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                       Bacteria & Virus Web Research Discussion Questions

Microbe Clock http://www.teachersdomain.org/resource/tdc02.sci.life.evo.microbeclock/
1. How quickly can microbes multiply and mutate?
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2. What does this activity tell you about our ability to control diseases caused by microbes?
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3. What do we know about the effects of antibiotics on microbes?
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Immune Cells in Action http://www.teachersdomain.org/resource/tdc02.sci.life.stru.immune/\
4. If our antibodies protect us from disease, then why do we keep getting colds?
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5. How do you think vaccination works to protect you?
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Dengue Virus Invades a Cell http://www.teachersdomain.org/resource/den08.sci.life.stru.dengue/
6. Looking at the distribution map at the beginning, what impact might climate change have on the
   occurrence of dengue fever?
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7. Explain why adding protons inside the endosome lowers pH. What effect does this have inside the
   endosome?
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8. Why do you think the endosomal and viral membranes fuse when they are brought into contact by the
   viral proteins?
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9. Why do you think researchers are focusing on viral protein mechanics in an effort to find cures for
   diseases like dengue fever?
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RNAi Discovered: http://www.teachersdomain.org/resource/lsps07.sci.life.gen.rnai/
10. What role did the petunia play in the discovery of RNAi? ____________________________________
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11. How does RNAi work?
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12. Why did cells evolve this mechanism?
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Double Immunity: http://www.teachersdomain.org/resource/tdc02.sci.life.gen.doubleimmunity/
13. A single gene mutation offers some European Caucasians immunity to human immunodeficiency virus
    (HIV). How does the gene mutation change cells to block HIV from entering them?
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14. Can you think of any way O'Brian's team could determine if Europeans who died during the black
    plague were missing the genetic mutation for HIV immunity?
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15. Do you think a genetic test should be developed so people can find out whether they are immune to
    HIV? What might be the pros and cons of such a test?
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Bubonic Plague: http://www.teachersdomain.org/resource/odys08.sci.life.bubonic/
16. Why were San Francisco's health officials so concerned about bubonic plague? Explain why they were
    right or wrong in the actions they took.
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17. How is bubonic plague transmitted?
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18. What kinds of environmental conditions increase the transmission of plague to humans?
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19. How does an understanding of the transmission of bubonic plague and other diseases help prevent their
    spread?
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20. Today, plague still threatens as a health problem in communities in New Mexico. Can you think of
    reasons why this might be the case?
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