Money, Sex, and Drugs: Exciting college freshman about Genetics

Developed By: Jason Kuehner and Karen Cloud-Hansen

Topics: Genetics, antibiotic resistance, and STDs

Overview: Students learn genetic concepts of gene expression, mutation, and natural selection through a group case study involving antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea.

Molecular Biological Techniques: Critical thinking and research design

Developed By: Amy Hubert and Bridget Jacques-Fricke

Topics: Molecular techniques and experimental design

Overview: Students collaborate to teach each other common biology laboratory procedures and experimental design. Techniques include PCR, immunoprecipitation and co-IP, immunohistochemistry, Western blotting, and reporter assay.

Using Genetics Mini-lectures and Podcasts to Make Time for Active Learning

Developed By: Amy Prunuske

Topics: Genetics

Overview: Instructors used mini-lectures and podcasts to instruct students how to approach topics about genetics including: mitosis, meiosis, recombination, and quantitative genetics.

Bacteria Really Do Rule! Bacteriology, variation and selection, evolution of resistance

Developed By: Laurieann Casey

Topics: Antibiotic resistance and evolution

Overview: Students learn about bacterial variation, antibiotic resistance, and the risk resistance poses to public health through active learning exercises that simulate natural selection and critical assessment of the use of antibiotics.

Molecular Biology of Antibiotics

Developed By: Josh Mayer

Topics: Antibiotic resistance, molecular biology, and bacterial cell biology

Overview: Students learn how antibiotics affect bacterial cells, bacterial cell biology, propose their own antibiotic, and justify why the antibiotic would be effective.

The Bacterial Side of the Story

Developed By: Archna Bhasin

Topics: Antibiotic Resistance

Overview: Students learn how mechanisms of horizontal gene transfer, mutations, and human behavior can lead to antibiotic resistance through a case study.

An Introduction to Aflatoxins and their Epidemiology

Developed By: Dan Larkin

Topics: Fungi and aflatoxins

Overview: Students learn about aflatoxins and their relevance to health by analyzing the interaction among pathogen, host, and the environment (the disease triangle).

Does Aflatoxin-contaminated Peanut Butter Cause Liver Cancer?

Developed By: Priscilla Van Wynsberghe

Topics: Fungi, aflatoxins, and cancer

Overview: Students learn about cancer (what is it?) and the cell cycle by studying the ways in which food toxins may lead to cancer by disrupting normal cell cycle mechanisms.

Controlling Aflatoxin Contamination in the Food Supply

Developed By: Katie Clark

Topics: Fungi, aflatoxins, and food

Overview: Students develop their understanding of fungus biology, fungal toxicity, and Aspergillus flavus through questioning the effectiveness of biocontrol measures and an exploration of the disease triangle.

What Makes a Pandemic?

Developed By: Pat Schloss

Topics: Viruses and pandemics

Overview: Students participate in epidemiological simulations and consider mechanisms that lead to the spread of viruses in populations, both past and present.

Influenza: Molecular Biology

Developed By: Rachel Groppo

Topics: Viral molecular biology and flu

Overview: Students learn about virus structure and lifecycle, and link epidemiological information about viruses to cellular events by creating hypothetical antiviral agents.

War Without End: Humans' Innate and Scientific Retaliation against the Flu

Developed By: Zachary Larson-Rabin

Topics: Viruses, flu, immunity, and infection

Overview: To learn about acquired immunity by combining the knowledge of epidemiology and cellular response to infection, students engage in decision-making activities and use a flu manipulation model.

An Imaging Roadmap for Biology Education: From nanoparticles to whole organisms

Developed By: Dan Kelley

Topics: Biological imaging and scale in medical research

Overview: Students engage in molecular imaging activities to explore the importance of the relationship between biological scale and imaging scale, gain new insights into biological structure and function, bring quantification into biology, and learn ways of advancing nanomedicine, regenerative medicine, and nuclear medicine, which contribute to the NIH Roadmap initiatives.

Integrating Biology: Solving an ALS mystery

Developed By: Lori Adams-Phillips

Topics: Animal and plant physiology and bioaccumulation

Overview: To explore the interdisciplinary aspects of real-world science, students interpret experimental data, generate hypotheses, and describe contributions from various fields that work on solving the ALS problem.

Statistical Tools for Biology Undergraduates to Plan and Interpret Experiments

Developed By: Alysa Remsburg

Topics: Statistics in biology and experimental design

Overview: Students are introduced to experimental design, including collecting data and quantifying level of support for hypothesis, and statistics in biology through this unit that integrates into a lab sequence.

