Course Overview –
Santa Monica College
Pepper / E-mail: PEPPER_EVAN@SMC.edu
Class Location: SCI 209 Class
Code: MCRBIO 1
Office Hours: by appointment, SCI 209
Overview: Classic Experiments, Legendary
Scientists, and the History and Scope of Microbiology
Bacteria: Metabolism and The Cycling of Elements in the Environment
Bacteria: Genetics, Genomics, and Genetic Engineering
Introduction to Acellular Organisms:Viruses, Virions, and
Introduction to Fungi
Introduction to Protists and Multicellular Parasites
Physical Control of Microbes
Chemical Control of Microbes
Antibiotics and other Therapeutics
Human Diseases Caused by Bacteria
Human Diseases Caused by Viruses and Prions
Human Diseases Caused by Fungi, Protozoa, and Multicellular Parasites
Introduction to Immunology
Microbiology: Food, Water, and Wine
Biotechnology, Bioterrorism, and Industrial Applications of
Microscope Technique and measuring microbes
Microbial Growth and Diversity
Titration -- counting bacteria
Streak/Spread Plate techniques
Flagella and the "hanging drop" technique
Biochemical Tests: Fermentation/Citrate/Catalase/Oxidase/MRVP/Phenylalanine
Selective Media: MacConkey Agar and Mannitol Salt Agar
SIM triple media test(s)
API-20 Multiple test for Identification of Enteric Bacteria
Effects of pH, Osmotic Stress, and Ultraviolet Light on Bacteria
Films: “Intimate Strangers (Parts I,II)”, "BBC Microbes: "Turning Killers
into Cures"", "Bioterror", "Parasites", "Viruses",
and "Food Poisoning Outbreak"
Transformation: Making Bacteria "glow in the dark" (i.e. fluoresce
Antibiotic Resistance Assays
Ames Test for household carcinogens
Eukaryotic Microbes: prepared slides, models, and wet mounts
Unknowns: (A) Bacteria Morphological Analysis and (B) Bacteria Identification
based on dichotomous keys
Demo: Water content and purity check - the "Most Probable
Number (MPN) test"
Prerequisites: Chemistry 10, and one of the following:
Biology 3, 21, 25, or Physiology 3. Skills Advisory: Eligibility
for English 1.
Pommerville, Jeffrey C., 2004. Alcamo's Fundamentals of Microbiology,
7th ed. Jones and Bartlett, Sudbury, Massachusetts.
Text Website: http://www.microbiology.jbpub.com
Leboffe, Michael J., and Burton E. Pierce. 2002. Microbiology
Laboratory Theory and Application. Morton Publishing, Englewood, Colorado.
Three-ring binder to contain the lab manual (it is unbound
and three-hole punched)
Lab coat or other protective covering (we will be using heavy
Scantrons: Green 882-ES
Course Objectives: Each student should have an excellent
experience with microbiology, becoming familiar with the history,
importance, applications, and techniques of this field. While
the course will emphasize bacteriology, students will also develop
an understanding of microbes such as viruses, fungi, and protozoa.
Applications to medical as well as basic science (i.e. genetics, immunology,
etc.) will be considered, and students will learn to culture, handle,
and identify microorganisms in a safe manner.
1. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated [please see the
“Academic Dishonesty Defined” section of the SMC fall semester catalog
(pg. 113)]. Infractions can result in severe penalties.
2. If a student misses an exam due to a true emergency (with
acceptable documentation), at the instructor’s discretion, a separate
make-up exam may be given or the average of other exams may be used to
determine the course grade. Requests to regrade exams must be done
in writing with a concise explanation of the problem and will be accepted
only within one week of when the exam is actually returned.
3. It may be necessary to make adjustments to the syllabus
during the semester; updates will be announced in class with as much
notice as possible.
Evaluation: A single grade will be assigned for
this course that includes both lecture and laboratory components:
1. Midterm 1: 75 pts.
2: 75 pts.
Final Exam: 100 pts.
4. Laboratory Component: 200 points:
D) notebook check-25pts,
5. Microbial Journal
Article Review Assignment: 25 pts. (see below)
6. Microbial Disease
Report Assignment: 25 pts. (see below)
Total: 500 points
Grades: A: 450-500 pts.
B: 400-449 pts.
C: 350-399 pts.
D: 250-349 pts.
F: <250 pts.
(note: class scores
may be curved on the whole by instructor discretion)
Description of Microbial Journal Article Review Assignment
Students will choose one article from a
primary literature source (e.g. Science, Nature, Journal of Microbiology,
Virology, etc.) which uses a microbe as a model organism/system and
write a 1-2 page synopsis of the study that answers the following questions
(5 points each):
A) Why did the scientists perform the study
(i.e. brief description of background)?
B) What was the hypothesis (or hypotheses)
C) What were the major techniques and results
and did the results support or negate the hypothesis?
D) Why are the results significant and do
they point to further/future studies?
E) Why did you choose this particular article to review? Was
it interesting, informative, clearly written, or none of the above?
All credit will be given for your honest opinions. Please attach
a copy (not the original) of the article with your review.
Description of Microbial Disease Report Assignment (25
pts, 10 minute oral report):
Pick a disease that affects humans/animals whose causative
agent is a bacterium, virus, fungus, or protozoa and describe in detail
A) Causative Agent: Describe and classify the microbe involved.
If known, explain how the microbe causes/transmits the disease or
interferes with normal body function. Also describe the vector
and/or life cycle for the microbe (if applicable).
B) Population(s) affected: What population(s) is/are at highest
risk of contracting the disease? Are there any groups of people
who should be tested? Please include statistical/geographical
data and trends [from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (http://www.cdc.gov)
or other source].
C) Course of Disease: What are the usual signs/symptoms of
someone with the disease? What is the usual time course for recovery?
Are there long-term effects?
D) Interventions: Describe possible treatments
and/or medical interventions. Is there
a vaccine available? How can the disease be best prevented
or kept under control?