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Cell Biology

The discovery of the antibiotic Penicillin in the 1920s made a big impact on human history. Not only did it provide a cure for bacterial infections that were once deadly, but it also led to a golden age in discovery of new antibiotics. The great benefit of these drugs is that antibiotics inhibit the growth of bacterial cells or kill them outright, and yet, on the whole, do not harm eukaryotic cells.

Answer BOTH of the following questions: 

  1. Given the following list of antibiotics and their targets, explain how each stops bacteria without harming human cells. Base your analyses on the differences between eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. 
  2. Considering the targets of these antibiotics, explain why antibiotics in general would not be useful for treating a viral infection.

Antibiotic

Target

Penicillin

Blocks cell wall synthesis

Tetracycline

Blocks protein synthesis by binding to the 30S Unit of the ribosome

Chloramphenicol

Blocks protein synthesis by binding to the 50S Unit of the ribosome

Sulfonamides

Inhibit folic acid synthesis

Vancomycin

Blocks cross-linking of the peptidoglycan in the cell wall

Read this to enhance your understanding of the differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells: How do antibiotics kill bacterial cells but not human cells?

See a comparison of bacterial and viral features here: Differences between bacteria and viruses.

Follow these guidelines for your paper: 

  • Utilize at least 1 credible source to support the arguments presented in the paper. Make sure you cite appropriately within your paper, and list the reference(s) in APA format on your Reference page.  
  • Your paper should be 1–2 pages in length, not counting the Title page and Reference page. 

References

Mobley, H. (2018). How do antibiotics kill bacterial cells but not human cells? Retrieved from: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-do-antibiotics-kill-b/ 

Aryal, S. (2015). Differences between bacteria and viruses. Retrieved from: https://microbiologyinfo.com/differences-between-bacteria-and-viruses/

Grading Criteria

Grading CriteriaProficient DescriptorPointsAntibiotics and their processes• Explains how antibiotics stop bacteria growth without harming human cells.
• Discusses each antibiotic and its target. (5 points for each antibiotic)
1) Penicillin; Blocks cell wall synthesis
2) Tetracycline; Blocks protein synthesis by binding to the 30S Unit of the ribosome
3) Chloramphenicol; Blocks protein synthesis by binding to the 50S Unit of the ribosome
4) Sulfonamides; Inhibits folic acid synthesis
5) Vancomycin; Blocks cross-linking of the peptidoglycan in the cell wall          25Antibiotics and viruses• Discusses why antibiotics in general would not be useful for treating a viral infection.
• Supports the conclusion by commenting on the target of each antibiotic.          15Format, Grammar, and  Mechanics  • Provides a 1-2 page paper that is double-spaced, and includes a title page, reference page, running head, and page numbers.  The title page and reference page are not counted in the length of 1-2 pages for the paper.
• Sentences are clear, well-articulated, and free from grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. 
• Information sources (a minimum of one) utilized are clearly identified, properly cited, and referenced using APA Style. 10Total50

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