Initial Publication Date: September 29, 2008

The Microbes Within

A WebQuest exploring the effects of endosymbiosis on reproduction, evolution and human health

Created by Sarah Bordenstein, Marine Biological Laboratory

Introduction - Task - Process - Resources - Evaluation - Conclusion - Teachers


Current research is revealing many clues in our fight against global infectious diseases. Through understanding the fundamental biology of symbiosis and host-microbe relationships, we are one step closer to preventing the spread of illnesses such as malaria, river blindness and dengue fever.

In this WebQuest, you will research the biology of the obligate, intracellular bacterium Wolbachia. You will explore its impact on the reproduction, evolution and pathogenicity of its host, and evaluate its use in pest control and disease management. Collaborating with classmates, you will serve on a specialized task force to address the implications this research could have on preventing the next great epidemic.

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