BIOL 1029 - Microbes and Society: An Introduction to Microbiology
Hours/Week: Lecture 3 Lab 2
Course Description: This course introduces students to the biology of the major microbial groups, their role in our everyday existence, and the methods of scientific inquiry. The lecture provides a global, cultural, and societal perspective on the roles microorganisms play in human civilizations. Contemporary topics, such as genetic engineering, bioterrorism, antibiotic resistance, biotechnology, emerging infectious diseases, and the consequences of public policies on the emergence, spread, and control of infectious disease will be examined. The laboratory will acquaint students with basic techniques used in the handling of microorganisms, and investigate the properties and uses of microbes. This course is intended for students who require a laboratory science course to fulfill general education or degree requirements. This course is not intended for students who require a microbiology course for Nursing, Pharmacy, Dental Hygiene or other allied health programs.
3 Natural Science, 10 People/Environment
Prerequisite(s): Course placement into college-level English and Reading OR completion of ENGL 0950 with a grade of C or higher OR completion of RDNG 0940 with a grade of C or higher and qualifying English Placement Exam OR completion of RDNG 0950 with a grade of C or higher and ENGL 0090 with a grade of C or higher OR completion of ESOL 0051 with a grade of C or higher and ESOL 0052 with a grade of C or higher.
- Historical roots of microbiology: 1600s to the present day
- Microbial classification systems, nomenclature, microscopy
- Bacteria: structure and physiology, important bacterial groups
- Viruses: structure, replication, role in cancer
- Prions: structure, mechanisms of disease causation
- Protists: amoebas, flagellates, ciliates, sporozoa, unicellular algae, slime molds, water molds
- Fungi: classification, structure, growth, beneficial types, pathogenic types
- Microbial growth and metabolism
- Microbial genetics: genomes, transcription, translation, genetic regulation, genetic mutations, genetic recombination, genetic engineering
- Control of microbes and infectious diseases: physical and chemical methods, and the legal, political, social and economic issues concerning antibiotic resistance and vaccines
- Cultural perspective on the use of microbes in food production: wine, vinegar, bread, cheese, olives, sausages, sauerkraut, soy sauce, pickles, beer, brandy, cocoa, chocolate, coffee, and others.
- Food safety and food preservation: food spoilage, methods of food preservation, programs for preventing foodborne disease
- Genomics: methodology, microbial genomes, Human Genome Project
- Biotechnology and industrial use of microbes throughout the world: pharmaceuticals, antibiotics, vaccines, DNA analysis and fingerprinting, enzymes, organic acids, vitamins, hormones, steroids.
- Microbes and global agriculture: nitrogen cycle, ruminant digestion, dairy production, insecticides, herbicides, genetically modified foods, food based vaccines.
- Microbes and the global ecosystem: biogeochemical cycles, water, sewage, and waste treatment, bioremediation, detection of microbial pollution
- Immunology: relationships between humans and microbes, establishment of disease, nonspecific resistance to disease, cell-mediated immunity, antibody-mediated immunity, hypersensitivities, vaccinations
- Viral, fungal, prion, protozoal, and bacterial diseases of humans
- Bioterrorism: history, categories, major microbes of interest, detection, and countermeasures
- Social, environmental and political factors contributing to the emergence and reemergence of infectious diseases
- Global, cultural, social, environmental and political factors contributing to the emergence and reemergence of infectious diseases and the evolving institutional arrangements
- Global, national and local efforts designed for emerging and reemerging infectious diseases: HIV and AIDS, prion diseases and transfer to humans, tuberculosis, and others
- General laboratory procedures and lab safety
- The scientific method and microbiology
- Use of the compound microscope
- Staining techniques
- Techniques for bacterial cultures: streak plates, broth cultures, agar slants.
- Characteristics of major bacterial groups such as Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Bacillus, Lactobacillus, Clostridium
- Biochemical characteristics of bacteria and their use in the identification of unknown bacteria
- Evaluation of physical and chemical agents for controlling microbial growth
- Determining the sensitivity and resistance of bacteria to antibiotics
- Microbiology of foods: preservation, fermentation and plate counts
- Microbiology of dairy products: natural bacterial content of milk, preparation of yogurt
- Microbiology of water: detection of microbes, preparation of a biofilm
- Microbiology of soil: Isolation of bacteria from soil, antibiotic production from soil bacteria, microbial ecology in the soil
- Mutating bacterial genomes
- Immunological techniques for the determination of blood type and diagnosis of microbial diseases (simulation)
- Use of biotechnology based laboratory techniques for the identification of individuals infected with an agent used in a bioterrorism attack (simulation)
At the end of this course students will be able to:
explain the methods of scientific inquiry, the scientific method, and the development of scientific theories.
explain the structures, reproductive methods, and functions of bacteria, algae, viruses, protists, helminths, fungi, and prions.
describe the central role of microbes in the functioning of earth’s ecosystems including their role in energy production, decomposition, and biogeochemical recycling.
analyze the roles of microbes in food production, agriculture, industry, bioremediation, biotechnology, genetic engineering and biological research from a global, environmental and social perspective.
interpret the effect of environmental conditions on the growth and control of microorganisms.
describe the association of microbes with humans, the microbial mechanisms of disease, and the human response to microbial infections from a biological and public health viewpoint.
analyze the global, cultural, social, environmental and political factors contributing to the emergence of infectious diseases.
analyze the consequences of public policy decisions on environmental and human health and institutional arrangements that are evolving to deal with these challenges.
demonstrate proper laboratory techniques in the handling of microorganisms.
Competency 1 (1-6)
03. 01. Demonstrate understanding of scientific theories.
03. 02. Formulate and test hypotheses by performing laboratory, simulation, or field experiments in at least two of the natural science disciplines. One of these experimental components should develop, in greater depth, students’ laboratory experience in the collection of data, its statistical and graphical analysis, and an appreciation of its sources of error and uncertainty. 03. 04. Evaluate societal issues from a natural science perspective, ask questions about the evidence presented, and make informed judgments about science-related topics and policies.
03. 04. Evaluate societal issues from a natural science perspective, ask questions about the evidence presented, and make informed judgments about science-related topics and policies.
Competency 2 (7-10)
10. 01. Explain the basic structure and function of various natural ecosystems and of human adaptive strategies within those systems.
10. 02. Discern patterns and interrelationships of bio-physical and socio-cultural systems.
10. 03. Describe the basic institutional arrangements (social, legal, political, economic, religious) that are evolving to deal with environmental and natural resource challenges.
10. 04. Evaluate critically environmental and natural resource issues in light of understandings about interrelationships, ecosystems, and institutions.
10. 05. Propose and assess alternative solutions to environmental problems.
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