Antibiotics in Action on the model halophilic Archaeon, Halobacterium sp. NRC-1 is another inquiry-based activity for students. This halophile is different from most common microbes encountered in medicine, because it is not known to cause any diseases. Concepts like pathogenesis, antibiotic-resistance, and super-strains (e.g. MRSA) recently reported in the media may be explored and discussed. Halobacterium sp. NRC-1 cannot grow in the same medium as most pathogenic microbes, and conversely, most pathogens would not be able to grow on the high salt media. Several well-known antibiotics are used for the activities, and their mechanisms of action and effects are explored. For more information, see:

Antibiotics in Action

An interesting question for students to consider: 'How would you design a way to make needed drugs and vaccines for astronauts on a long mission?'

Carolina Biological Supply Kit covers

As a companion to this website, we have developed a comprehensive set of laboratory exercises using Halobacterium NRC-1 as the model organism for teaching a wide range of subjects, including exponential growth, colony formation, mutation, antibiotic resistance, motility, flotation, DNA function, transformation, complementation, biotechnology, genomics, and bioinformatics.

Feedback and input from educators at any level would be greatly appreciated. Please contact Priya DasSarma by email.