Students are introduced to the concept of engineering biological organisms and studying their growth to be able to identify periods of fast and slow growth. They learn that bacteria are found everywhere, including on the surfaces of our hands. Student groups study three different conditions under which bacteria are found and compare the growth of the individual bacteria from each source. In addition to monitoring the quantity of bacteria from differ conditions, they record the growth of bacteria over time, which is an excellent tool to study binary fission and the reproduction of unicellular organisms.
This is a Introduction to microbiology course. The content of this module is syllabus as well as powerpoint slides presentation, using OpenStax Microbiology textbook. Content uploaded by Joanna Gray. All content created by Jaleh E. Jalili
How can you tell if harmful bacteria are in your food or water that might make you sick? What you eat or drink can be contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites and toxins—pathogens that can be harmful or even fatal. Students learn which contaminants have the greatest health risks and how they enter the food supply. While food supply contaminants can be identified from cultures grown in labs, bioengineers are creating technologies to make the detection of contaminated food quicker, easier and more effective.
Students investigate decomposers and the role of decomposers in maintaining the flow of nutrients in an environment. Students also learn how engineers use decomposers to help clean up wastes in a process known as bioremediation. This lesson concludes a series of six lessons in which students use their growing understanding of various environments and the engineering design process, to design and create their own model biodome ecosystems.
Students learn about a special branch of engineering called bioremediation, which is the use of living organisms to aid in the clean-up of pollutant spills. Students learn all about bioremediation and see examples of its importance. In the associated activity, students conduct an experiment and see bioremediation in action!
Students explore the science of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) by using a molecular modeling set to model the processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration—building on the concept of MFCs that they learned in the associated lesson, “Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration at the Atomic Level.” Students demonstrate the law of conservation of matter by counting atoms in the molecular modeling set. They also re-engineer a new molecular model from which to further gain an understanding of these concepts.
This course will cover a range of diverse areas of microbiology, including virology, bacteriology, and even applied microbiology. This course will focus on the medical aspects of microbiology, as medical research has been the primary motivator in microbiology research. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: explain how organisms are classified using taxonomy, focusing on the domains Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya; describe the chemical building blocks and metabolic processes important to sustain microbial life; identify the major principles of microbiology and describe the relationship between microbes and other living organisms; discuss pathogenic microbes and their epidemiology; differentiate between microorganisms based on their shape, size, arrangement, staining, and culture characteristics; outline antimicrobial methods including antibiotic use; explain how the human body protects itself; list uses for microbiology in food and beverage preparation and industry. (Biology 307)
Students learn about the basic principles of electromicrobiology—the study of microorganisms’ electrical properties—and the potential that these microorganisms may have as a next-generation source of sustainable energy. They are introduced to one such promising source: microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Using the metabolisms of microbes to generate electrical current, MFCs can harvest bioelectricity, or energy, from the processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration. Students learn about the basics of MFCs and how they function as well as the chemical processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration
Over the course of three sessions, students act as agricultural engineers and learn about the sustainable pest control technique known as soil biosolarization in which organic waste is used to help eliminate pests during soil solarization instead of using toxic compounds like pesticides and fumigants. Student teams prepare seed starter pots using a source of microorganisms (soil or compost) and “organic waste” (such as oatmeal, a source of carbon for the microorganisms). They plant seeds (representing weed seeds) in the pots, add water and cover them with plastic wrap. At experiment end, students count the weed seedlings and assess the efficacy of the soil biosolarization technique in inactivating the weed seeds. An experiment-guiding handout and pre/post quizzes are provided.
In this activity, students act as environmental engineers involved with the clean up of a toxic spill. Using bioremediation as the process, students select which bacteria they will use to eat up the pollutant spilled. Students learn how engineers use bioremediation to make organism degrade harmful chemicals. Engineers must make sure bacteria have everything they need to live and degrade contaminants for bioremediation to happen. Students learn about the needs of living things by setting up an experiment with yeast. The scientific method is reinforced as students must design the experiment themselves making sure they include a control and complete parts of a formal lab report.
How can you tell if harmful bacteria are growing in your food? Students learn to culture bacteria in order to examine ground meat and bagged salad samples, looking for common foodborne bacteria such as E. coli or salmonella. After 2-7 days of incubation, they observe and identify the resulting bacteria. Based on their first-hand experiences conducting this conventional biological culturing process, they consider its suitability in meeting society's need for ongoing detection of harmful bacteria in its food supply, leading them to see the need for bioengineering inventions for rapid response bio-detection systems.