Anthrax Scare of 2001" Kathleen A. Cornely, Providence College.
State University of New York at Buffalo's National Center for Case
Study Teaching. In the weeks following the
September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center
and the Pentagon, anthrax-laced envelopes were mailed to
individuals in government and the news media by an
as-yet-unidentified bioterrorist. Thousands were treated for
exposure, and five people were killed. At the same time,
scientists solved the last remaining pieces of the anthrax puzzle,
and the mechanism of infection of the anthrax toxin is now well
understood. Developed for a second-semester biochemistry course,
this case presents students with a wealth of biochemical,
microbiological, and immunological material to analyze while
exploring important societal issues related to national
preparedness against bioterrorist attacks, funding for biodefense
research, and the use and misuse of antibiotic therapy This case is appropriate for
undergraduate biochemistry, microbiology, and public health
Fish Kill Mystery" Erica F. Kosal, North Carolina Wesleyan
College. State University of New York at Buffalo's National Center
for Case Study Teaching. In this case, students speculate on
what may have caused a major fish kill in an estuary in North
Carolina. In the process they explore how land runoff and excess
nutrients affect aquatic communities and learn about the complex
life cycle of the dinoflagellate Pfiesteria. The case is appropriate for an
introductory environmental science course, a general biology
course that covers ecology, or a general zoology course.
A Case on Bioterrorism" Kari A. Mergenhagen, University at
Buffalo. State University of New York at Buffalo's National Center
for Case Study Teaching. This case study presents a fictitious
bio-terrorist plan to release anthrax in the United States.
Students are assigned character roles and, through research,
role-playing, and teamwork, develop a plan to minimize or avert
the attack. The case is appropriate for
courses designed for health professionals, general biology
courses, and social science courses. "The 1st New
Disease of the 21st Century " Otto Sanchez,
University of Ontario Institute of Technology. State University of
New York at Buffalo's National Center for Case Study Teaching. This case study uses a
PowerPoint-driven approach combined with role-playing to present
the epidemiology and pathophysiology of Severe Acute Respiratory
Syndrome (SARS). Students learn about the etiology and
pathophysiology of the disease, then argue different health
professional perspectives on a plan of action for dealing with its
consequences. Developed for a pathophysiology
course for undergraduates, the case could also be used in a
microbiology course or in a course in public or international
Magic Johnson and Anti-HIV Treatments". Brian J. Rybarczyk,
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. State University of New
York at Buffalo's National Center for Case Study Teaching This case introduces students to
HIV, its life cycle, treatment, and problems associated with
treatment options. The case, which incorporates critical thinking
skills, active learning, self-directed study, and peer-to-peer
learning, was developed for use in an undergraduate upper-level
biology course entitled "The Molecular Basis of Disease." This case could be used in an
immunology class, a molecular evolution class, or a general
biology class to introduce viruses. "Closing
the Gap: Antiretroviral Therapy for the Developing World". Robin
Pals-Rylaarsdam, Trinity Christian College. State University of
New York at Buffalo's National Center for Case Study Teaching In this problem-based learning/role
playing case, students apply their knowledge of the biology of
HIV/AIDS and antiretroviral therapy to developing foreign aid
policy for the HIV/AIDS crisis in sub-Saharan Africa. The case was developed for a
non-majors course in human biology. It has also been used in a
microbiology course for pre-nursing students and in an
upper-level microbiology course for biology majors.
and Vaccination". Erik Zavrel and Clyde Freeman Herreid,
at Buffalo, State University of New York. National Center for Case
Study Teaching. This
case study focuses on the controversy surrounding the
decision by Texas Governor Rick Perry to mandate the
compulsory vaccination of girls in the Texas public
school system against the human papillomavirus (HPV)
prior to entering the sixth grade. The
interrupted case method is particularly appropriate
for this subject, with successive sections providing a
general overview of the disease, the reasons for and
against such a mandatory vaccination program, and
a disclosure of what ultimately transpired in Texas. Designed for an
introductory biology course or an ethics course. The
case study has a bioethics emphasis.
of a Tropical Disease and Its Treatment: Science, Society, and
Economics". Cathy Santanello and Jennifer Rehg
Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Designed
for a Costa Rican study abroad course, but appropriate for
traditional science courses as well, this case highlights
the epidemiological and socioeconomic factors associated
with Chagas disease. Adrian is a banana plantation worker
who develops a mysterious illness. By reading his story,
students learn about infectious diseases, pathogens, and
vectors endemic to this area of Central America. Students
are asked to diagnose Adrian’s illness and consider his
dilemma with respect to treatment options. Students also
examine alternate approaches to treating this illness that
plagues thousands of Central and South American citizens. The case is appropriate
for courses with a component on health care,
pharmacology, microbiology, medical anthropology,
ethnobotany, or epidemiology.
