Spring, 2006
Classes MWF 10:30-11:20 Cunn 155
Labs T 1:00-4:00 Dana 256 or
  W 1:30-4:30 Dana 256

Dr. David Wessner
Watson 218

Office Hours: T 10:00-11:00
                        F 2:00 - 11:30

Required Reading Material

Salyers and Whitt. Microbiology: Diversity, Disease, and Environment. Wiley (2001).

Kidder. Mountains Beyond Mountains. Random House (2004).

Kolata. Flu. Touchstone (2001).

Course Objectives

As with so many subdisciplines within the field of biology, microbiology is too broad a topic to cover completely and in depth in a single semester. Also, as is true for all subdisciplines of biology, 'microbiology' means different thinbgs to different people. To the physician, microbes may be disease-causing orgnaisms. To the chemical engineer, microbes may be organisms used to clean up oil spills. Top the cell biologist, microbes may be wonderful tools for understanding how our cells function. To the brewer, microbes may be the most important component of a good pint of beer.

During this course, we will focus on microbiology within a medical context. We will gain a general understanding of prokaryotes and viruses. We also will learn how these agents cause disease in humans and about our immune response to foreign invaders. Additionally, we w ill cover three special topics: treatment of infectious diseases in resource-limited settings, emerging infectious diseases ands global public health, and, in the laboratory portion of the course, microbiology education at the elementary school level.

Grades, as outlined below, will be based on one review, five papers, two oral presentations, class discussions, and a final exam. I do not take attendance in lecture. Attendance during scheduled lab sessions, however, is mandatory.

Mystery Microbe Paper
Mystery Microbe Oral Presentation
Midterm Review
E. coli Lab Report
Davidson Elementary Lab Activity
Mountains Beyond Mountains Discussion
Flu Discussion and Paper
Final Exam

Past Reviews

Grading Scale
A 100-96 A- 95-90 B+ 89-87 B 86-84 B- 83-80 C+ 79-77
C 76-74 C- 73-70 D+ 69-67 D 66-61 F £ 60  

Schedule of Lecture Topics
Dates Topic Pages
Jan 9 Introduction to Microbiology
Chpt. 1 & 2
Jan 11 The Bacteria Chpt. 4
Jan 13 The Archaea
On reserve
Jan 16 NO CLASS  
Jan 18 The Viruses Hand-out
Jan 20 NO CLASS  
Jan 23 Use of Sequence Databases
Mystery Microbe paper assigned
The Microbial Pan-genome
Jan 25 Bacterial Energetics Chpt. 8
Jan 27 Bacterial Replication Chpt. 5
Jan 30 Bacterial Replication
Mystery Microbe paper due
Feb 1 Transcription and Translation Chpt. 6
Feb 3 Transcription and Translation  
Feb 6 The Lac Operon  
Feb 8 The Trp Operon  
Feb 10 Horizontal Gene Transfer Chpt. 7
Feb 13 Treatment in Resource-limited Settings  
Feb 15 Mountains Beyond Mountains  
Feb 17 Mountains Beyond Mountains
Feb 19 Paul Farmer Lecture  
Feb 20    
Feb 22 Discussion
Hand out Review
Review due by 5:00PM
Feb 27 Spring Break  
Mar 1 Spring Break  
Mar 3 Spring Break  
Mar 6

Microbes and the Human Body

Chpt. 11
Mar 8 Introduction to Infectious Diseases Chpt. 15
Mar 10 Epidemiology  
Mar 13 Bacterial Pathogenesis Chpt. 15
Mar 15 Viral Pathogenesis  
Mar 17 Viral Pathogenesis  
Mar 20 Immune Response Chpt. 12 and 13
Mar 22 Vaccines Chpt. 14
Mar 24 NO CLASS  
Mar 27 Flu  
Mar 29 Flu  
Mar 31   Resurrection of the 1918 flu  
Apr 3 Viral Replication  
Apr 5 Viral Replication  
Apr 7 Viral Genetics  
Apr 10 Avian Flu  
Apr 12 Avian Flu  
Apr 14 Avian Flu
Flu paper due
Apr 17 NO CLASS  
Apr 19 Emerging Infectious Diseases  
Apr 21 Emerging Infectious Diseases  
Apr 24

Emerging Infectious Diseases

Apr 26 Emerging Infectious Diseases  
Apr 28 Emerging Infectious Diseases  
May 1 Emerging Infectious Diseases  
May 3 Emerging Infectious Diseases  
May 5-10 Final Exam  


Schedule of Laboratory Topics
Week of: Topics
Jan 9 NO LAB
Jan 16 Safety issues, Sterile technique, Streaking for isolated colonies
Jan 23 Introduction to microscopy, Gram staining, Observation of plates
Jan 30 Mystery Microbe Oral Presentations
Feb 6 Biochemical tests
Discuss independent projects
Feb 13 Independent projects
Feb 20 Independent projects
Feb 27 NO LAB
Mar 6   Independent projects
Mar 13  Independent projects
Davidson Elementary proposals due
Mar 20  Independent projects
Review Davidson Elementary proposals
Mar 27 Test Davidson Elementary activities
E. coli reports due
Apr 3 Davidson Elementary activities
Apr 10 Trip to Davidson Elementary
Apr 17 NO LAB
Apr 24 Davidson Elementary presentation
Davidson Elementary final reports due
Laboratory clean up

Lab handouts will be posted on the Web throughout the course of the semester. Please read the appropriate handouts before the lab period. Many of the protocols will require you to be in the laboratory outside of the normally scheduled sessions.