If you Can’t Take the Heat…: Understanding variables affecting solar radiation and using biophysical models to quantify heat stress in animals

Developed By: Lucas Moyer-Horner

Topics: Ecology, modeling, and animal physiology

Overview: Students learn that physiological, morphological, and behavioral characteristics allow animals to moderate their heat load, and apply their knowledge to construct a mechanistic model.

Discovering Meiosis

Developed By: Lara Colton

Topics: Cytogenetics, mitosis, and meiosis in plants

Overview: To correct misconceptions about meiosis, students discuss and model the process of meiosis in an upper-division laboratory.

PCR and Gel Electrophoresis: Moving beyond the technique

Developed By: Allison R. Phillips and Amber L. Robertson

Topics:PCR, gel electrophoresis, and genetically modified organisms

Overview: Students learn principles and skills in PCR and gel electrophoresis, design experiments that determine whether organisms are genetically modified, and present analysis of their collective results.

Righting Wrongs: Helping Evolve Student Understanding of Natural and Artificial Selection

Developed By: Joelle Lomax

Topics:Natural selection, individual traits, spread of traits within populations, evolution

Overview: Students learn principles of natural and artificial selection and generate hypotheses on evolutionary events.

Causes and Treatment of Bacterial Disease

Developed By: June Pais

Topics:Bacteria, antibiotics, political context of microbiology

Overview: Students learn how bacteria causes diseas and the principles and problems associated with bacterial resistance to antibiotics, and will appreciate the relevance of microbiology to political and economic issues.

Super Bugs vs Super Drugs: A modern day arms race between staphylococcus aureus and antimicrobial agents

Developed By: Kelley Harris Johnson

Topics:Beta-lactam antibiotics, gram positive and gram negative bacteria, gene transfer and mutations

Overview: Students learn difference between gram positive and gram negative bacteria, how Beta-lactam antibiotics prevent bacterial growth, the contribution of gene transfer and mutations to acquired antimicrobial resistance, and critical thinking skills.

Going Viral!

Developed By: Langdon J. Martin

Topics:Viral structure, the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology,influenza, epidemics and pandemics, vaccine development

Overview:Students will learn the structures of viruses, how viruses are spread, and how viruses cicumvent the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology. They will also practice thinking critically about science and the primary literature.

Natural Resources: Using primary news articles to identify sources, locations, threats and protection

Developed By: Molly Johannsessen and Teri Balser

Topics:Natural resources,threats to natural resources, solutions for problems related to natural resources

Overview:Students will learn to conduct research on natural resources and understand the basic scientific knowledge about the environment.

Microbial Ecology, Evolution, and Symbiosis

Developed By:Michael Wollenberg

Topics:Microbes' role in the natural world, definition of evolution, definitions and examples of symbiosis

Overview:This unit provides a framework for introducing students to fundamental concepts in microbial ecology, evolution, and symbiosis. These fundamental concepts are introduced by diverse approaches sharing a constructivist framework (i.e., learning challenges students to evaluate their prior ideas about a given topic, the result of which reinforces or reconstructs knowledge). Learning goal assessment includes a similarly diverse set of methods, including in-class questioning, out-of-class homework and reading, and multiple-choice and short answer exams.

Superman's Legacy Continues through Stem Cell Research

Developed By:Uzma Zakai

Topics:stem cells, stem cell therapy

Overview: The goals of this teachable unit are to enable students to define and characterize stem cells, to be aware of the different sources of stem cells including embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and adult stem cells (ASCs), and to be able to compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of using these two sources of stem cells as well as be aware of ethical concerns associated with their usage.

Microbes in Biotechnology

Developed By: Amanda Wollenberg and Ken Todar

Topics: Biotechnology, microbes

Overview: This unit would be appropriate for many non-majors science courses and could easily be expanded beyond its current focus on microbes. The overall goal was to provide students with the background, vocabulary, and critical thinking skills that form the basis for scientific literacy. The lessons in this unit are thus a combination of lectures, in-class activities, readings from the popular press, and response papers, all of which are aimed at bringing students 'up-to-speed' on the topic of Biotechnology, especially as they will encounter it in the news.

Engaging Students in Cancer Biology

Developed By: Amy Ellis and Steven Barclay

Topics: Development of cancer, molecular pathways, cancer drugs

Overview: This teachable unit was designed for students to work in groups to learn to critically analyze data presented to them either in review articles about current issues in cancer biology such as drug design or the discovery of the Human Papillomavirus vaccine. The hallmarks of cancer and recently elucidated causes of cancer are also topics discussed in the unit.

