MICR 221: Microbes to Medicine
18 points - Semester 1
Basic concepts in microbiology, building from the characteristics of microorganisms, through the handling and containment of microorganisms, to medical microbiology and immunology.
Microbes are all around us, all over us and all over every surface on earth. Microbes compose greater than 50% of life forms on our planet and yet it is estimated that only 1% have been identified and studied. We can’t live without microbes and they benefit our lives immensely.
Many of the microbes that surround us can cause disease and our immune system helps protect us from these microbes. The specialised cells of the immune system work as key defenders, protecting us from infection and disease.
MICR 221 will introduce you to the wonderful world of Microbiology and Immunology. You will learn about the immune system and the key cells and pathways of the immune system and also learn about the world of microbes.
The labs will teach you essential skills in handling and manipulating microorganisms and include looking at the treatment of microbial infections with different pharmaceutical preparations
MICR 221 is essential if you want to carry on in Microbiology but it is also a useful addition to a wide variety of courses.
90% of students in the MICR 221 class in 2012 evaluated this paper as a 1 or 2 (high grade) when asked how valuable they had found it.
Lecture course overview
MICR 221 is a 32-lecture course that gives you a general introduction to Microbiology and Immunology. Lectures cover the following areas:
Module 1: Bacterial Powerhouses
1. Powering the bacterial cell through polymer breakdown
2. Transport across the bacterial membrane – the importance of membrane proteins in bacterial growth
3. Metabolic flux in Escherichia coli
4. Pump it up – proton pumps and the chemiosmotic hypothesis
5. ATP generation by a nanomolecular machine: the F1F0 ATP synthase
Module 2: Microbial Growth and Control
6. Physical and chemical requirements of microbial growth
7. Bacterial nutrition
8. The two sides of bacterial endospores
9. Physical control methods
10. Chemical control methods
Module 3: Medical Microbiology
12. Impact of symbiosis on human health and disease
13. Impact of microbe, host, and medicine on disease
14. Food-borne diseases
15. Respiratory infection
16. Sexually transmitted diseases
17. Microbial virulense factors and their host targets
Module 4: Immunology
18. Introduction to the immune system
19. Antigen acquisition
20. The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and antigen presentation
21. Antigen presentation and costimulation
22. T cells
23. B cells
24. Effector cells of the immune system
Module 5: Virology
25. An introduction to the diversity and abundance of viruses: there is more to viruses than a phage
26. The emergence and evolution of viruses: where do new viruses come from?
27. How do viruses transmit from host to host?
28. Virus transmission within a host and the targeting of susceptible cells
29. The principles of expression and replication of viruses with RNA genomes
30. Viruses with DNA genomes and the concept of host manipulation
31. Antiviral drugs – the targeting of key steps in viral replication
32. Virology tutorial
Lab course overview
The MICR 221 paper includes a 6-lab course. The labs aim to teach you fundamental laboratory skills and reinforce concepts discussed in lectures. You will learn basic bacterial culture techniques, how to grow bacteria, how to estimate bacterial numbers and how to identify bacteria. You will gain microscope and staining skills and visualise microbes using the microscope. The labs will also see you look at medically important microbes including a look at the bacteria on your own skin and a look at pharmaceutical products that can be used to control microbe infections. The labs will see you also learn eukaryotic microbes such as fungi, protozoa and algae.
The MICR 221 lab course covers:
- Lab 1. Microbiological techniques
- Lab 2. Identification of bacteria
- Lab 3. Enumerating bacteria
- Lab 4. Eukaryotic microorganisms and viruses
- Lab 5. Skin infections
- Lab 6. Gastrointestinal microorganisms
- Terms Test 1 (15%)
- Terms Test 2 (15%)
- A 3-hr final exam (70%)
CELS 191 & CHEM 191 & HUBS 191 & 18 further 100-level points
Recommended preparation or concurrent study:
Mon: 11:00-11:50, College of Education Auditorium
Wed: 11:00-11:50, Burns 1
Fri: 11:00-11:50 (weeks 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13 only), Castle 1
Tue: 14:00-17:50 or Thu: 14:00-17:50
Labs are held in room 201, Microbiology building
Note: Practical sessions are fortnightly.
Madigan, M. and Martinko J. 2012. Brock Biology of Microorganisms. 13th edition (2012), Global edition, Prentice Hall
- Dr Judith Bateup (Course convenor) »
- Professor Greg Cook »
- Dr Keith Ireton »
- Associate Professor Alex McLellan »
- Professor Vernon Ward »
For more information on this course, please contact Dr Judith Bateup (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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