitions of terms. Some sections are more technical than what I would normally consider appropriate for an introductory microbiology student, but this may be a reflection of the prerequisites for the course. The layout of each module and the use of summary tables provides a clear picture for students. The vector images are especially nice because they actually show a student what to be on the lookout for.
The book follows a consistent pattern with each section. Students will know what to expect and where to find it. One inconsistency is the shifting between common language and technical language. Some fairly basic terms are defined in the text. In other places, very technical jargon is used and not defined. The images, also, shift between fairly simple (pictures of historically-significant scientists or organ systems) and detailed (biochemical structures, photosynthesis reactions)
Each module is small enough to load quickly and be read through quickly. The modules cover the topics well and could be reorganized an easily embedded within an online course.
The majority of the book follows a logical pattern. It builds from the history, through cell structure and functions, genetics, control mechanisms, immune function and finally the specific pathogens by body system. The exception is Chapter 19 Diseases of the Immune System. It is separated from the other diseases of body systems chapters Chapter 20 Laboratory Analysis of the Immune Response. Going at the pathogens from a systemic method does not show students how a microbe can move from system to system. Staphylococcus aureus can be normal flora on the skin surface or in the sinuses, but, if it enters the skin via a cut, it produces necrosis and, if untreated, can progress to fatal septicemia. Using a taxonomic organization helps to make those connections for students.
The book worked well whether I read it online or downloaded the PDF version. I worked from home and have a fairly slow internet connection, but everything loaded quickly. I found the embedded links to figures and other sections of the book worked well and without issue. The drop down table of contents made navigation easy.
I did not see any grammatical errors.
Nothing stood out as being culturally insensitive, but there is a decided Western medicine flavor throughout the book.
As mentioned earlier, the book is a good introduction to medical microbiology.
I greatly appreciate that this text aligns with the curriculum guidelines of the American Society of Microbiology. Frankly that was what made me read more
I greatly appreciate that this text aligns with the curriculum guidelines of the American Society of Microbiology. Frankly that was what made me comfortable even looking at the text. The text is designed for a one semester course and I can't think of a topic I would/do cover in a 1 semester microbiology course that isn't in this text. I particularly like endosymbiotic theory so I cover it in a bit more detail than the book does but the text does introduce the topic and it is probably at an appropriate level for most people. No text is going to be exactly what you would cover unless you write it yourself. I think the glossary and appendix of this text are amazing and find the linking of the index to the text, even in the pdf, very helpful. The content included might be a bit more than my nursing students need but the clinical focus sections are sure to keep them engaged.
No errors were found in the accuracy of this text. The text remains unbiased even in the Eye on Ethics sections where it would be easy to push the scientific perspective over the non-scientific beliefs about issues such as vaccination. These sections do a great job of explaining the science and asking critical questions to help students evaluate the situation using scientific knowledge.
This text provides all of the basic foundational knowledge an introductory microbiology student should know. Examples are up to date and relevant but are not examples that will quickly fade away. New examples will always come up but those can be added in by an instructor therefore the basic text will not become obsolete or irrelevant. Information has even been included on the 2016 outbreak of Zika virus. It is yet to be seen how long this will remain relevant.
Information is clear. Jargon/technical terminology is used appropriately and terms are adequately defined. I specifically focused on the information about genetics and metabolism when looking for clarity as these are areas traditionally more difficult for students. These sections were clear.
Consistency exists within the text itself however I found inconsistencies between the online version and the pdf version. The pdf of the text has a more consistent layout and sections are more clearly labeled. Labels found in the pdf are often missing from the online version (examples include the Chapter title page and the Clinical focus heading on those sections)
Again, these sections are more clearly labeled in the pdf than in the online version of the text. Within the pdf document, the text is divided well and it would be easy to assign specific sections. The chapters are even written in such a way that they could be rearranged if you wanted to discuss a certain topic sooner in a course.
I understand the ordering of the text and it flows well. I personally teach a course where Chemistry is a prerequisite so I prefer reviewing the Microbial Biochemistry a little bit earlier than Chapter 7 and I have a lab component to the course so I discuss Microbial growth (Chapter 9) sooner as well. I think these are simply personal preferences and the text seems to be written in a manner than those chapters could be covered in any order without difficulty for the student.
The pdf version was great and easy to read. The images were clear. The online version, however, was much more difficult to navigate. The tables had no reference numbers and if students were viewing text online there were no page numbers so this will make it more difficult to refer students to a particular table. Also the second two clinical focus boxes in Chapter 1 just say “note” and so it takes a moment to realize they are the second and third part of the Clinical focus. This is not an issue in the pdf. Also online the multiple choice questions at the end of a section are unclear. At first glance, it appears as if the answer for the previous question is in a box with the next question. Solutions come up with just the letter so it could be easy to mix up. Again, not an issue in the pdf. Some sections were quite narrowly define and quite short (2.2 Peering into the Invisible world) while others were much more broad and contain a significant amount of material on the page (3.3 unique characteristics of prokaryotic cells). This made the pages much different lengths which felt awkward.
