BIOL 315
Microbiology: Diversity, Cellular Physiology, and Interactions Spring 2022
Division III
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

The Covid pandemic and the alarming spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria are but two of the reasons for the resurgence of interest in the biology of viruses and 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. We will also discuss a few viral examples, including SARS-CoV2, in the context of pathogen-host co-evolution and 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: Format: lecture/laboratory; lectures three hours a week and laboratory three hours a week
Limit: 24
Expected: 24
Class#: 3059
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 or 203
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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