" The Curse of
the Mummy". Problem-Based Learning Activities for
General Biology. Allen, D. E. and Duch, B. J.
(1998). New York: SaundersCollege
Stage 1: Two doctors
have been commissioned to investigate an unopened tomb of a mummy.The students conjecture the infectious
agents present, protection, and preservation of the body based on
the conditions in the burial chamber.
Stage 2:The doctors obtain
artifacts and specimens from the burial chamber.Further investigation of disease through animal vectors and
introduction of reservoir are part of the investigation.
Stage 3:Descriptions of ailments and symptoms are given to
septicemia, and bacterial characteristics become important as
students diagnose the
illnesses of the doctors.
Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and the Health-Care Professional. DE
Toward Solutions: Problem-Based Learning Activities for
Allen, D. E. and Duch, B. J. (1998). New York: SaundersCollege Publishing, p
Describes a lawyer representing a patient claiming to have been
infected with HIV after a surgical procedure.Students investigate the incidence of HIV infection in the
medical field and restrictions on professional activities of
ethical issues and formalities of CDC reports surface in this
investigation.Modes of HIV
transmission are discussed and students develop more in-depth
questions to make the case.
Stage 3:Students learn about the use of DNA
sequences coding for gp120 to provide information of the
relatedness of HIV patients.Students
evaluate the evidence to go on with the case against the
"Mad Cows of Kent". DE Allen.Thinking Toward Solutions:
Problem-Based Learning Activities for General Biology.
D. E. and Duch, B. J. (1998). New York: SaundersCollege Publishing, p
Mad cow disease is investigated including how it is spread among
domesticated animals and the ethics of media and promotion of
Stage 2:The hypothesis for the origin of BSE and
GSS is from prions (proteinacious infectious particles).Students investigate how prions cause
infectious disease and whether Prusiner's hypothesis is valid
considering the cloned protein in the scenario was not infectious.
protective measures that still need to be taken to prevent mad cow
disease in America.Students evaluate whether prions are the
most likely transmissible agent.
"The Donor's Dilemma". Biological Inquiry: A workbook
of investigative cases. Waterman, Margaret, and Stanley,
Ethel. Campbell-Reese. pp. 27-41. The investigation leads students to discuss
West Nile virus as a man attends a blood drive and is
inquisitive as to whether or not he may have the virus.
Genetics, viral genetics, blood testing, vectors, mutations,
PCR, and protein synthesis and translation are
investigated. The scientific application gives students
the opportunity to graph and learn from figures and
CNN Video Clips
Topic: West Nile Virus: Environmental Science 6th Ed. CNN Ed (1:57
min) The West Nile
virus first appeared in the U.S. during the summer of 1999 and has
currently spread to over 33 states, infecting thousands of
Americans. The virus causes flu-like symptoms for most
individuals; however, it can be fatal to those with weak immune
systems. In an attempt to predict the virus, NASA developed
a technology to track the spread of the virus. The
technology identifies changes in temperature, vegetation, and
moisture, which can influence the migration patterns where
mosquitoes and birds infected with the virus are likely to
spread. Health officials believe that the results of the
satellite data should provide risk maps of where the virus may
appear. The worksheet includes the URL for the CDC
website. (Student worksheet provided on CD)
Outbreak: Environmental Science 6th Ed. CNN Ed (1:46 min) In the late 1980s, Dr. JoAnn M.
Burkholder and the North Carolina State University staff
discovered laboratory fish were mysteriously dying. Upon
further investigation, Dr. Burkholder found that the culprit was a
new toxic dinoflagellate, which was later named Pfiesteria
piscicida. Since the initial discovery, hundreds of millions
of fish have been killed in waters near North Carolina, Virginia,
and Maryland. Pfiesteria attacks its prey by releasing a
neurotoxin that stuns and eventually kills fish. The
neurotoxin can also be released into the air and can be dangerous
to humans. The worksheet includes the URL to the EPA
website. (Student worksheet provided on CD)
Pfiesteria Kills: Biology 7th Ed. CNN Ed 2003 (2:30) In the late 1990s, massive fish
kills on the coast of North Carolina were blamed on outbreaks of
Pfiesteria. Joanne Burkholder was one of first to study the
organism, and she claims it kills by emitting a toxin. Other
researchers can find no evidence of a toxin. They contend
the organism kills fish directly by attaching to them and feeding
on their skin. Burkholder dismisses other researchers'
results, saying that they are studying a nontoxic strain.
