Zika, Ebola, HIV, SARS…in our increasingly globalized and mobile world, infectious diseases can emerge and spread faster than ever before, making epidemics, even pandemics, a real possibility. That, together with increasing antibiotic resistance, makes understanding where these threats come from and how we can control their spread one of the most urgent issues of our time. In this three-week course, students will learn about the origin, biology, and evolution of some of the most feared viruses, such as Ebola, HIV, and Influenza, and lethal bacteria such as E. coli.We will explore the nature of emerging diseases and will use particular examples to discover how we can predict and control their spread. Our dependence on microbes from an evolutionary point of view will also be discussed. Students will have access to the state-of-the-art laboratory facilities at the University of Chicago for hands-on activities such as PCR, CRISPR, DNA sequencing, DNA sequence analysis, viral culture and antibody studies all applied to the study of infections and immunity (and will not be exposed to dangerous materials).
High School Students
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