BIOL 315
Microbiology: Diversity, Cellular Physiology, and Interactions Spring 2020
Division III

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Bioterrorism and the alarming spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria are but two of the reasons for the resurgence of interest in the biology of microorganisms. This course will examine microbes from the perspectives of cell structure and function, genomics, and evolution. A central theme will be the adaptation of bacteria as they evolve to fill specific ecological niches, with an emphasis on microbe: host interactions that lead to pathogenesis. We will consider communication among bacteria as well as between bacteria and their environment. Topics include: microbial development, population dynamics, metagenomics, bioremediation, plant and animal defenses against infection, and bacterial strategies to subvert the immune system. In the lab, major projects will focus on the mammalian gut microbiome and the isolation and characterization of bacteria from natural environments. The lab experience will culminate in multi-week independent investigations. Readings will be comprised primarily of articles from the primary literature.
The Class: Type: lectures, three hours a week; laboratory, three hours a week
Limit: 24
Expected: 24
Class#: 3331
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: three exams/writing assignments, responses to thought questions on readings, a lab report/notebook, and an oral presentation
Prerequisites: BIOL 202
Enrollment Preferences: senior and then junior Biology majors
Unit Notes: does not satisfy the distribution requirement for the Biology major
Distributions: Division III
Attributes: BIMO Interdepartmental Electives
PHLH Biomedical Determinants of Health

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