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Biology 408

BIOL 408
Principles of Microbiology

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BIOL 408
Principles of Microbiology
Three hours lecture; three hours laboratory(4).

Prerequisites:  BIOL 132, BIOL 231

A course on prokaryotic biology. Topics include bacterial cell biology, bacterial genetics, bacterial metabolism, microbial evolution and ecology, and bacterial  interactions with humans, with a particular emphasis on bacteria as pathogens. Emphasis will be placed on reading primary literature and writing.  Laboratory exercises will include sterile and bacterial culturing techniques, and  exercises in bacterial genetics and physiology.

Detailed Description of Course
Topics may include but are not limited to:
History of Microbiology and the Contributions of Microbiologists to the Science of Life
Origin of Life and Evolution of Prokaryotes
Bacterial Cells and How They Function
Growth and Development of Bacterial Cells
How the Environment Influences Bacterial Growth
Bacterial Metabolism
How Bacteria Use Nutrients from the Environment to Make Energy
How Bacteria Use Nutrients from the Environment to Make Molecules that they need for Growth
Bacterial Genetics
    Bacteria and How Their Chromosomes Function
    Transcription and Translation
    Gene Transfer Among Bacteria and Evolution of Bacteria
    Gene Regulation in Bacteria
Bacteria and Human Health
Bacteria and Human Infection
    Bacteria as Pathogens
    Genes that make Bacteria Pathogens and How they Work
How to Control Bacteria as Pathogens
    Antibiotics and How they Work
Why Antibiotics Don’t Always Work
    Antibiotic Resistance Genes and Bacterial Modes of Transfer
Bacterial Diversity
Bacterial Ecology
Novel developments in Microbiology


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course
In addition to attending lectures, students will be expected to read and discuss primary literature in class.  In the laboratory, students will perform experiments that demonstrate important skills and concepts in microbiology and write both informal and formal reports their results.  Students will use quantitative analysis to examine their results.  Students may be given responsibility for experimental design in at least one of their laboratory projects.


Goals and Objectives of the Course
Having successfully completed this course, students will be able to:
•    Describe how prokaryotic organisms are similar to eukaryotic organisms in terms of cell biology, physiology, and genetics
•    Describe how prokaryotic organisms differ from eukaryotic organisms in terms of cell biology, physiology, and genetics
•    Describe the role that bacteria play in ecosystems
•    Describe how pathogens interact with human hosts to cause disease
•    Use standard laboratory techniques to identify common  bacteria
•    Read and evaluate primary scientific literature
•    Use skills acquired in the course to design a laboratory project


Assessment Measures
Assessment measures may vary with instructor.  Students may be assessed on lecture material through quizzes and exams. Student presentations of primary literature topics and discussion of literature may be evaluated. Laboratories will be evaluated through laboratory reports.

Other Course Information


Review and Approval

July, 2010