Take Two and Call Me in the Morning
A Case Study in Cell Structure and Function
Department of Plant Biology
University of Georgia
In this “clicker case,” students read about a college student who becomes sick. As they set out to identify the cause of the illness, students learn about the differences between viruses, prokaryotes, and eukaryotes in order to decide which organism is causing the infection. The case consists of a handout that students partially complete before class as well as an in-class PowerPoint presentation (~3.4MB) with questions that the students answer using clickers. The case could be used in any introductory biology course or as a review of cell structure in an anatomy and physiology course.
- Identify or recall the different structural components and reproductive strategies in prokaryotes, eukaryotes, and viruses.
- Differentiate between prokaryotes, eukaryotes, and viruses using factors such as size or the presence of unique structures.
- Apply knowledge of the differences between viruses, prokaryotes, and eukaryotes to understand why various treatment methods work to specifically kill one class of organisms while remaining harmless to the human cells or other organisms.
- Understand the evidence supporting the endosymbiotic theory (i.e., that membrane-enclosed organelles found in eukaryotes originated as free-living prokaryotes that were engulfed and then maintained because they established a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship with their host cell).
KeywordsCell; prokaryote; eukaryote; virus; organelle; Toxoplasma gondii; endosymbiosis; parasite; parasitic disease
Educational LevelUndergraduate lower division
Type / MethodsClicker, Interrupted
Subject HeadingsBiology (General) | Cell Biology | Microbiology | Physiology |
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Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.