Counting Cells: Control the Epidemic

Time to complete course: 25 min.

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About Counting Cells: Control the Epidemic Virtual Lab Simulation

This short, targeted simulation is adapted from the full-length “Experimental Design” simulation.

Are you ready to uncover the truth about a recent epidemic? In this simulation, as a pharmaceutical detective, you have the chance to perform experiments with human cell cultures. Make sure that you choose the correct experimental method to design a scientifically sound experiment for testing the effect of the suspicious drug. 

The scientific method

Humans have always strived to explain natural phenomena. In the first mission of the experimental design simulation, you will learn how to use the scientific method to investigate phenomena, acquire new knowledge through background research. Strive to correct and integrate existing knowledge to execute an experiment that proves or disproves the hypothesis. Every tool you need to use is available in this virtual lab. 

View cells under a microscope

In your next mission you have the freedom to examine slides containing cells of a healthy human and another containing the cells of a human consuming the drug under a microscope. Through this, you will be able to define your scientific question and formulate plans for the experiment and how you can provide conclusive evidence for this investigation. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – in this virtual simulation you can repeat the experiment as many times as you want. 

Experimental controls

You will notice that there are many experimental variables in your experiment. Learn how to adjust them and understand why it’s so important to use experimental controls to verify your results. These controls will let you conclude  whether a suspicious compound is the reason behind the reported epidemic. You’ll get to investigate the effect of different compounds and various concentrations of the same compound. 

Will you be able to set up an experiment that can prove your suspicions?

Get Started Now

Work as a pharmaceutical detective to identify the link between a new drug and a recent epidemic. Use the scientific method to define the different variables and perform a fluorescent cell assay to test the effect of the drug on the cells.

Techniques in Lab

  • Apoptosis assay
  • Pipetting
  • Microscope
  • Cell cultures
  • Cell staining

Learning Objectives

  • Design an experiment and test a hypothesis
  • Find abnormalities in cells
  • Prepare samples and treat cell cultures
  • Select the correct experimental controls to verify your hypothesis
  • Understand the difference between experimental controls

Simulation Features

Length – 25 minutes
Accessibility mode – Available
Languages – English

Examples of Related Standards


Generic cell culture support


No direct alignment


Generic cell culture support


Generic cell culture support

Screenshots of Counting Cells: Control the Epidemic Virtual Lab Simulation


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