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BIO 390


Selected topics in biology are offered. Prerequisite: one year of biology or permission of instructor.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
One year of biology or permission of instructor 1/2-1 course

Fall Semester information

Lynn Bedard

390B: Tps:Microbial Behavior

When people hear the word microbe, what typically comes to mind are germs, or organisms that can cause disease. In reality, microbes represent some of the most abundant life forms on earth and while they may only be a single cell, they are able to talk to each other, respond to their environment and build communities. We will learn about all of these processes through examining scientific studies and laboratory experiments. This class is designed to challenge students to analyze research data and generate data of their own. We will spend time practicing reading and presenting scientific papers. The critical dialog that we will engage in will be a matter of drawing on what we know, so that we can learn what we don't know, which will lead us to a better understanding of the subject. In the laboratory, students will learn key microbial techniques and examine the topics discussed in class first hand. We will be covering 6 major areas of research in microbial behavior. During the first week of each module, we will read and discuss review papers that cover the module topic in broad strokes. During the next week, student teams will present primary research papers that dig deeper into the topic of the module. Topics include chemotaxis, sporulation, quorum sensing, the bacterial immune system CRISPR, toxins and biofilm formation. This course does not require BIO250 -- Microbiology as prerequisite.