Fall 2017

Chet Fornari

SOC: 3017

BIO 250A
Introduction to Microbiology
With a focus on microbes in disease, the microbiome, applied fermentations, antibiotics and basic microbial techniques

Lecture 9:10-10:10 MWF Olin 205; Lab 1:00-3:30 T,Olin 224

My Office/phone: 232 Olin; 658-4781


click here for all registration info

Lab Supervisor: Wendy Tomamichael
Office: Olin 229; phone: 658-4774

Text: Microbiology, An Introduction (ISBN: 978-0-321-92915-0)
See text description at Amazon Books for all available formats, including e-text

ISBN-13: 978-0321929150
Authors: Tortora, Funk, and Case
Copyright year: © 2016

*COURSE OBJECTIVES* to learn and understand the conceptual and experimental basics of microbiology; to continue to develop a scientific attitude towards problem-solving and the creation and testing of hypotheses; to gain a greater appreciation for the beauty, logic and interconnectedness of the general principles and concepts underlying the biological sciences.

*RATIONALE for course design and organization*  The content of biology courses typically spans atoms to ecosystems; the topics covered and the sheer amount of information, details and data may seem overwhelming. This apparent burden is a reflection of the great and exciting diversity of the biological world. Basic principles, or "unifying themes" underlie this diversity, and serve to organize the biological world into a coherent science with all its concepts, laws and theories. Although biology courses have different names and emphasize different subfields, biological science is based on a set of common (mainly genetic, evolutionary, and chemical/physical) principles. You should pay close attention to these "unifying themes" of biology and concentrate on making broad connections among the various subfields. Doing so will enable you to get out from under the mass of information, and make some sense of it all; then and only then will you come to appreciate the overall unity lurking within a wonderful diversity

BIO 250 is designed to emphasize general biological themes and principles within the contexts of medical and genomic applications, including diseases caused by microbial infections, the 'microbiome' inhabiting our bodies, the many sequenced genomes from a variety of bacterial species, and the design and use of antibiotics. Biomedical examples and cases are presented routinely all throughout the semester. In addition, Bio 250 includes topics in virology, applied fermentations, microbial genetics and genomics.

*Tips for Success in Bio 250* or How to not only survive Bio 250 but also thrive and do well (i.e. learn more biology and accomplish the course objectives): 

1. Know your syllabus: Use it to keep track of the topics as we discuss them in the indicated sequence. Refer to the text to read assigned pages before coming to the lecture discussions (the reading assignments will be announced in class and summarized on the Web-site syllabus, or WSS, and on the first slide of each slide set ). See especially the CRAaP page for assignments. Other reading assignments from Scientific American articles will also be posted on the WSS.

2. Prepare for class: Check the WSS or slide set for any reading (handouts, text pages, articles) or problem assignments, any OOPAs to do or YouTube videos to view, before coming to class; I will always remind you of these assignments at the end of each class period. Do not expect to understand perfectluy any reading assignment or lecture the first time you read/hear it; in other words, do not expect instant comprehension of all the topics read/discussed all the tme. Think about the content, and learn to take effective notes. My task is to help you learn "how to learn" by challenging you to think about new knowledge and ideas; my task is to help you understand and apply new concepts and knowledge through the use of relevant discussions, examples and problems.

To summarize, effective class preparation includes any 'homework' (see point #2 above), reviewing your previous notes, adding new notes, and then reviewing the revised notes. Do this on a regular, daily basis. Be sure to ask questions whenever you do not understand the material.

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*Attendance and Grading policies* Attendance in laboratory is mandatory; attendance in lecture periods is highly recommended, but not monitored. No make-up exams will be scheduled. If you are unable to attend an exam because of an emergency or other disaster, then you must inform Prof. Fornari and the Student Affairs Office before the scheduled exam. Any make-up exams will be different in content and format from that taken by the rest of the class.

Grades will be based on the following:

3 exams: (80%)
Exam #1- 1st
Exam #2- 11th
Exam #3 10th
Final Project due: December (last day of Finals)
lab work and final report-----20%
(see lab syllabus)

Office Hours for discussing course-related issues with me:
Always contact me by e-mail to arrange a mutually compatible time for a meeting. I check my e-mail often and normally should be able to arrange a meeting within one or two days. In your e-mail briefly state the problem and propose a time for our meeting. Sometimes we can resolve problems or questions by an e-mail exchange only, so contact me anytime with concerns or questions.

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and see the CRAaP page for details

Topics and Reading Assignments*
*I will post the reading and problem assignments (for practice, not to be turned into me) from the text's problems at the end of each chapter on the first slide of each slide set, and the same assignments on the Web-site syllabus at the CRAaP page.

Part I: (A) Historical Perspective, Scientific Method, Microbial Science and its 4 basic Methods
(B) Application of the basic methods; Cell Morphology and Microscopy

Part II: Cell function: Physiology and Growth; applied fermentations

Part III: Medical Microbiology and Diseases

Part IV: Microbial Genomics and the Microbiome

Advanced Topics (optional)

Links to Microbiology Sites

Microbial Life
Microbial Genomics
Tree of Life
DOE Microbial Genomics

Microbe World Is Your Gateway to the World of Microbes

DLC-ME Home Page (Microbial Ecology)
J Craig Ventner Institute
A Phylogenomic Approach to Microbial Evolution
 Microbial Genomes at NCBI
Clusters of Orthologous Genes (COGs)
NOVA Online | The Brain Eater
The World-Wide Web Virtual Library: Microscopy

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