Cyberlearning at Community Colleges

21st Century Biology Education

Exploring Evolution of Microbes with Data - ASMCUE meeting group


Exploring Evolution of Microbes with Data - ASMCUE meeting group

This group worked on developing classroom ready activities to supplement two Evolution in the News stories (see link below) on the evolution of antibiotic resistance and directed microbial evolution for biofuel development. (Image by: Microrao)

Members: 13
Latest Activity: May 6, 2010

What are we doing?

This group was composed of five community college teachers – Maureen Whitehurst, Shelley Aguilar, Rita Alislauskas, and Theresa – who each teach some type of microbiology course. C3 Faculty Leader Stacey Kiser and C3 staff member Kristin Jenkins facilitated this group. Four University of Pittsburg students - Abhinav Mittal, Justin Pruneski, Hedy Choi and Keith Garmire - helped us out with the student perspective on tools and activities. Anna Thanukos of Understanding Evolution joined the conversation to provide her insight about the stories and activities.

The goal of the group was to provide students with an opportunity to explore the Evolution in the News stories in a quantitative way. The stories we worked with are:

Better Biofuels through Evolution
This story explores how researchers are using directed evolution to generate bacteria capable of breaking down lignin and other plant products for biofuels.

Superbug, super-fast evolution
This story explains lateral transmission and the rapid evolution of antibiotic resistance in many bacterial pathogens.

After introductions and sharing some tools, the group proposed two potential activities. For the Superbug story, a phylogenetic activity based on data from the original paper was proposed. More information is available in the “Tracing the Evolution of Resistance” discussion. Another suggestion was to have students mine databases of disease data, and can be viewed in the “Mining Databases” discussion. The activities were sketched out, but the logistics and other details required for classroom use were not addressed at this point. The community college faculty will have an opportunity to further develop their ideas at the 2010 AMSCUE C3 workshop.


Tracing the evolution of resistance 5 Replies

This discussion group will focus on Denise's idea to use the Mwangi paper referenced in the Superbug story to have students trace the evolution…Continue

Started by Kristin Jenkins. Last reply by Stacey Kiser May 6, 2010.

Mining databases 3 Replies

This discussion will focus on Maureen's idea for an activity in which students will mine data from large databases on disease, compile and provide a basic interpretation of the information.  Please…Continue

Started by Kristin Jenkins. Last reply by Kristin Jenkins May 4, 2010.

Interesting tools 6 Replies

We expect to be developing a range of activities for these Evo in the News stories, and there are many great tools available for working with data in different ways.  Please share a tool that you…Continue

Tags: tools

Started by Kristin Jenkins. Last reply by Abhinav Mittal Apr 22, 2010.

Activity Ideas 9 Replies

Please post your idea for an activity that focuses on the data associated with either the biofuels or…Continue

Started by Kristin Jenkins. Last reply by Stacey Kiser Apr 22, 2010.

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