Microbiologists study the structure, function, and interaction of microbes, which make up 60 percent of the earth's biomass. Regarded by many as the foundation of the biosphere, microbes were likely the first form of life on earth, predating plants and animals by more than three billion years. Microbiologists study the role of microbes, such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses in our world. A key goal of microbiologists is to find new ways to use microbes to our advantage, such as engineering bacteria to synthesize cancer drugs or clean up toxic waste sites. Microbiologists find employment in a variety of governmental, industrial, and pharmaceutical fields.
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