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Virtual Microscopy

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The Virtual labs (below) are online laboratory simulations that enable you to perform experiments and observations in microscopy, microbial growth, inheritance, and genetic analysis from the relative comfort of your computer.

Use the Virtual Lab Report form to record your observations and results from these online experiments. When saving your work, title your report with your last name, first initial ‘_V1’. Thus the title for Charles Darwin’s report is DarwinC_V1. Use the ‘Save As’ option to save the file as Word 97 .doc file. Submit the report in the Dropbox before 11:00 PM PST on the second Saturday of class.

     Virtual Lab Report Part I         Due: Second Saturday of the course

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Virtual Lab 1:            Virtual Microscopy

A. Gauge the size of various biological components and organisms. The Virtual Microscope can be used to make these observations. Estimate the size (length and width in microns) of
•  1. An E. Coli cell
•  2. A mitochondrion.
•  3. A Red blood cell
•  4. A virus.
•  5. A water molecule

B. Observe the various Cell types and learn to distinguish between Bacterial cells, Plant cells (1, 2), and Animal cells (1, 2, 3)
•  1. Observe and describe three differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
•  2. Observe and describe three differences and three similarities between plant and animal cells.

C. Form a hypothesis
•  1. Hypothesize about how you might be able to sort a mixed population of cells into prokaryotes and
eukaryotes. Try to be practical, build on your understanding of the differences between the two cell classes.
•  2. Hypothesize about a means to separate out plant cells from a mixed population of eukaryotic cells.

Cell structures and functions
Virtual Optical Microscope.
Virtual Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).
Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images.
Virtual Lab 2:           Cellular Processes

A. Bacterial Growth. Observing the growth of the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae
These Streptococcus bacteria have been placed on a nutrient rich agar medium and their growth visualized. You can monitor their growth by watching the middle frame and moving through time with the time step buttons.
•   Estimate how long it takes for this population of bacteria to double. Hint- this population doubles multiple times during the duration of this recording.

B. Cellular Reproduction : The Cell Cycle (1 , 2 , 3), Mitosis (1 , 2), Meiosis (1 , 2), and Binary fission (1 , 2).
•  1. Estimate the percentage of time that a constantly developing cell spends in interphase.
•  2. In a random selection of 100 such cells, estimate the number that would be undergoing mitosis at any given time.
•  3. Understand the basic differences between mitosis, meiosis, and binary fission.  Is mitosis
more similar to meiosis or to binary fission? Explain your reasoning.

C. Cellular Metabolism: Cellular Respiration (1 , 2), Photosynthesis (1 , 2), and The Carbon Cycle (1 , 2 , 3)
•  1. In a paragraph or two compare and contrast  photosynthesis and cellular respiration.
•  2. Describe the ecological relationship between photosynthesis and cellular respiration.
•  3. Hypothesize about what might happen if a large number of producers were suddenly removed from the biosphere. Where might carbon accumulate if the ratio of number of producers to consumers was markedly reduced?