Both groups agree that Pfiesteria is a menace and that
understanding it is the key to preventing future outbreaks.
(Student worksheet provided on CD)
Threat: Biology 6th Ed. CNN Ed 2002 (5:12) The most recent smallpox outbreak
in the United States occurred in 1947 and was promptly halted with
a vaccination program. Global vaccination eliminated the disease
as a natural threat in 1977, but some fear it could be used in
biological attacks. No one over age 30 has been vaccinated and
those who were vaccinated years ago may have only limited
immunity. The symptoms and course of the disease are described. It
is less contagious than flu or measles and is fatal in about 30
percent of cases. (Student worksheet provided on CD)
Preventing HIV Entry: Biology 6th Ed. CNN Ed 2002 (1:48) Robert Gallo of the Institute for
Human Virology describes a promising new strategy in the fight
against AIDS. It has been difficult to develop a vaccine against
HIV because the viral proteins are constantly changing. Now,
researchers believe they have found a stable target for a vaccine.
It is a portion of a viral protein (gp120) that is exposed during
the binding of the virus to a human cell. If the vaccine works as
hoped, the immune system would attack the virus before it could
enter and infect a cell. The worksheet includes the URL for the
Institute for Human Virology web site. (Student worksheet provided
Anthrax: Biology 6th Ed. CNN Ed 2002 (2:20) A rancher in southwest Texas, part
of the "Anthrax triangle," is interviewed. Anthrax is a common
animal pathogen in this region, where wet springs are followed by
hot dry summers. Animals ingest anthrax spores then sicken and die
quickly, bleeding from all orifices. The most recent case of
anthrax in this region was cutaneous anthrax. It occurred in a man
who skinned an animal known to have died of the disease. It is
unlikely that anyone could use animals with anthrax to create a
bioterror weapon. (Student worksheet provided on CD)
Bioterror: Biology 6th Ed. CNN Ed 2002 (3:04) The process by which anthrax is
weaponized is described. The goal is to produce spores that enter
the alveoli and move to lymph nodes in the chest where they
germinate. The three ways in which humans become infected are
discussed and the symptoms and treatment of inhalation anthrax are
described. Inhalation anthrax can be highly deadly; an accident at
a Soviet factory killed 65 people. Many lived some distance from
the factory. A vaccine exists which is 93 percent effective after
18 months of treatments. (Student worksheet provided on CD)
Infections: Biology 7th Ed. CNN Ed 2003 (2:05) An outbreak of Mycobacterium
fortuitum infections that affected 110 women was traced to foot
baths in a single nail salon. The infections caused red
bumps on the legs that later developed into boils. It was
cured with antibiotics, but some women were left with permanent
scars. The cause of the infection was improperly sanitized
equipment. (Student worksheet provided on CD)
AIDS: Biology 7th Ed. CNN Ed 2003 (2:18) Twenty years after the AIDS
epidemic began, it shows no sign of leveling off. Twenty
million have died, and an estimated forty million are
infected. The countries that are the hardest hit are those
that have the fewest resources to fight the disease. In
Botswana, almost half of adults are infected. The infection
rate is growing fastest in countries of the former Soviet
Union. Treatment is key to survival and is largely
unavailable. During 2001, about 25,000 people died in the
West where about half a million are receiving treatment. In
Africa, only about 30,000 are receiving treatment, and 2.2 million
people died. (Student worksheet provided on CD)
MonkeyPox: Biology 8th Ed. CNN Ed 2004 () Exposure to infected prairie dogs
and person-to-person contact were responsible for an outbreak of
monkeypox in 2003. In Africa, this
disease kills up to 10 percent of those infected. In the United States, infected people were hospitalized,
but there were no deaths. Patients were treated with the smallpox
vaccine. Monkeypox virus is unlikely to cause an epidemic because
it usually cannot spread person-to-person repeatedly. The
worksheet includes the URL for the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention's web page about monkeypox. (Student worksheet
provided on CD)
"HIV and AIDS" Wessner, David. Ed. Pallandino. The Benjamin Cummings Special Topics
in Biology Series. HIV and AIDS. Pearson Education, Inc.
2006. This article gives an overview
about HIV and AIDS. First, it focuses on explaining HIV and
then AIDS and how they are related. In this section it
explains what a virus, HIV, the Immune System, and AIDS is and how
HIV is transmitted. Other major topics include treatment,
discussion on a search for a vaccine, current issues, what the
future holds, and other resources for students and
Warfare: Could extraterrestrials succumb to earthly pestilence?"
