Genetic Transfer in Bacteria: Prevent the rise of superbugs!

Genetic Transfer in Bacteria
Time to complete course: 30 min.

About Genetic Transfer in Bacteria: Prevent the rise of superbugs!Virtual Lab Simulation

Humanity is in grave danger due to powerful antibiotics becoming ineffective in the treatment of multi-resistant bacteria, also called superbugs. In this simulation, you will learn about the powerful abilities of these superbug bacteria. Your task is to find out how they acquire the foreign DNA that allows them to become superbugs.

Beat Dr. One in the board game ”Superbugs!”

In this simulation, you will try to beat Dr. One in a board game. This board game isn’t like other board games, however. Here, you will learn about the spread of bacterial infection and try to prevent a global pandemic! Dr. One is the enemy, trying to wipe out the human race, and it’s your task to save them! While playing this game, you will learn the key concepts of horizontal gene transfer in bacteria.

Learn the basics of bacterial genetics

First, you will learn about mutation and genetic elements of bacteria, which include chromosomes and plasmids. You will recreate the famous Microbial Evolution and Growth Arena (MEGA) plate developed by Harvard University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology to highlight the inheritance of antibiotic resistance across many generations of bacteria. You have the freedom to decide where to grow your culture and how to set the antibiotic concentration levels. In the process, you will strengthen your understanding of the concept of mutation and its relation to the development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria.

Perform bacteria culture experiments

The spread of antibiotic resistance is not only a result of inherited random genetic mutations. By analyzing a patient’s sample with a resistant strain of Acinetobacter baumanii, you will be able to identify three methods of horizontal gene transfer that the bacteria can use to acquire foreign DNA. You will set up agar plates with your sample and controls, and complete a series of small learning games to understand the mechanisms and concepts behind conjugation, transformation and transduction.

Dive into the microbe realm

After completing the experiments and learning activities, you will take a virtual leap into the microscopic world. With bacteria, plasmids, and bacteriophages floating around you, your task is to find out which type of horizontal gene transfer will occur, based on your observation on the bacteria’s characteristics and surrounding environment.

Will you be able to grasp all the learning concepts behind the acquisition of antibiotic resistance? And will you be able to prevent Dr. One from winning the board game and wiping out the human race? We hope so!

Get Started Now

Prevent Dr. One from wiping out humanity! Complete a number of learning games to understand the three ways of genetic transfer in bacteria, transduction, transformation, and conjugation, and use your learnings to prevent the rise of superbugs.

Techniques In Lab

  • MEGA-Plate setup
  • Basic agar plate setup
  • Bacteria morphology examination

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to…

  • Distinguish vertical gene transfer from horizontal gene transfer
  • Understand the concept of genetic variability and survivability in bacteria
  • Describe the concept of horizontal gene transfer
  • Identify genetic elements and cell machinery required for DNA transfer
  • Outline the main events that occur during conjugation, transformation, and transduction
  • Discuss the outcome and barrier of genetic transfer in bacteria

Screenshots of Genetic Transfer in Bacteria: Prevent the rise of superbugs!Virtual Lab Simulation

Collaborators

How it works

A million dollar lab in your browser

Perform experiments in virtual lab simulations to achieve core science learning outcomes. 

All our simulations run on laptop and desktop computers, and you can play our simulations without having to install any browser plugins.

See detailed minimum requirements here.

Hundreds of hours of science learning content

Our virtual laboratory simulations are aimed at university, college and high school level, within fields such as biology, biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology, chemistry, physics and more.

With access to our simulations, you will have hundreds of hours of engaging, high-quality learning content available to you.

Discover more Virtual Lab Simulations

We currently have 141 simulations that cover everything from biology and medicine to physics and chemistry.

Learn how you can use Labster in your science course

IMPORTANT: Check the original email with instructions from your instructor to verify how you should gain access.

Link Access

Did you receive a link/URL to access Labster from your teacher? This is for Labster’s Quick Access, and no login is required. See more info below.

School LMS

Are you accessing Labster from your school’s LMS, such as Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle or Brightspace? Click below to read more.

Course Code

Did you receive a Course Code from your teacher? (this is different from a purchased voucher code. Learn how to access the Labster LMS, or log in below.
IMPORTANT: Please check your original email to confirm the correct access option.

Quick Access

Did you receive a link/URL to access the simulations through Labster’s Quick Access page? If so, no login is required. See more info below.

School LMS

Are you accessing Labster from your school’s LMS, such as Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle or Brightspace? Click below to read more.

Labster LMS

Are you accessing Labster directly from the Labster.com edX LMS? View more information here or click the button below to log in.

Faculty Resources

To access the Faculty Resources page (instructors only) and review Labster simulations, please log in below.