Posts tagged Microbiology

Exploring Packback: General Microbiology Students Discuss Vaccines

General Microbiology students at the University of Illinois at Chicago are focused on applying information from lectures and outside research to real-world scenarios. Each week the class uses Packback to share and discuss hot topics in science. One of the most active discussions explored how vaccines are perceived, their effectiveness and why some people distrust vaccines.          

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Packback Learners are Life Learners

Brand Ambassador Jenna Baker shares about her experience with Packback Questions.

One of the major life skills I have acquired from using Packback is a strong sense of cooperation. I appreciate the very specific requirement that was made that students ask at least one question, but respond to/answer two questions. I came to the realization that this specific requirement had an influence on me throughout the semester. While in some chapters, I felt I had so many questions I could use help thinking out, there were other chapters in which I felt I had none. In those situations, Packback is what made me think further and find something of an even higher order to speculate about. Similarly, having to answer two questions required that I constantly engage with my peers and help others formulate solutions to proposed questions and ideas, whether broad or specific.

In many ways, Packback learners are life learners. In life, whether regarding work or a social matter, we may encounter situations in which we are unsure, or could use input from others.

Packback teaches the right way to communicate with our peers no matter what topic we are inquiring about.
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The Sky is the Limit with Packback Questions

Brand Ambassador Jenna Baker shares about her experience with Packback Questions.

Last semester, I took BIOS 350 (Microbiology), and my professor used Packback Questions to let our class explore our curiosity and collaborate with each other through structured, student-led online discussion. It also allows my professor to evaluate us on our curiosity and our interest with the subject matter outside of class.

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Refreshingly Different – Packback Questions Encourages Long-term Learning

The way in which I learn about specific concepts previously versus how I currently learn with Packback is refreshingly different. As a frequent Packback Questions user in my BIOS 350 Microbiology course, I have first-hand experience regarding the long-term learning that the system encourages through the structure it provides. I find myself actively learning, as opposed to passively acquiring information, when I answer or ask a question on Packback.

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The Top 5 Answers on Packback Last Month

March brought us plenty of mild-weather days, more hours of sunlight, and most importantly great questions and answers from Packback!  As we continue to see more and more curious posts on Packback, we wanted to highlight some of our favorites. We’ve compiled the best five answers in three different subjects from across Packback.

Math & Science

Modern technology has advanced quickly and has allowed us to unlock more secrets of our world and our universe…but we still have so much left to learn.

1. Is there life off of Earth?

“While we have not found any conclusive evidence of extraterrestrials, their existence is plausible. Amino acids, the bricks and mortar of living systems, have been found in meteors, suggesting many of the factors needed for life exist in the wider cosmos. Given our current understanding, planets or moons with water and some protection from cosmic radiation are good first guesses as to where we might find life. The Jovian moon Europa is hypothesized to have a vast sea of water 62 miles deep beneath the thick ice sheets of its surface, and is similar in size to the moon. Given evidence of tectonic activity and tidal forces, there may be energy present to support the chemical reactions of life under the frozen surface, which might also provide protection against radiation.”

Asked by: Elizabeth C.

Answered by: Alexander M.

Packback Community: Deconinck – PHYS 100 – Rocket Science

2. Why is tuberculosis such a threat? Why don’t more people vaccinate if its considered a global threat?

“Tuberculosis is a big threat because, one, the way it’s transmitted. If someone with TB coughs or sneezes near you, you could easily contract it as well. It is also a threat because some people may have TB but not know it because it is latent and they are asymptomatic. People choose not to vaccinate, like the United States, because the side effects of the vaccine almost aren’t worth getting the vaccine. Instead, countries like the U.S. would rather contain cases of TB to keep them controlled and from infecting other people and causing an outbreak.”

Asked by: Alexis F.

Answered by: Ani G.

Packback Community: Caughron – BIOL 334 – Microbiology

3. Is athleticism caused by mutations in chromosomes?

“I believe that people can be considered athletic for many different reasons. They may be extremely gifted at running, either short or long distances, because of the majority of the type of muscle tissue that they are born with. Likewise, they may have practiced for countless hours to be talented in their desired sport. This would have led to muscle memory and the appearance of being extremely athletic. Thusly, people can be born athletic through their genetics or they can help to increase their athleticism. Mutations could have some input into a person’s athleticism, especially if it helped in the function of their muscles or skeletal system. However, mutations are not the sole reason of athleticism.”

