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Disease Control: Biotechnology versus Microbes

Course enrollment will be available for this course once it is scheduled.

Course Description

Study with Brown University in Atlanta, Georgia at the United States' Centers for Disease Control (CDC)!

Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are the last line of defense against a worldwide pandemic. Are you up for the challenge to fight emerging drug-resistant infections alongside the CDC?

The microorganisms that infect us can outmaneuver and genetically mutate to negate our best medicines. In this course, students will learn the microbiology behind the most fatal infections facing society today, such as Ebola, and the steps scientists are taking to intercept massive contagious catastrophes. We will explore how past pathogens can develop into completely new diseases. Even after you feel cured, you still carry the risk of developing a secondary ailment that is even more dangerous than the original infection! We will tackle how viruses like Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and Human Papilloma virus (HPV) induce life-threatening cancers years after symptoms disappear.

After gaining a firm understanding of the world’s most infectious pathogens, students will dive deeper into how scientists are developing technologies against microbes in the laboratory. Students will engage in a number of experiments, including growing their own microbes. We will dissect tissues that are especially susceptible to certain types of germs, as well as examine our daily surroundings at the microscopic level to show the beauty and complexity of the world in which we live.

In addition to hands-on experiments, students will tour cutting-edge laboratory facilities that scientists use to study these tiny invaders – from high powered microscopes to insect breeding rooms to bio-terrorist emergency command centers. Students will engage in discussion with the world’s most renowned scientific experts from laboratories at the United States’ CDC. There, we will explore the history, currently studied diseases and highly-sophisticated tools used by scientists today to better understand and eradicate deadly microbes.

A note to students: This class has been specially designed for students who want to broaden their knowledge of college-level microbiology, biotechnology, and virology. Topics have been tailored for exceptional high-school students. Content does not overlap with Fatal Infections for STEM students.

Having taken an introductory biology or anatomy course will be advantageous to students but is not required. Students who do not have a strong biology background are encouraged to email the instructor a week before class begins to acquire extra reading material to enhance their scientific foundation.

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