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University Bulletin

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Microbiology (MICRB)

MICRB 107 (GN) Elementary Microbiology Laboratory (1) Selected techniques used to observe, identify and count bacteria; effects of chemical and physical agents on microorganisms. The combination of MICRB 106 GN and 107 GN must be taken to receive General Education credit in biology.

MICRB 107 Elementary Microbiology Laboratory (1)
(GN)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

Microbiology 107 is an introductory laboratory course designed for students who do not intend to pursue further study in the field. The course demonstrates the use and practice importance of microbes in everyday life. Instruction begins with the proper handling and visualization of microorganisms. Almost by definition, the vast majority of microorganisms are too small to be seen with the naked eye. Therefore, students must learn the correct use of the light microscope. Instruction in the proper care and maintenance of the microscope is provided. Students prepare and stain specimens using a number of methods designed to characterize microorganisms. The importance of working safely in a laboratory setting is emphasized throughout the course.

Many skills are developed in this laboratory course. Aseptic (without contamination) technique is taught and is used to transfer organisms properly from one culture medium to another. A variety of media are used and the reasons for their use are explained. Students also learn how to calculate the number of bacteria in specimens such as water, soil or food. The course demonstrates ways to control microbial growth by means of temperature, osmotic pressure, pH, exposure to ultraviolet light and disinfectants. Students learn the importance of controlling microbial growth on their person and how failure to do so can lead to the spread of disease, especially in hospital settings. Other experiments illustrate methods used to preserve dairy products and test water for contamination.

While students learn to isolate and identify organisms from their own body, other common bacteria found in or on the human body are also studied. A variety of diagnostic cultural and physiological tests are employed to identify organisms students have isolated. This simulates in a very real way the process physicians depend on for diagnosis of infectious diseases. A related experiment demonstrates how antibiotics that are likely to be effective in treating an infection are selected. Taken together, most of the experiments conducted in MICRB 107 are designed to encourage students to investigate the many important roles microorganisms play in the living world.


General Education: GN
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: Natural Sciences
Effective: Spring 2002
Prerequisite: or concurrent:MICRB 106

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.