Fading Forests and Farms

Developed By: Robert Fahey and Dr. Nancy Keller

Topics: Plant pathogens, environmental issues, genetic engineering

Overview: This unit contains material for a series of four lectures that explores ecology through the interaction of pests and pathogens with forests and agricultural crops. The overall goal of the unit is to help students become informed consumers of media presentations of scientific issues and critical thinkers about relevant ecological and environmental issues.

Gene Expression in C.elegans

Developed By: Cassandra Theusch, Peter Kuhn, Janet Batzli, and Michelle Harris

Topics: Central Dogma of Biology, RNA-interference, HSF-1-mediated cellular stress response pathway, molecular chaperones, C.elegans

Overview: This 4-week Gene Expression unit allows students the opportunity to design and conduct novel experiments to address their own research questions. Students explored various aspects of the Central Dogma of Biology by studying the heat-shock factor-mediated stress response pathway in a strain of C. elegans which contains a GFP reporter transgene. After receiving introductory material and laboratory exercises, students asked their own research question regarding the role of hsf-1 and its product heat shock factor-1 (HSF-1). Further, RNA-inhibition against hsf-1 was introduced in the students’ experiments to manipulate multiple components of the Central Dogma.

Bacterial Gene Regulation and Operons Structure

Developed By: Christopher Schwartz

Topics: Transcriptional regulation, bacterial gene reulation, operons

Overview: This teachable unit is designed to teach students commonalities and differences of bacterial gene regulation and operon structure.

How to Analyze the Historical Link Between Autism and Vaccines

Developed By: Elyssa Monzack

Topics: Vaccines, immune system, Autism

Overview: This unit specifically was designed to help students sift through the mountain of articles that have been written in the last 10 years or so about a link between vaccines and Autism- namely, that vaccines may be the cause of rising Autism cases across the world. In addition to the scientific basics, they should also understand how the concept of vaccines as the cause of Autism arose in the scientific community, what aspects of it have been misunderstood, and how the media is able to distort scientific evidence and give rise to fear on a wide scale.

Understanding Advanced Microbiology Topics Through Small Group Learning

Developed By: Eric Lewellyn

Topics: ATP synthesis, symbiosis, bacterial defense against phage

Overview: This unit contains material for three class sessions to be used as part of an upper-level undergraduate microbiology course. Students will learn about ATP synthesis, symbiosis, and bacterial defense against phage. In covering these topics, students will learn strategies for reading primary scientific literature and learn to critically evaluate experimental evidence.These materials are primarily designed for a small class size.

Food Microbiology for an Introductory Microbiology Class

Developed By: Heather Pelzel and Kenneth Todar

Topics: microbes, basic biochemistry, normal flora and pathogens, growth control techniques

Overview: This two-week unit was designed for an introductory course in microbiology for non-majors. The overarching goal of the class was to instill an interest for microbes and some scientific literacy, such that our students would be able to understand an article from a mass media source relating to microbes. This unit combines all of the topics listed above as they relate to foods – production, spoilage, and disease.

Connecting Microbiology to Human Biology

Developed By: Lisa Lenertz

Topics: immunology, immunity, vaccines, autoimmune diseases, allergies

Overview: This unit introduces non-science majors to human biology through lessons about innate and adaptive immunity, vaccines, autoimmune diseases, allergies, and current events related to immunology. The overarching goal of the unit is to ignite student interest in immunology topics that are directly related to their lives. Although this unit was designed for non-science majors, the context can be modified to accommodate biology majors. This unit spans five days, but ideally a few more classes should be allowed to cover each topic in detail because immunology is often a difficult subject for students to grasp. Lectures, small group discussions, and a large class debate are used in this teachable unit.

Integration of Online tutorials and Bioinformatic tools to Explore Protein Structure/Function Relationships

Developed By: Peter Kuhn, Cassie Theusch, Janet Batzli, Michelle Harris

Topics: cellular biology, molecular biology, protein structure, protein function, bioinformatic

Overview: Biocore 304 is the second semester lab course, focusing on cellular and molecular biology. The second of four learning units within this class, the Enzyme Catalysis Unit is designed to introduce students to basic enzymology and Michaelis-Menten kinetics. As the first exposure to biology at the molecular level, this unit also introduces basic concepts about protein structure and function. The unit utilizes technology to both help students visualize structural data as well and understand how to identify those most important details within a complex problem. Bioinformatic tools are introduced to students to facilitate their comprehension of protein structure though cross-species comparisions and analysis of single-point mutations.