Asked by: Hannah K.

Answered by: Elizabeth P.

Packback Community: Harmych – BIOL 2150 – Fundamentals Of Life Science: Diversity Of Life, Evolution And Adaptation

4. How would life be affected if the pH in water increased or decreased?

“To put it quite plainly, if the ph of water increased or decreased then almost all aquatic life would die. if the ph strays and begins to increase or decrease it can cause stress on the animal’s systems and reduce hatching and/or survival rates. If humans try to drink water with ph levels higher than 11, skin and eye irritations can occur as does water with a ph below 4.”

Asked by: Lindsey B.

Answered by: Jessica Anne D.

Packback Community: Smith – CHEM 1032 – General Chemistry II

5. Does the future of NASA and space travel rely on science or tourism?

“I think that there will always be so much that we do not know about space that NASA will always be searching for answers. Modern technology advances so quickly that we are constantly improving our ability to discover, and so much of studying space involves just waiting for a probe to reach wherever we sent it that even if the pace of advancement slackens there will still be stuff NASA can do. That said, most of the discoveries we make simply through observation have no practical applications, so tourism will probably become the main drive of studying space or improving rockets. I imagine that NASA will not be directly involved in providing tourism, but would probably make deals with private companies so each can benefit, maybe doing something like allowing private companies to use some NASA facilities in for a fee that would be put to use funding NASA’s own science.”

Asked by: Arthur E.

Answered by: Benjamin C.

Packback Community: Deconinck – PHYS 100 – Rocket Science

Social Sciences

Students have a lot of power because we are getting educated in modern teachings and new techniques and we can utilize new resources that we have in the palm of our hands.

1. Do you think that adolescents in dual-earner families are more likely to get into trouble? Why or why not?

“I do think this statement can be very true under a lot of circumstances, but I can also see how having dual-earner parents can have an opposite effect on adolescents. I grew up with two parents who worked and an older sister. After school, it was my sister’s responsibility to watch over me until my mom got home from teaching. This put my sister in a position where she held responsibility for a period of time, encouraging her to make the best decisions for her and myself. While my parents were not at home we also had rules about no visitors and nobody leaving the house. Since my parents had communicated this to us, we were aware of their expectations and also of the consequences of breaking those rules. They stayed consistent and firm with their rules so it was never really an issue of us breaking them. Looking back on this whole situation makes me realize that it shaped us into independent, responsible, accountable young women. It was our job to complete our school tasks and some chores on our own before our parents got home and we could leave to spend time with our friends!”

Asked by: Jane J.

Answered by: Laura C.

Packback Community: Anderson – FCS 304 – Adolescence And Emerging Adulthood In Cultural Context

2. If all cars were changed to battery powered, would there be a positive effect? If so how?

“It would cut down on pollutants from exhaust, but at the same time you would still need to get the electricity from somewhere, and unless it comes from wind, hydroelectric, or solar power (which is only about 10% of all energy in the US), then fossil fuels are still being burned. Also batteries come with their own drawbacks, mainly the harmful chemicals inside them that are hard to dispose of and detrimental to the environment.”

Asked by: Rebecca B.

Answered by: Rachel B.

Packback Community: Roth – GEOG 140 – Introduction to Environmental Studies

3. Can students make an impact in policy changes today as they did during Vietnam?

“In theory, sure. Students have a lot of power because we are getting educated in modern teachings and new techniques and we can utilize new resources that we have in the palm of our hands. We can also launch protests much easier than back then, with the use of social media and the media in general. We also have teachers and universities behind us that always like to help our dreams thrive. I believe that our generation has more power to make an impact than any other generation before and if we wish to change policy we can and we will. Our generation is one that gets what it wants in all aspects of life, we can make a huge change for our future as long as we put the right efforts in.”

Asked by: Madison L.

Answered by: Danielle T.

Packback Community: Francia – POLS 3050 – Social and Protest Movements

4. Would making college tuition more affordable help at all with the problem of adult poverty?

“Although lowering costs would help more students afford college, running a college is still an expensive process that requires funding. If our state was more prosperous this would not be an issue, but because we suffer from so much debt the state cannot afford to fund our colleges, requiring institutions to raise rather than lower tuition costs. Making college too cheap, or even free would devalue a college education because some people would abuse the opportunity. It would also make a degree no longer as valuable because everyone would have them.”

