Dr. James Bricker
Office: BI 116
Campus Phone: 2457
WWW URL: http://bricker.tcnj.edu/
Office Hours: in either BI 116 or BI 112
Microbiology is an integral part of many different scientific studies, such as immunology, genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, medicine, agriculture, ecology, industrial processes and many more. People working in these fields use microbiology in their daily procedures, although they aren't microbiologists. Because of the wide range of its applications, understanding the basics of microbiology is in many ways essential to our completeness as biologists, no matter what field we may pursue. Microorganisms (in the context of this course) are minute living things that are individually too small to be seen with the naked eye. The term includes bacteria, microscopic fungi (yeasts and molds), protozoans, microscopic algae, prions and viruses. Microorganisms can be associated with many diseases, infections and inconveniences such as AIDS, pimples, and spoiled food. However, the majority of microorganisms make vital contributions to the world's inhabitants. They maintain the balance of chemicals and living organisms in the global environment. For example, the algae and cyanobacteria found in the oceans and waters of the globe are the major source of oxygen for living things. In many places microorganisms are the basis for the food chain. They help to recycle chemical elements in the land and water. Microorganisms also have been used for commercial benefits. Cultured microorganisms can be used to synthesize products more cheaply than they can be manufactured by other means (biotechnology). Microorganisms have also been used to produce products that have "always" been a part of our lives, such as vinegar, wine, sauerkraut, pickles, beer, green olives, soy sauce, buttermilk bread, cheese, and yoghurt, to name a few.Course description: The purpose of this semester of Microbiology is to familiarize the student with those concepts that are basic to viruses and prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Lecture is the foundation of the course. Laboratories will not always coincide with the lecture topics, as the laboratories are designed to give the student the basic laboratory techniques necessary to identify microorganisms. The student is responsible for assignments (such as designated papers from the scientific literature) that add to the lecture and lab material. In order to enhance appreciation of the course, the student is encouraged to seek out related materials that are available, such as scientific journals (e.g. Cell, Nature, Scientific American), newspapers, magazines and television programs (e.g. channels 12 and 52) that relate to course topics, and bring them to the notice of the class and/ or professor.
There are five basic topics in this course - the general principles for microbial the growth, evolution and classification; descriptions of different prokaryotic, eukaryotic and other lifeforms and how they utilize these principles; the natural ecology of microorganisms; the human use of microorganisms; and how microorganisms function in disease. Section one covers the first topic, the second topic is covered by sections two and three, and the final three are covered in section four. Some aspects of the last two topics are woven throuout the course.
In order to understand how microorganisms can live, one must know what the parameters for their existance are. In order to get a feel for the diversity and scope of the microbial world, one must have a feel for what kinds of organisms exist, and to understand the ecology, uses and dangers of microorganisms, one should have a general knowledge of the different organisms to be encountered. All of these things are useful in life, in order to make informed decisions, and to go on to professional or graduate school.
Learning activities will include reading and evaluation scientific papers, learning basic Microbiological techniques, identifying unknown bacteria, answering questions in lecture and writing scientific papers.
Subjects learned previously in Themes of Biology (e.g. evolution, ecology) will be applied to the microbial world, as will those learned in General and Organic Chemistry, when discussing the makeup and energy useage of microorganisms.Prerequisites: Themes in Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry.
Microbiology is designed for Biology majors who want to expand their knowledge of the microscopic world, in general, or for use in professional or graduate school. Students need to be able to understand both the concepts presented as well as have a basic understanding of the factual nature of the course. They have to know what kinds of organisms are out there, in order to go on to higher learning, or to better understand the world. In order to achieve that goal, feedback will be given on questions asked in lecture and laboratory, exams and on the final laboratory report in as prompt fashion as possible so that the students will always understand how they stand.
These will consist of lectures, laboratory demonstrations, laboratory work (including independent investigation to identify unknown organisms), reading assigned scientific papers, writing a final laboratory report and answering those questions that are asked in lecture and laboratory. Outside the formal lecture / laboratory structure, the student is expected to read assignments in the text, as well as assigned papers from the scientific literature, and study the concepts presented in lecture, laboratory and in the text. Hopefully this mix of learning styles will create a deeper appreciation of Microbiology.
