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It's What's On The Insides That Counts

Making Scents of Biology

Bacteria and other microbes are all around us. Commonly, we think of bacteria as ‘bad guys’ that we want to get rid of. But did you know that the majority of microbes are GOOD for you and other animals? In fact, without the good bacteria that live in our mouths and gut, we wouldn’t be able to digest our food fully, or make the vitamins we need for growth. This lab-based workshop will allow students to look at everyday ‘good microbes’ under the microscope, including the bacteria found in yogurt that promote healthy digestion. We will also learn about a beneficial relationship between termites and a small, flagellated protist. This exercise will include a termite dissection to find the hairy little protists in the termite’s gut.

Dr. Anne Vardo-Zalik
Assistant Professor in Biology
Penn State York