Adams, Cecil. Charleston City
10 July 20, 2005. This article questions whether
Steven Spielberg's The War of
the Worlds has any validity. It questions the
transmission of human diseases from bacteria could affect
different species of extraterrestrials.
virus: "Lethal bird flu detected in Turkey, Romania" Vick,
Karl. The Washington Post.
14 October, 2005 This article gives a brief
synopsis of what the avian H5N1 virus has done and plans of action
that the U.N. and Europe plan on taking.
Write Grim Flu Scenario: State could be hit hard, DHEC says" Maze,
Jonathan. The Post and Courier.
14 October, 2005. This article address the possible
affect of the bird flu on South Carolina, how heal officials have
planned for the worst, and what can be done to protect ones self.
"Avian Flu: The Uncertain Threat" Science
Times Section. New York Times.
28 March 2006.
- "The Worrier--At the UN: This Virus
has an Expert 'Quite Scared'" McNeil, Donald G. Jr. The New York
Times. 28 March 2006. This article is based on
the opinion of Dr. David Nabarro, the chief avian flu coordinator
for the United Nations. He gives his opinions about the serious
risk for a pandemic outbreak of the avian flu. -"The Skeptic--On the Front: A
Pandemic is Worrisome but Unlikely" Rosenthal, Elisabeth. The
New York Times. 28 March 2006. This article is based on
the opinion of Dr. Jeremy Farrar, a doctor at the hospital for
Topical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He has worked with
numerous cases of avian flu in humans and has doubts that a
mutation causing a pandemic will occur. If it does occur he
worries about the ability to make a vaccine and the effectiveness
of the drugs available to treat the avian flu. -"Q+A" Grady, Denise and Kolata,
Gina. The New York Times. 28 March 2006. This article is a
question and answer section addressing issues surrounding the
avian flu. It addresses such issues as the serious of the risk of
a bird flu pandemic, how detection of a pandemic takes place, if
the bird flu affects all birds, and 10 other questions.
Terrorism" Goodwin, Steve and Philis, Randall. The Benjamin Cummings Special Topics
in Biology Series. Biological Terrorism. Pearson
Education, Inc. 2003. In this article biological weapons
are explained, potential biological weapons are discussed, the
viruses Smallpox, Anthrax and their vaccines, the subject of the
toxin Clostriduium Bolulinum is touched on and the epidemiology of
Biological Weapons, and finally additional resources are provided
for students and educators.
"Tumor Busting Viruses"
Nettlebeck, Dirk M. and Curiel, David T. Current
in Biology. Scientific American, Inc. October 2003. 13-21.
a strategy that uses genetically engineered viruses to
attack and destroy cancer cells. This article explains how
and why most virotherapy utilizes the adenovirus and how the
virus is engineered to find and attach to the tumor cell.
There are many strategies that the virotherapist can use to
accomplish this and this article explains several of them.
The article is followed by a comprehension quiz and some
critical thinking questions.
"Detecting Mad Cow Disease"
Prusiner, Stanley B. Current
Issues in Biology. Scientific American, Inc. July
This article explains how prions are normally produced by
the body but they can be abnormally folded, which leads to
diseases such as mad cow. New tests are being designed to
detect prions. the old technique was not practical for
universal applications. The new test is flawed in that it
relies on high levels of abnormal proteins, which often only
occur in older animals. The need for more tests that have
universal applications is extremely high and this article
describes many strategies that scientists are currently
working on to accomplish this. The
article is followed by a comprehension quiz and some
critical thinking questions.
"The Danger of AIDS" Blood: The Bearer of Life and Death.
A report from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. 1993. Pg 13. This is a short article that explains
how the virus is spread, what cells the virus attacks, and
how that leads to the death of someone who is infected with the
virus. It also explains how the virus uses the CD4 protein on the
white blood cells as receptor sites for entry into the cell.
Shaking to Death" The Race
Against Lethal Microbes. A Report from the Howard Hughes
Medical Institute. 1996. Pg. 42-45. This article describes how malaria
is making a come back and how drug therapy is failing because the
parasite can mutate so rapidly. Molecular biology is opening doors
to new ideas. For example, mutating a mosquito gene so the
mosquito can not pass the parasite. The article outlines the life
cycle of the parasite and also its amazing ability to outsmart the
human immune system.
