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Prokaryotes
Bacteria and Archaea

Prior to the 19th century, diseases were believed to be the result of inhaling poisonous vapors eminating from decomposing matter. It wasn't until microscopic organisms called bacteria were discovered, that the true nature of disease was understood. Prokaryotes -- single-celled organisms that include bacteria and archaea, are the simplest forms of life on Earth and likely the first to evolve. This unit will cover some of the anatomical features of these organsms and provide an overview of some of common species.


Prokaryotes: Bacteria and Archaea Lecture Powerpoint

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Purpose: The exact mechanism that lead to the emergence of the first prokaryotic life is unknown.This lecture begins with some of the big experiments, such as the Miller-Urey apparatus. An anatomical diagram of a typical bacterium is covered, followed by an overview of some common species of both archaea and bacteria. Students will learn the difference between autotrophs and heterotrophs, as well as anaerobes and aerobes. The relationship humans have with bacteria, both parasitic and beneficial, is also explored.

Essential Concepts: Miller-Urey apparatus, bacteria, archaea, prokaryotes, autotroph, heterotroph, aerobes, anaerobes, extremophiles, thermophiles, halophiles, methanogens, binary fission, exponential growth, coccus, bacillus, spirilla, flagella, symbiosis, mutualism, commensalism, parasitism, decomposers, antibiotics.


Prokaryotes: Bacteria and Archaea Lecture Notes Outline

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Purpose: Taking efficient notes can be a big challenge for many students, especially when working from a Powerpoint lecture. This outline gives students a means to take notes that guides them toward important concepts and avoids the pitfalls of writing word-for-word or simply not taking notes at all. The outline is written as a series of questions, fill-in-the-blanks, or diagrams.

Essential Concepts: Miller-urey apparatus, bacteria, archaea, prokaryotes, autotroph, heterotroph, aerobes, anaerobes, extremophiles, thermophiles, halophiles, methanogens, binary fission, exponential growth, coccus, bacillus, spirilla, flagella, symbiosis, mutualism, commensalism, parasitism, decomposers, antibiotics.


Bill Nye the Science Guy - Germs

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Purpose: Bill Nye gives an overview of bacteria and viruses -- how they are spread, what kinds of disease they cause, and different techniques and precautions that we can use to minimize their spread. Bill also covers the major treatments of disease, particularly antibiotics.

Essential Concepts: Bacteria, virus, disease, antibiotics.


NOVA Origins - How Life Began Worksheet

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Purpose: This is one episode of the NOVA origins series, focusing on the first life forms that evolved on the Earth. The conditions of the early Earth are compared to those today, and forms of bacteria and archaea that still exist are related to ones believed to have existed during this time.

Essential Concepts: Origin of life, Miller-Urey Apparatus, bacteria, archaea, extremophiles.


NOVA - The Mysterious Life of Caves Worksheet

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Purpose: Caves deep underneath the Earth may seem an unlikely place to look for life, but conditions in some of these hidden places are very similar to that of the early Earth. Life forms found here, including archaea, provide insight into the very first prokaryotic cells.

Essential Concepts: Archaea, extremophiles, acidophiles.


BBC Invisible Worlds - Off the Scale Worksheet

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Purpose: The BBC Invisible Worlds series takes a look some of the forces and living things that we cannot see. This episode focuses more on the structure of some of these microscopic life forms. Examples include the tiny mites living on a piece of cheese, or the incredible amount of distance that droplets from a sneeze can spread through a subway car.

Essential Concepts: Van der Waals interactions, nanotechnology, bacteria, disease, plankton.


Outbreak Movie Worksheet

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Purpose: Outbreak is a movie about the spread of an emergent disease -- a virus that originated in a mercenary camp in Africa. Although this movie is based on a virus and not a bacterium, it gives a lot of great insight into biosafety, mutations, ways that disease is spread, and quarantine methods.

Essential Concepts: Virus, mutation, emergent disease, zoonosis, biohazard, quarantine.


Bacteria Isolation and Staining Lab

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Purpose: Looking at bacterial colonies in a test tube slant or a petri dish is one thing, but actually seeing them under a microscope is another. This lab gives students the opportunity to use sterile technique to gather bacteria from a sample, fix them onto a microscope slide, then stain them with methylene blue.

Essential Concepts: Bacteria, coccus, bacillus, spirilla, sterile technique, petri dish, heat fixing, staining.


Beneficial and Pathogenic Bacteria Research Project

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Purpose: This is a research project where students write a paper or presentation about a specific species of bacteria. A list of species is given for students to choose from that includes both pathogenic and beneficial bacteria. Students will research their physical characteristics, shape, food source, and whether or not they need oxygen. They will also learn about the physiology of each bacteria -- what exactly they do that causes symptoms or creates the benefit.

Essential Concepts: Bacteria, mutualism, parasitism, coccus, spirilla, bacillus, aerobic, anaerobic.


Prokaryotes - Bacteria and Archaea Study Guide

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Purpose: This study guide provides students with an outline of the essential vocabulary, diagrams, and other concepts they need to know to be successful on an exam. A series of critical thinking questions will test their understanding, and a full list of vocabulary words will help them go back through their notes and pick out the important parts.

Essential Concepts: Miller-urey apparatus, bacteria, archaea, prokaryotes, autotroph, heterotroph, aerobes, anaerobes, extremophiles, thermophiles, halophiles, methanogens, binary fission, exponential growth, coccus, bacillus, spirilla, flagella, symbiosis, mutualism, commensalism, parasitism, decomposers, antibiotics.

 


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