Biological Warfare 1

Developed By: Stacy Hagemeier

Topics: bioterrorism, microbes, viruses, bacteria, toxins

Overview: This teaching unit contains material for 4 sessions about microorganisms used for bioterrorism. The unit was designed to teach students about the properties of bioterrorism agents during which the students will have to use scientific reasoning to think about the microbes’ properties and their role in biological warfare. The first lesson focuses on the general properties of bioterrorism agents. The second and third lectures focus on specific viruses, bacteria and toxins considered to be potential biological weapons. The final lesson is a student-led large group discussion on the varying controversial issues surrounding the topic of biological warfare. This unit was designed to incorporate multiple student-centered active learning lessons into classes.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Developed By: Amy Briggs

Topics: Scientific process, Thomas Kuhn, hypotheses, predictions, personal statements

Overview: Personal experience and past teaching experience indicate that students struggle with conceptual understanding of the scientific process and its components. Many resources are available for teaching the scientific process, but most are either too advanced or too simplistic for the BIO375 group of students (freshman biology majors). This teachable unit attempts to convey the scientific process as dynamic, rather than rigid, using the philosopher Thomas Kuhn’s “structure of scientific revolutions” as a framework. These teachable unit materials are designed for early college students with some background in biology.

Getting Involved in the Research Community at UW-Madison

Developed By: Peter Cavnar and Sarah Miller

Topics: undergraduate research, research labs, undergraduate jobs, careers in science

Overview: The teaching unit developed here was part of a larger course designed by 5 of the HHMI scientific teaching fellows entitled “Exploring Biology Research: Designing Your Career”. This course was a 1-credit seminar offered to second semester freshman and above who were in the life science majors. One of the overarching goals of the course was the development of a "Bucky BioMap", a professional portfolio for students that consisted of components such as a resume, personal statement, and undergraduate career roadmap to aid students during their undergraduate years at UW-Madison. The teaching unit I developed was part of a 3-week series on how students could get involved in undergraduate research and outreach opportunities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The Story about DNA - Pursuing the Big Questions in Molecular Biology

Developed By: Xu Chen and Dr. Robert Ray

Topics: molecular biology, exploring biology research, history of science

Overview: This teaching unit is part of Bio 375 (Exploring Biology Research), a one-credit seminar for freshmen who are interested in entering biology-related fields. The course is designed to help students learn about biology research, life-related biology issues and career options of biology. This teaching unit consists of two 50-minute class periods. The first week of large group class introduces molecular biology as a broad field to the students from a historical point of view. In the second week of small group class, students are presented with a case study on ethical issues of molecular genetics, besides discussion on molecular biology related research labs on campus. In-class activities and out-of-class assignments guided and assessed students learning towards understanding what doing biology research is like and how to get involved in the biology community in UW-Madison.

Making a Bacterial Cell - Synthetic Biology

Developed By: Jeffrey G. Gardner

Topics: synthetic biology, genotype, phenotype, replication, transcription, translation, ethics

Overview: This teachable unit is designed to bring together multiple fundamental biological concepts and discusses how they are used currently for applied research. Concepts of genotype and phenotype and fundamentals of replication, transcription, and translation are discussed using the Mycoplasma synthetic cell paper (Gibson, et al., Science, 2010) as an example for discussion. The ethics of synthetic biology as an emerging field will also be introduced. This unit was developed for an intermediate level microbiology course. The in-class lecture and activities run about 50 minutes.

Biofuels: Opening Doors For Undergraduate Research

Developed By: Nicholas A. McGrath

Topics: biofuels, research, energy

Overview: Biology 375: Exploring Biology Research is a new course designed to help guide students with an incoming interest in biology through their undergraduate careers in an effort to help them focus their energy toward what really excites them about biology. Toward that end, a two class period unit on biofuel research with a special focus on the research being conducted here at UW-Madison was designed to introduce the students to one exciting avenue of research that they could pursue. This included a 50 minute lecture period and a 50 minute tour of a biofuel research lab.

Stem Cells and Society

Developed By: Dyan Morgan

Topics: stem cells, embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells, stem cell therapy

Overview: This teachable unit (TU) addresses misconceptions and knowledge gaps about stem cell research on campus. Incoming freshman will have varying levels of prior knowledge regarding stem cell research and UW-Madison’s role in that field. This TU will provide these students will a common starting ground of knowledge. This TU can be implemented in just two 50-minute class periods and is appropriate for freshman, non-majors, or others (pre-law or business students) interested in the ethical and business areas of stem cell research.

Interactive Approach to Teaching Antioxidants and Nutrition

Developed By: Nathan Johnson

Topics: Antioxidants, nutrition

Overview: The purpose of this teachable unit was to assess student learning, address student misconceptions, and to give students an opportunity to develop higher order cognitive skills during and following three class periods on the biochemical functions of the antioxidant nutrients in Nutritional Sciences/Biochemistry 510 (Biochemical Principles of Human and Animal Nutrition) at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In order to assess student learning, Bloom's Taxonomy and scientific teaching were used to develop a sequence of activities designed to engage student learning of the biochemical reactions involving antioxidant nutrients. Assessments were designed to measure both lower order and higher order cognitive skills.

