Print Page

Microbiology (BIOL 2235)

Total Credits: 4
Lecture Credits: 2
Lab Credits: 2

Description: This course is an inquiry into the structure, function, and taxonomy of prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms and viruses. You will learn about normal and pathogenic microorganisms. You will explore disease, epidemiology, and disease-causing properties of microbes. You will also learn about the body’s immunological defenses against pathogens and current medical therapies. You will gain hands-on experience in basic microbiological lab techniques including microscopy and staining, aseptic transfer, and cultivation of bacteria from the environment, food, and water. You will learn to conduct and analyze the results of a variety of biochemical tests, clinical assays, and molecular microbiology techniques. This course includes four hours of required lab per week, which must be taken on campus.

Topical Outline:
1. Introduction to Microbiology – basic microbial taxonomy, light and electron microscopy, safe lab practices for handling microbes
2. Cell biology and genetics of microbes – prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell structure, genome organization, gene expression, mutation, bacterial DNA purification and analysis, microbial biotechnology
3. Cultivation and metabolism of bacteria – bacterial growth media, qualitative and quantitative analysis of bacterial growth, microbial metabolic diversity, and response to environmental variables (salinity, oxygen, etc.), environmental microbiology, medical microbiology, and biochemical tests
4. Viruses and other infectious particles – molecular structure of viruses, viroids, and prions; life cycle and genetics of significant viruses
5. Disease – etiology, epidemiology, transmission, disease types, signs and symptoms, molecular mechanisms of virulence, drug treatment, drug resistance, antibiotic and disinfectant sensitivity assays
6. Immunity – mechanisms of innate and adaptive immunity in humans, vaccination, and human immune disorders, immune-based assays

Learning Outcomes:
1. Explain and apply fundamental concepts related to the taxonomy, structure, function, and ecology of microbes including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa
2. Use critical thinking skills to understand, evaluate, and analyze processes related to microbes including microbial pathogenesis, immune response to infection, microbial metabolic diversity, and microbial biotechnology
3. Read primary scientific literature, collect and interpret data, incorporate and cite information and ideas from scientific literature into formal written report and oral presentation formats
4. Evaluate case studies for microbial diseases, determine risk factors for infection and diagnose disease based on their understanding of the pathogens, disease mechanisms, immunology, and medical therapies
5. Demonstrate ability to use the microscope, identify microbes, perform staining techniques, utilize aseptic technique for the isolation and cultivation of microbes from the environment, food, and water
6. Critically evaluate quantitative and qualitative data on bacterial growth on various media to characterize the response to the environment, metabolism, nutrient use, disinfectant and antibiotic sensitivity, water quality, and identify common bacteria

Prerequisites:  BIOL 2200. It is recommended that Biology majors also complete BIOL 2202 and BIOL 2205.

MnTC: Goal 3: Natural Sciences