Asked by: Morgan R.

Answered by: Abby S.

Packback Community: Maddox – SOC 108 – Introduction to Sociology

5. Do you believe that eye witness testimonies should go through more tests to become valid?

“To make eye witness testimonies more reliable, I believe that a professional psychologist should be present during things like physical lineups and photo arrays because they can better tell if someone’s memory is working correctly or not. If the psychologist believes the person is taking too long to make a decision because of memory decay, they should step in and essentially say that this witness is not very credible. Or they should at least be able to testify in court about their opinion on the reliability of the witness based on the witness’s decision making process.”

Asked by: Victoria B.

Answered by: Taylor P.

Packback Community: Van Wallendael – PSYC 4603 – History of Modern Psychology

Business & Communication

Leadership first has to communicate this formally in organizational documents like mission statements and employee manuals but also on a daily basis through emails, company meetings, signage, etc.

1. Does our society live by “what works isn’t good enough?”

“In a sense I do think this is something our society lives by. Even with things like cell phones for example, there’s new updates and features every few months. Nothing is ever good enough. However, I think because of this is why we have so many of the advancements that we do. It helps to think this way if you want to progress.”

Asked by: Jovanny D.

Answered by: Mahogany H.

Packback Community: Hallsten-Lyczak – COM 111 – Introduction To Communication Theories

2. Why is it important for a leader to communicate the company’s core values? How do they communicate this?

“I think it’s hugely important for employees to be aligned with a company’s overall values and goals in order for the organization to be successful and efficient. For example, if one of an organization’s core values is “the customer comes first”, the leadership wants the employees to be aware of this value and actually treat customers like they come first. I think leadership first has to communicate this formally in organizational documents like mission statements and employee manuals but also on a daily basis through emails, company meetings, signage, etc.”

Asked by: Brandon C.

Answered by: Kyle S.

Packback Community: Sheep – MQM 382 – Organizational Leadership

3. Because of the death of Steve Jobs do you see the innovations of Apple decreasing?

“It’s hard to predict, but I wouldn’t think so. I think Apple has the pressure to create new products every year, and though it seems that they have mostly reacted to what others have done, I don’t think it is impossible to see them come out with a new innovation every so often. Steve Jobs was an innovator, but that doesn’t mean his passing will cause Apple to become a follower in the electronics market.”

Asked by: Ronald S.

Answered by: Vince P.

Packback Community: Hallsten-Lyczak – COM 111 – Introduction To Communication Theories

4. Do you believe marketing is important in the role of politics?

“Yes, without a doubt. In one of our first few lectures, [our professor] briefly mentioned the relationship between politics and marketing. I believe that politics is probably one half marketing, and one half of actually knowing what you’re doing. Politicians know that they need to have a certain image for whatever demographic they’re attempting to appeal to, and with that knowledge subsequently comes campaigns ads, debates (which seem almost as if they’re mostly about discussion, but are a lot more involved with marketing than you’d think), supporting specific organizations (which, again, seems as if it’s mostly about the actual act, but is also partly marketing), etc. Carefully crafting and maintaining a particular image through symbols, slogans, colors, etc is also very similar to the process that companies use when creating and maintaining a brand for their products. Marketing isn’t just important in politics, it is wholly necessary for politics.”

Asked by: Adam W.

Answered by: Jahiah G.

Packback Community: Clark – MKTG 304 – Marketing Management

5. What industries would you say are developing and are the best areas to start a new business?

“The virtual reality industry is developing and may be a good area to start a new business. Companies are introducing virtual reality headset to enhance entertainment. Facebook introduced the Oculus Rift and Playstation introduced the Playstation VR. VR headset will mainly be popular in the gaming industry, but it has the potential to spread to digital entertainment, education, and training sector for health care and military.”

Asked by: Alex A.

Answered by: Yoshiyuki M.

Packback Community: Bintz – FIN 444 – Small Business Finance

We hope you’ve enjoyed these posts as much as we have. April is already shaping up to be a fantastic month for curiosity! Make sure to finish strong this semester and start asking and answering some phenomenal questions in your own study group!

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