FYI to the editors p. 433 is missing a beginning parenthesis before the abbreviation HGT but for the most part no grammatical errors were discovered.
The text takes a global perspective especially on infectious diseases but does so in a manner than is not offensive or derogatory. Images include men and woman and people of various races. Contributions by female scientists are highlighted.
I like the electronic links between the chapters and their relevant content. This helps reinforce to students why they are learning certain introductory content /foundational knowledge. I mentioned earlier in the review how I appreciated the collaboration with the ASM curriculum guidelines. Those guidelines are listed in the beginning of the text but as a resource for faculty it would be nice to see a cross-walk or alignment specifically pointing out where those are found in the text. We can obviously do that for ourselves but I think it would be a logical thing to point out in the text or instructor resources.
This microbiology textbook is well suited for the non-major microbiology majors though it would an excellent foundation for any science career. There read more
This microbiology textbook is well suited for the non-major microbiology majors though it would an excellent foundation for any science career. There are twenty-six chapters or units with five appendices. It is comprehensive in that it contains microorganism content including topics on fungi, viruses, parasites, and bacteria. It also contains an organization of micro organisms that would typically body organ systems such as the skin, respiratory, digestive, circulatory, and nervous systems. The text covers every subject appropriately and provides an effective index and a comprehensive glossary. It may be a challenge to adequately cover all the units or chapters in a semester course.
Content appears to be accurate, error-free and unbiased.
The references used are up-to-date and the references are viable references. The text is written and arranged in such a way that necessary updates could be easily implemented. Because the units are fairly short but relevant, it appears that it would be fairly easy to add or change content to reflect current practices.
The first observance of this text book was that it is an easy read. Students should not have a problem understanding the content and content is reinforced several times with tables, diagrams, review questions, chapter summaries, and links to learning. It has several other opportunities for students to connect with the content through applicable "micro connections", "disease profile", "Eye on Ethics", "Links to Learning", and case studies throughout the text and included in most units. These "breaks" in connect are well placed and are a welcomed. These should increase student understanding and provide critical thinking.
Each unit is consistent. It has the same flow for each unit making the text an easy and interesting read with applicable review and summaries. Relevant terms are highlighted in the summary.
The text is easily and readily divisible into appropriately sized reading sections. Each unit contain relevant "breaks" in content to give the student to apply the content through case studies, links to learning and disease profiles. It was put together very well for the instructor and student.
The flow to this text is very well done. It is logical and clear to understand. It is pleasing to the eye and holds the readers interest in the subject. It provides plenty of ideas that one could use to demonstrate in a lab the concepts and would work well even without a lab portion of the class.
There did not appear to be any problems with any of the content including the diagrams, tables, etc. The tables and diagrams enforced the clarity of the content.
There did not appear to be any grammatical errors.
There did not appear to be any insensitive or offensive content in any way.
This would be an ideal text to use in a microbiology non-major course.
Table of Contents
- 1 An Invisible World
- 2 How We See the Invisible World
- 3 The Cell
- 4 Prokaryotic Diversity
- 5 The Eukaryotes of Microbiology
- 6 Acellular Pathogens
- 7 Microbial Biochemistry
- 8 Microbial Metabolism
- 9 Microbial Growth
- 10 Biochemistry of the Genome
- 11 Mechanisms of Microbial Genetics
- 12 Modern Applications of Microbial Genetics
- 13 Control of Microbial Growth
- 14 Antimicrobial Drugs
- 15 Microbial Mechanisms of Pathogenicity
- 16 Disease and Epidemiology
- 17 Innate Nonspecific Host Defenses
- 18 Adaptive Specific Host Defenses
- 19 Diseases of the Immune System
- 20 Laboratory Analysis of the Immune Response
- 21 Skin and Eye Infections
- 22 Respiratory System Infections
- 23 Urogenital System Infections
- 24 Digestive System Infections
- 25 Circulatory and Lymphatic System Infections
- 26 Nervous System Infections
Fundamentals of Physics and Chemistry Important to Microbiology
Taxonomy of Clinically Relevant Microorganisms
About the Book
Microbiology covers the scope and sequence requirements for a single-semester microbiology course for non-majors. The book presents the core concepts of microbiology with a focus on applications for careers in allied health. The pedagogical features of the text make the material interesting and accessible while maintaining the career-application focus and scientific rigor inherent in the subject matter. Microbiology’s art program enhances students’ understanding of concepts through clear and effective illustrations, diagrams, and photographs.
About the Contributors
Dr. N. Parker is dedicated to work in a collegiate academic environment to provide a foundation of knowledge for a lifetime of learning to undergraduate and graduate students primarily in the areas of Health Care Professions, Microbiology and Immunology. Incorporates problem based learning in classes to assist students to develop critical decision and analytical problem solving skills. Trains students in the laboratory to become competent and proficient in skills routinely used in Microbiology and Immunology. Includes training students in professional and ethical behavior in the workplace in both the classroom and laboratory.