The Fungus Among Us: Valley Fever MiniLab (M3020TAE)

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In this hands-on MiniLab, students will learn about the role of fungi in nature, signs and symptoms of Valley Fever, and how certain groups of people are genetically predisposed to getting extremely ill from Valley Fever, then use gel electrophoresis to test samples and identify fungus hot spots.

SKU: M3020TAE Category:

Description

Valley Fever is a fungal infection caused by Coccidioides, a fungus found primarily in the Southwest US. Infection rates have been on the rise since the early 2000’s, and appear to follow a pattern of extreme wet winters followed by dry hot summers. Wind helps spread the fungal spores which can also be kicked up by construction or farming. Infection occurs when one breathes in the spores, and while most individuals recover without a diagnosis or need for treatment, the disseminated disease can result in long term illness including lung damage and even death. This disease is often under-diagnosed even in areas where the disease is often found.

In this MiniLab, students will learn about the role of fungi in nature, signs and symptoms of Valley Fever, and how certain groups of people are genetically predisposed to getting extremely ill from Valley Fever. Students will be on a Valley Fever Surveillance team, testing samples from various regions. Choose from two different geographic regions to focus on, California or Nationwide.

The entire lab can be completed in the span of a single classroom period.

Ideal for high school students, especially those in biomedical sciences, genetics, anatomy and physiology courses.

Materials Included in each MiniLab

Each reagent pack contains enough materials for 10 workstations, 2 – 3 students per workstation.

Materials include:

  • Ten Ready-to-load DNA strips, each with 8 regional samples
  • Ten tubes of Pre-aliquoted MiniOne® Marker
  • Ten 1% agarose GreenGel™ GelCups
  • One bottle of 100 mL Tris-Aceate-EDTA (TAE) buffer concentrate, enough to make 2L of 1X running buffer
  • One bag of 2 – 200 µL micropipette tips
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