Jul 22, 2024  
2019-2020 Course Catalog 
2019-2020 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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BIOL 1029 - Microbes and Society: An Introduction to Microbiology

Credits: 4
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. Prerequisite(s): Assessment score placement in RDNG 1000 or completion of RDNG 0900 or RDNG 0950 with a grade of C or higher.
MnTC Goals
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.
Corequisite(s): None
Recommendation: None

Major Content

  1. Historical roots of microbiology: 1600s to the present day
  2. Microbial classification systems, nomenclature, microscopy
  3. Bacteria: structure and physiology, important bacterial groups
  4. Viruses: structure, replication, role in cancer
  5. Prions: structure, mechanisms of disease causation
  6. Protists: amoebas, flagellates, ciliates, sporozoa, unicellular algae, slime molds, water molds
  7. Fungi: classification, structure, growth, beneficial types, pathogenic types
  8. Microbial growth and metabolism
  9. Microbial genetics: genomes, transcription, translation, genetic regulation, genetic mutations, genetic recombination, genetic engineering
  10. Control of microbes and infectious diseases: physical and chemical methods, and the legal, political, social and economic issues concerning antibiotic resistance and vaccines
  11. 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.
  12. Food safety and food preservation: food spoilage, methods of food preservation, programs for preventing foodborne disease
  13. Genomics: methodology, microbial genomes, Human Genome Project
  14. Biotechnology and industrial use of microbes throughout the world: pharmaceuticals, antibiotics, vaccines, DNA analysis and fingerprinting, enzymes, organic acids, vitamins, hormones, steroids.
  15. Microbes and global agriculture: nitrogen cycle, ruminant digestion, dairy production, insecticides, herbicides, genetically modified foods, food based vaccines.
  16. Microbes and the global ecosystem: biogeochemical cycles, water, sewage, and waste treatment, bioremediation, detection of microbial pollution
  17. Immunology: relationships between humans and microbes, establishment of disease, nonspecific resistance to disease, cell-mediated immunity, antibody-mediated immunity, hypersensitivities, vaccinations
  18. Viral, fungal, prion, protozoal, and bacterial diseases of humans
  19. Bioterrorism: history, categories, major microbes of interest, detection, and countermeasures
  20. Social, environmental and political factors contributing to the emergence and reemergence of infectious diseases
  21. Global, cultural, social, environmental and political factors contributing to the emergence and reemergence of infectious diseases and the evolving institutional arrangements
  22. Global, national and local efforts designed for emerging and reemerging infectious diseases: HIV and AIDS, prion diseases and transfer to humans, tuberculosis, and others
  23. General laboratory procedures and lab safety
  24. The scientific method and microbiology
  25. Use of the compound microscope
  26. Staining techniques
  27. Techniques for bacterial cultures: streak plates, broth cultures, agar slants.
  28. Characteristics of major bacterial groups such as Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Bacillus, Lactobacillus, Clostridium
  29. Biochemical characteristics of bacteria and their use in the identification of unknown bacteria
  30. Evaluation of physical and chemical agents for controlling microbial growth
  31. Determining the sensitivity and resistance of bacteria to antibiotics
  32. Microbiology of foods: preservation, fermentation and plate counts
  33. Microbiology of dairy products: natural bacterial content of milk, preparation of yogurt
  34. Microbiology of water: detection of microbes, preparation of a biofilm
  35. Microbiology of soil: Isolation of bacteria from soil, antibiotic production from soil bacteria, microbial ecology in the soil
  36. Mutating bacterial genomes
  37. Immunological techniques for the determination of blood type and diagnosis of microbial diseases (simulation)
  38. Use of biotechnology based laboratory techniques for the identification of individuals infected with an agent used in a bioterrorism attack (simulation)

Learning Outcomes
At the end of this course students will be able to:

  1. explain the methods of scientific inquiry, the scientific method, and the development of scientific theories.

  2. explain the structures, reproductive methods, and functions of bacteria, algae, viruses, protists, helminths, fungi, and prions.

  3. describe the central role of microbes in the functioning of earth’s ecosystems including their role in energy production, decomposition, and biogeochemical recycling.

  4. analyze the roles of microbes in food production, agriculture, industry, bioremediation, biotechnology, genetic engineering and biological research from a global, environmental and social perspective.

  5. interpret the effect of environmental conditions on the growth and control of microorganisms.

  6. 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.

  7. analyze the global, cultural, social, environmental and political factors contributing to the emergence of infectious diseases.

  8. analyze the consequences of public policy decisions on environmental and human health and institutional arrangements that are evolving to deal with these challenges.

  9. 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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