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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Microbiology (MICRB)

MICRB 201H Introductory Microbiology (3) Elementary principles of microbial and viral structure, reproduction, genetics and physiology; relationship to food, water, soil, industrial and disease processes.

MICRB 201H Introductory Microbiology (3)

MICRB 201H, Introductory Honors Microbiology, is a survey course that touches on the full range of topics generally considered to fall within the scope of microbiology. After a short overview of the origins of microbiology as a science and the ways in which forms of life too small to be seen with the naked eye can be studied, the course covers the following basic topics: 1) the tree of life and the position of microbes in the biological world, 2) structure and function of the bacterial cell as compared with plant and animal cells, 3) microbial nutrition and growth, 4) molecular biology and gene regulation in microbes, 5) microbial genetics, 6) an overview of microbial classification and diversity, and 7) the principles of how microbes interact with their environment.

Unlike the standard sections of MICRB 201, the honors course then moves on to an integrated description of microbial diversity and ecology in association with topics such as carbon metabolism, energy acquisition and utilization including photosynthesis, and the environmental impacts of microbial utilization of inorganic chemicals. This is followed by a section concerning eukaryotic or non-bacterial microbes, a section concerning the use of microbes in industry, and then a basic overview of viruses and how they work.

The last part of the course deals with microbial interactions with other organisms with an emphasis on their interactions with man. This starts with a discussion of how microbial growth can be controlled, and then the various kinds of relationships that can exist between microbes and other organisms are covered. This is followed by a section on immunology or the mechanisms animals possess to defend themselves against potentially harmful microbes. The final section concerning a broad range of microbially-caused diseases is preceded by a description of microbial analysis in the clinical or medical laboratory as well as a discussion of how disease-causing microbes are spread in animal populations.

MICRB 201H is taught so as to emphasize the impact of microbes on our everyday lives. One way this is accomplished is by class presentations made by small groups of students on topics of current interest in the community at large. Students also write a term paper that can involve any aspect of microbiology using an article from the popular press as their starting point. All students are also required to make a short in-class presentation in which they provide an overview of their term paper. While much of the instruction involves the standard lecture format, classroom discussion is encouraged at all times.

General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Summer 2007
Prerequisite: CHEM 110

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


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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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