All-American Girl Meets TB" The
Race Against Lethal Microbes. A Report from the Howard
Hughes Medical Institute. 1996. Pg. 10-11. A healthy teenager contracts a
resistant form of TB at her high school. She has to have part of
her lung removed in order to help the antibiotics have a fighting
chance against the bacteria.
"The Dangers of
Attachment"The Race Against Lethal Microbes.
A Report from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. 1996. Pg.
18-19. This article details some
of the mechanisms that bacteria use to attach themselves to human
cells. If more is understood about these mechanisms, then new
drugs could be developed to interrupt or completely stop the
attachment from ever occurring. "The
Major Killers" The Race Against Lethal Microbes: Learning to
Outwit the Shifty Bacteria, Viruses, and Parasites that Cause
Infectious Disease. Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 1996. TB and measles are the most
infectious organisms in the world. This short article
reviews worldly impact of infectious organisms.
"The Return of Tuberculosis-In a New,
More Menacing Form." Hall, Stephen. The Race Against
Lethal Microbes: Learning to Outwit the Shifty Bacteria,
Viruses, and Parasites that Cause Infectious Disease. Howard Hughes Medical
Institute, 1996. Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death in the world
from a single infectious disease. Some forms of TB are
drug-resistant.8 million new
cases are found world-wide each year.Students
are introduced to mutations in the surviving microbes which cause
resistance to drugs.America
is a melting-pot nation, which brings in molecular footprints from
around the world.The relevance of
the topic is that the mode of infection is breathing in microbes
from the air.It is everyone's
strikes fear in hearts of many Americans." Stobbe, Mike. Post
and Courier, Monday, October 17, 2005. Fear of an Avian flu outbreak
prompted much interest directed toward the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control. Officials suggest a supply of
Tamiflu. The H5N1 strain had not yet been found in America. <>
write grim flu scenario: State could be hit hard, DHEC
say". Maze, Jonathan. Post and Courier.
Friday, October 14, 2005. The article discusses possible SC
death tolls from a flu outbreak as well as the social implications
of a pandemic.
theoretical: There's no sign bird flue can easily infect
humans". Siegal, Marc. Post and Courier, Friday, October 14, 2005.
In this editorial by an internist at the NYU School of Medicine,
Siegal describes the media's coverage of the bird flu and
referring to it as a possible pandemic having heightened public
awareness and fear of the H5N1 virus strain.
"The Kissing Bug" Deborah
Franklin. The Race Against Lethal Microbes: Learning
to Outwit the Shifty Bacteria, Viruses, and Parasites that Cause
Infectious Disease. Howard Hughes Medical Institute,
1996. Trypanosoma cruzi feast on
sleeping humans. This leads to Chagas' disease, resulting in high
fever with swollen face and glands. 10 to 18 million Latin
American residents are currently infected. This is a disease
of the rural poor. Countries are running into the problem of
T. cruzi tainting their blood supply.
"Can AIDS Be
Tamed?" Maya Pines. The Race Against Lethal
Microbes: Learning to Outwit the Shifty Bacteria, Viruses,
and Parasites that Cause Infectious Disease. Howard
Hughes Medical Institute, 1996. Cocktail drugs are mandatory in
trying to win the fight against HIV/AIDS. The mutation rate
of HIV causes resistance to drugs. A helpful diagram of
virus replication is included.
Victories." The Race Against
Lethal Microbes: Learning to Outwit the Shifty Bacteria,
Viruses, and Parasites that Cause Infectious Disease.
Hughes Medical Institute, 1996. Contagious diseases are explored,
including the last man in the world to catch smallpox.
Vaccinations and sequencing of genes are discussed. "Are Viruses
Alive?" Villarreal, Luis. Scientific
American. pp. 13-19. Viruses are today thought of as a
gray area between living and non-living entities. They
cannot replicate on their own but can do so in living cells as
they affect the behavior of the host. Viruses should be
considered on an evolutionary scale as important to the history of
life. Scientists have defined viruses as having a "borrowed
life". The article aims to define life and the impact
viruses have had on evolution. "The Challenges
of STDs". Ross, Phillip. Scientific
American. pp. 43-53. STDs kill 30,000 Americans
each year, one of the leading causes of death. The
evolutionary biology of STDs is discusses, as in the trade-offs of
the vehicles of infection employed. People do not naturally
become immune to STDs, unlike some other pathogens.
Syphilis, chlamydia, , herpes, and HIV are also discussed as well
as the future of world health.
Infectious Diseases. NIH Curriculum Supplement Series
Grades 9-12. This workbook is meant for
instructors with specific curriculum guides and activities for
teaching infectious disease. Some activities are more
laboratory based, while others serve as a review for students.