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Biosphere 2: Unexpected Interactions
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The Biosphere 2 project of the early 1990s failed dramatically because the planners overlooked the metabolic activities of naturally occurring soil microorganisms. The simulation program SimBio 2 allows us to gain insights into the complexity of this closed ecosystem. Here we can manipulate and monitor variables within a virtual Biosphere 2. We will explore oxygen availability by taking a closer look at the relationship between organic materials and living microbial populations in the soil. Alternative models can be constructed and simulated. * run simulations of a model of the Biosphere 2 to explore the unexpected impact of microbial metabolism on closed system dynamics

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Simulation
Provider:
BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium
Provider Set:
Microbes Count!
Author:
Ethel D. Stanley
Bioterror and the Microbiologistí˘ŒóŒťs Response
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The discovery of anthrax spores in the Senate Office Building in Washington in October 2001 as well as in several post offices caught microbiologists unprepared for their central role in the War on Terrorism. Infection control specialists were challenged to think of new strategies to confront the anthrax problem. How would you respond to this crisis? * develop a plan to decontaminate areas in the Senate Office Building where anthrax spores have been found

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium
Provider Set:
Microbes Count!
Author:
Marion Fass
Citrus Canker: Alternatives for Control
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What do you do when county officials show up to cut down the orange trees in your backyard? What causes citrus canker and how is it spread? This plant pathogen was the first microbe to have its genome sequenced outside of the US. There is much to investigate before deciding on the best alternative for control. * examine international alternatives for the control of citrus canker

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium
Provider Set:
Microbes Count!
Author:
Ethel D. Stanley
Linda Weinland
Margaret Waterman
Peter Woodruff
Complements Please! No Compliments Necessary
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Are mutant strains of bacteria that have the same nutritional phenotype identical? In the virtual MicroGCK lab, you can select colonies for further analysis to determine the underlying genetic structure of this similarity. This includes running a cross feeding complementation simulation for strains of nutritional auxotrophs. * investigate the genetic basis for phenotypic similarities in bacterial strains by simulating cross-feeding

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Simulation
Provider:
BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium
Provider Set:
Microbes Count!
Author:
John N. Calley
John R. Jungck
Conjugation and Genetic Mapping
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We know that bacteria share traits through conjugation. Can the frequency of specific exchanges help us map these traits? Analysis of the data from a series of MicroGCK conjugation simulations provides a method for genetic mapping. * examine conjugant populations from two strains of bacteria incubated for different periods of time as a strategy for mapping traits

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Simulation
Provider:
BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium
Provider Set:
Microbes Count!
Author:
John N. Calley
John R. Jungck
Controlling Potato Blight: Past, Present, and Future
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Potato late blight, Phytophthora infestans, has an infamous past, yet it continues to present a challenge to modern day farmers. Historical scenarios in the LateBlight simulation help us define the impact of this disease before the interactions between this microbe and the potato were understood. Modern scenarios enable us to investigate current strategies to control this pathogen from the management of cull piles to the use of genetically engineered potatoes. A life cycle model, Potato Late Blight, provides an additional method for exploring microbial interactions. * make a profit or lose the farm as you investigate the economic consequences of using chemical control approaches to managing late blight in potatoes

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium
Provider Set:
Microbes Count!
Author:
Ethel D. Stanley
Epidemiology: Understanding Disease Spread
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Factors that influence disease spread throughout populations can be explored with the program Epidemiology. Both population and disease characteristics can be modeled over different time periods. The Susceptible- Infected- Recovered (SIR) model enables us to make predictions based on significant variables such as the flow of new susceptibles in to the population, transmission rates, disease deaths, and the duration of the disease. Ebola is used as a model organism and epidemiology is presented from both a microbiological and social perspective. * build epidemiological models of different diseases, design strategies for disease control, and test the effectiveness of these strategies on virtual populations

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium
Provider Set:
Microbes Count!
Author:
Marion Fass
Exploring HIV Evolution: An Opportunity for Research
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What can differences in the DNA of a rapidly evolving virus tell us? A data set of nucleic acid sequences for strains of HIV collected from patients over a three year period provides an opportunity to use bioinformatics to study the natural history of disease. Here we can develop and test our own hypotheses about virulence and life expectancy. * explore a data set of HIV nucleic acid sequences utilizing bioinformatics tools and resources

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium
Provider Set:
Microbes Count!
Author:
Anton E. Weisstein
Sam Donovan
Exploring Microbial Fermentation with Korean Kimchee
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To get a closer look at metabolism and succession, consider the fermentation process for making traditional Kimchee. This non-pathogenic system provides opportunities for real time data acquisition and analysis. Experimental data is provided for variables such as pH and O2 levels. * measure key metabolic indicators and observe succession in a fermentation culture for making Kimchee

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium
Provider Set:
Microbes Count!
Author:
John M. Greenler
Robin McC. Greenler
The Farmer and the Gene: A Case Approach to Bt Corn
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This case study provides an opportunity to identify and then investigate questions about a real world application of genetic engineering. A look at changing agricultural control methods for the European Corn Borer sets the stage for exploring the uses of Bacillus thuringiensis since the 1930s. * select an a question to explore on the widespread use of genetically engineered Bt corn with its bacterial genes to protect against an exotic infestation