Initiative on the part of each individual student in asking pertinent questions and inviting conversation on related outside topics will be noted in the final grade. Selected articles; resource texts and reserve library materials may be assigned as required. Prescott, Harley and Klein (text) as assigned. Lectures cannot cover all that is in the text, and are designed to be complementary to, instead of a repetition of, the text. Exams will be on the lecture material and on those portions of the text directly relating to it. Assigned text readings are listed by chapter; a given lecture might not cover all the subjects in the chapter(s) listed. Most topics will be outlined in notes published on the web prior to the lecture, if possible. These notes are study guides, and are only a part of what is required for exams.
Text: Microbiology; Prescott, Harley and Klein, 6 ed.
|SECTION ONE:||The basics of microbial existance and detection|
|Prokaryotic Structure & Function||Chapter 3|
|Microbial Nutrition||Chapter 5|
|Microbial Growth||Chapter 6|
|Control of Microbes||Chapter 7|
|EXAM 1||All of the above|
|SECTION TWO:||The bacteria|
|Gram Negative Bacteria||Chapter 21|
|Gram Negative Bacteria||Chapter 22|
|Gram Positive Bacteria||Chapter 23, 24|
|Gram Positive Bacteria||Chapter 24, 20|
|EXAM 2||From Taxonomy through the Archaea|
|SECTION THREE:||The eukaryotes and viruses|
|Eukaryotic Structure & Function||Chapter 4|
|Prokaryotic Viruses||Chapter 17|
|Eukaryotic Viruses||Chapter 18, 38|
|EXAM 3||From Eukaryotic Structure & Function through the viruses|
|SECTION FOUR:||Microbial ecology; food, industrial and medical microbiology|
|Aquatic Ecology||Chapter 29|
|Terrestrial Ecology||Chapter 30|
|Industrial Microbiology||Chapter 42|
|Food Microbiology||Chapter 41|
|Medical Microbiology||Chapter 34 - 37; 39 - 40|
|To be announced||FINAL EXAM||All of the above|
Text: Beishir; Microbiology in Practice ed.6
The Laboratory is set up to familiarize the student with the techniques necessary to grow and identify microorganisms. The first quarter of the semester covers basic techniques of media preparation, staining and microscopy. The second quarter covers recognition and differentiation of microbial characteristics in culture. The next section is devoted to microbial identification based on metabolic differences. The student will then test his or her knowledge by using the above information to identify a mixture of two unknowns in the last section of the course. A six page research report of the unknown identification will be required, in formal scientific paper format (including bibliography), and will count for 20% of the total grade in the course.
|Laboratory Safety, Microscopy, Aseptic Technique||4, 5, 6|
|Bacterial Cultures, Slide Preparation, Staining, Streaking||22, 23, 24, 12|
|Streaking, Pour Plates||7, 8, 9, 10, 12|
|Bacterial Characteristics||11, 12, 13, 25|
|Differential and Selective Media, IMViC Test||39, 40, 49, 50|
|Bacterial Identification||34, 37|
|Litmus Milk, Carbohydrate Fermentation, Hydrogen Sulfide and Agglutination Tests||34,37|
|Further Tests||32,35,36,38, 46|
|Identification of Unknowns||56, all of the above|
Attendance in lab and lecture is necessary and expected. Individual assignments may be given out at various times in the course. They are expected to give an opportunity for individuality and creativity and add to an appreciation of course topics.
Personal interests and ideas relating to the course are encouraged, and, where possible, incorporated into the course. If you have ideas or opinions, express them so that they can add to the appreciation of the course. The course is improved by responsible input from the student.
The three exams given in the semester will count for a total of 50% of the grade (each exam will be worth the same). Each exam is made up of a selection of five essay questions, which the student is to pick from a pool of at least nine overall questions. All questions are of equal credit, and are to be answered to the best of the student's ability. The final will count for 30% of the grade, and is cumulative. The laboratory grade is based mainly on the formal laboratory report on the identification of unknown organisms, but also includes the instructor's assessment of the student's behavior for the entire laboratory (see below).
The professor's evaluation of student participation in lecture and laboratory can be used to benefit hard working students and possibly enhance their grade if they are in a borderline position. All makeup exams will be given on the last Wednesday of classes, by appointment. The student must contact Dr. Bricker in advance if he/she must miss an exam in order to be eligible for a makeup. There will be no exceptions for this makeup procedure.