Sunday, October 24, 2004

Bacteria: A Web Adventure

You & your partner are going to investigate bacteria by visiting a series of web pages. After visiting each web page, answer the questions in your notebook. Work together, but take your own notes. Many of these web pages are written for adults, and may contain material that is difficult to understand. Ask your partner or teacher for help, but do not include anything in your notes until you understand it!

Begin by reading Rachel's description of bacteria.

This page includes a diagram of a bacteria cell & describes the parts of the cell.

In your notes:
1. What are the parts of a bacteria cell?
2. What is plasmid DNA?
3. Describe three important things that bacteria do.

Visit this page about bacteria to answer the questions below.

In your notes:
4. What are the three shapes that bacteria can have? What are the scientific names for these shapes? Draw each shape.
5. What is a flagellum (plural: flagella)? Draw a diagram of a bacterium with a flagellum.

Here are pictures of colonies of bacteria growing on a petri dish. Scroll farther down the page to see what the bacteria in each colony look like under a microscope.

In your notes:
6. The page above lists FOUR shapes of bacteria rather than three. What is the fourth shape? What is its scientific name? Draw that shape.

Now take a look at how bacteria colonies form. This web page describes how bacteria cells divide, rapidly creating huge colonies, and eventually use up the resources available and begin to die. Read the description and then watch the video. Also, click on the link to the CellAlive BioCam to see photographs of a bacteria colony forming.

You may also read this page for more information.
For right now, read only the parts that refer to bacteria (skip fungi, viruses, etc.).

In your notes:
7. How do colonies of bacteria form? Describe the process.
8. Why is the Earth not covered in bacteria? What are some factors that limit how many bacteria can exist?
9. What happens to a bacteria colony over time?
10. What is conjugation?

To see more pictures of bacteria and colonies of bacteria, visit this page and click on the links.

Most of these links were found at The Virtual Museum of Bacteria.

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