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium
Provider Set:
Microbes Count!
Author:
Ethel D. Stanley
Margaret A. Waterman
How Do You Know a Microbe When You Find One?
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What are the distinguishing traits of microorganisms? Can we take advantage of the tendency of bacteria to form colonies on media in the laboratory to differentiate between mixed strains? The simulation Microbial Genetics Construction Kit ( 퉌ľGCK) introduces classic lab strategies such as serial dilution and replica plating, setting the stage for more exploration. Given an unknown sample of bacteria, can you devise strategies to identify the nutritional phenotypes of the microorganisms in your sample? * explore classic laboratory methods using a computer simulation to grow and characterize these minute life forms

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Simulation
Provider:
BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium
Provider Set:
Microbes Count!
Author:
Joshua Tusin
Marion Fass
Identifying Immune Responses
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AuntieBody is an online IMMEX problem-solving simulation for testing your clinical skills and knowledge of the immune system. The interactive simulation offers patient information and asks for a sensible and efficient diagnosis. Clinical tests may be selected and the results assessed before submitting a diagnosis. * offer a diagnosis using patient data and results from selected clinical testing and ascertain if the process we used is efficient and effective

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium
Provider Set:
Microbes Count!
Author:
Ethel D. Stanley
Investigating Predator-Prey Interactions
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In a mixed culture, how does the population of Didinium affect the population of Paramecium í˘ŒóŒń and vice versa? Predator-prey cycles can be modeled using the Biota simulation. How do variables such as the presence of a refuge or the availability of food perturb the population cycles? * study the effects that the presence of a refuge from predators has on a model microbial population

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Simulation
Provider:
BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium
Provider Set:
Microbes Count!
Author:
Ethel D. Stanley
The Living World of Yogurt
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Yogurt offers a non-pathogenic system in which to study microbial growth and metabolism. How do you estimate how many bacteria there are in a container of commercial yogurt? What are the effects on bacterial growth in fermenting yogurt with changes in pH, temperature, or substrate availability? You can even do the lab safely at home. Data from experimental runs are available for analysis. * analyze serial dilution data from a living yogurt culture

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium
Provider Set:
Microbes Count!
Author:
Marion Fass
LuriaDelbr퀌_ck Activity
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Do bacterial mutations occur at random, or are they directed by environmental influences? In this activity you can use the procedure described in í˘ŒóŒěA Test of Hypotheses about Random Mutation: Using Classic Experiments to Teach Experimental Designí˘ŒóŒ (Green and Bozzone, 2001) to recreate a classic 1943 lab experiment in which Luria and Delbr퀌_ck addressed this question. Then, using the two Excel spreadsheets available below, you can compare your results with those obtained using mathematical models to test the two hypotheses.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium
Provider Set:
Microbes Count!
Author:
Donna Bozzone
Doug Green
Making Sense of the Complex Life Cycles of Toxic Pfiesteria
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An intriguing microbe with complex interactions that scientists have recently begun to study is the dinoflagellate Pfiesteria piscicida. It has been linked to large fish kills in the waters of North Carolina and the Chesapeake Bay. Examine the effect of environmental variables associated with outbreaks such as flooding and fish density with a model of the Pfiesteria life cycle. * manipulate environmental variables in a life cycle model of a normally benign dinoflagellate to produce an outbreak of its toxic form

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Simulation
Provider:
BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium
Provider Set:
Microbes Count!
Author:
Elisabeth C. Odum
Ethel D. Stanley
Howard T. Odum
Maps and Microbes
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Mapping the spread of a disease is no trivial task. Using maps from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the United Nations Progromme on AIDS (UNAIDS), we can look for patterns of spread and test hypotheses about disease causation at the population level. We can contrast the spread of current outbreaks like West Nile virus to that of the epidemic spread of influenza in 1918. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) prove to be a powerful tool for analyzing local disease outbreaks as well. * analyze maps of an outbreak and epidemiological data to characterize the disease at the population level

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium
Provider Set:
Microbes Count!
Author:
Amy Sapp
Janet Vigna
Marion Fass
Measles in Nakivale Refugee Camp: Epidemiology in Action
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In the spring of 2000, the Nakivale Refugee Camp in Southwestern Uganda experienced a serious outbreak of measles. Factors such as movement of populations, social interactions, and low immunization levels influenced this outbreak. Model the spread of measles in the population and assess the impact of these factors with the Epidemiology program. * explore factors that may have contributed to a measles outbreak at a refugee camp

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Simulation
Provider:
BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium
Provider Set:
Microbes Count!
Author:
Emily Smith
K. C. Keating
Marion Fass
Microbiology of Stratified Waters
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Sampling of aquatic microorganisms reveals a surprising feature of many open water systems - stratification. Planktonic and benthic microbes occupy distinct zones in stratified water columns. Explore how the benthic consumer populations respond to environmental cues such as changes in sunlight, wind effects, or increases in organics due to pollution with the model HypoxiaZone. * model the effects of reducing nutrient loads to surface waters on microbial populations and oxygen levels within the Mississippi River basin and Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Zone

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Simulation
Provider:
BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium
Provider Set:
Microbes Count!
Author:
Elisabeth C. Odum
Ethel D. Stanley
Howard T. Odum
Modeling Microbial Growth
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Is bacterial growth always exponential? Do bacteria with the fastest rate of growth always have the largest populations? Biota models offer extended opportunities to observe population growth over time. What are the factors that affect growth? Explore continuous, chaotic, and cyclic growth models. * examine the dynamics of growth for populations of virtual bacteria with differing growth rates and carrying capacities

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Simulation
Provider:
BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium
Provider Set:
Microbes Count!
Author:
Ethel D. Stanley