Order Code: DZ138DV   
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Case studies examine the dangers and uses of bacteria. Among the issues discussed: biological warfare, bacteria-caused diseases, resistance to antibiotics, sourdough starter, reclamation of a gold-mining town’s fresh water by means of cyanide-eating bacteria, extremophile bacteria used as whiteners, and why sequencing bacterial genomes promises to revolutionize our lives. Grades 6–12. Color. 55 minutes. Discovery School. ©2004.

Teacher’s guide

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“The audio is clear, informative, and geared for use with middle school science topics. The visuals include a variety of real-life scenes and high quality microscopic images. Parts of the video could be used to supplement lessons on bacteria, the spread of disease, and water pollution.”—School Library Journal

“What do Swiss cheese and Botox treatments have in common? Both are dependent on bacteria. Understanding: Bacteria is an excellent program that takes viewers into the beautiful—and scary—world of bacteria in and around us. Pointing out that some bacteria are beneficial to human life, while others are incredibly destructive, the program informs viewers that the difference sometimes depends on how bacteria are used, such as in the case of the botulinum toxin, which can kill as botulism, or heal as a treatment for MS or Parkinson’s disease. Exploring the tricky new problem of bacteria developing resistance to traditional antibiotics through the case study of a young boy named Elijah, the video also looks at how bacteria are closely related to the Earth’s environmental health (which in turn is linked to economics). Combining commentary from scientific experts, sound bites from high schoolers, terrific graphics, and a script that encourages critical thinking, this practical ‘real-life’-focused program is highly recommended.”—E. Gieschen, Video Librarian

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Grades 7-12