Microorganisms are the most ancient form of life on Earth, and they may be found in all kinds of places, from the deepest depths of the ocean to forest floors, and even in space and beyond. The study of how microbes interact with the environment and each other, including their effects on the landscape, the spread of viruses and bacteria, the distribution of algae, fungi, and parasitic organisms, and the implications for human health and the environment, is known as environmental microbiology. Microbes can also be exploited to solve global problems, according to environmental microbiology. An environmental microbiologist, for example, can research how microbes might be used to clean up oil spills or other contaminated places, or how organisms that flourish in specific elements can be used to develop pharmaceuticals, topical sunscreens, and water purification solutions. Pathogens and bioremediation are still serious matters in modern environmental microbiology, but their study has been substantially aided by the use of molecular genetics and biotechnology methods in both cases.