Central Dogma Reversed and HIV

Developed By: Pei-Yin Lim

Topics: HIV, microbiology

Overview: The primary goals of this teaching unit are (1) to challenge students' previous understanding of the Central Dogma by the introduction of reverse transcriptase; (2) to introduce basic concepts of virology by understanding the life cycle of Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV); (3) uncover misconceptions about HIV; and (4) relate current HIV research to everyday life. This teaching unit is also designed to encourage critical thinking, an objective that aligns with the overall goal of the course Microbiology 305.

Microbial Remediation Unit: Microbes Clean-Up Our Mess!

Developed By: A. Peyton Smith

Topics: microbial metabolism, environmental science, scientific literature, bioremediation

Overview: This teachable unit offers guidelines for the instruction of basic principles surrounding microbial metabolism while connecting these concepts to current and local environmental issues using scientific teaching framework to engage students. It includes suggested instruction for a 50-minute class period for an audience in an upper-level undergraduate microbiology course. Through this unit, students will become familiar with reading, understanding and evaluating primary scientific literature while exploring the factors involved in how microbes create and utilize energy in the context of bioremediation. A pre-class assignment and in-class activity will assess the student's understanding of the article, basic microbial metabolic processes, bioremediation science and the role of microorganisms in bioremediation.

Humans and microbes: Symbiotic friends? in low places

Developed By: Mark Schramp

Topics: Microbes, symbiosis, bacteria, disease, sequencing technologies

Overview: This teachable unit (TU) is designed to challenge students previously defined roles for bacterial and to begin to understand and appreciate the symbiotic relationship between bacteria and humans and how this relationship can aid in our understanding and treatment of human pathologies.

Inflammation: A Double-Edged Sword

Developed By: Meghan Ramsey

Topics: Salmonella, inflammation, bacteria, metabolism, immunology

Overview: This teachable unit is designed to be part of the course Microbiology 305: Critical analyses in microbiology. Microbiology 305 is for students who have already taken the introductory microbiology lecture (Microbiology 303) and was designed to be a more interactive and literature-based accompaniment to the lecture class. The goals of Microbiology 305 are to ensure that students understand how to read scientific papers, identify and test hypotheses, and develop critical thinking skills. Topics are chosen so that students become familiar with both seminal papers in the field of microbiology as well as cutting-edge areas of research. This teachable unit is structured around a 2010 paper published in the journal Nature. The paper demonstrates that Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium induces an inflammatory response upon infection of a host. S. Typhimurium is capable of using a byproduct of the inflammatory response in its central metabolism, giving it a selective advantage over other commensal bacteria in the gut.

Food is Fuel! Transfer of Energy in the Context of Exercise Metabolism

Developed By: Katie Mouzakis

Topics: Energy transfer, metabolism, exercise

Overview:This teachable unit attempts to convey the relationship between metabolism and energy transfer at both the macroscopic and microscopic scales. The concept is presented in the context of exercise metabolism and "hitting the wall" in a marathon.

Information Transfer: The Cell Cycle

Developed By: Julie Keating

Topics: information transfer, cell cycle, viruses, human papillomavirus, cervical cancer, public health

Overview: This teachable unit addresses a specific topic in micro Information Transfer - the cell cycle (mitosis) and genetic information transfer from parent to daughter cells. This lesson provides real-world applications to the cell cycle: the deregulation of the cell cycle is what causes cancer.

Prions and Transmissable Protein Diseases

Developed By: Peter Wilker

Topics: prions, animal diseases, disease replication

Overview: This teachable unit (TU) is designed to challenge student assumptions about the nature of infectious agents through discussions of diseases mediated by infectious prion proteins.

Viruses and Bacteria in the Gut: The Enemy of my Enemy

Developed By: Ryan Petty

Topics: symbiosis, parasitism, mutualism, commensalism, human health

Overview: This unit is based on the 2011 Science paper by Kuss, et al. that demonstrates how poliovirus requires molecular products from the commensal microbiota of the gut to successfully infect host cells. The target audience is for undergraduates majoring in microbiology or biochemistry. The central goal is to help students understand the different forms of symbiosis and how these complex interactions can be relevant to human health.

Structure and Function at a Molecular Level

Developed By: Katie Mouzaakis

Topics: cells, protein, RNA, genes

Overview: This Unit is designed to teach students about the molecules that form the structure of cells.