Days to Teach:
Bioinformatics activity: 1 day. Halobacterium research: Will vary depending on Halobacterium incubation time (2 weeks @ room temperature, 7 days at 47 degrees C.) and depth of investigation; intervening days could be used for other activities..
Teaching Tips / Activity Overview:
- Background – Astrobiologists are interested in Halobacterium for the possibility that they could exist on Mars.
- Using bioinformatics and Carolina Biological Supply Co. kit, “Introduction to Life in an Extreme Environment,” students will learn that diversity on life includes life forms that survive in extreme conditions on Earth and possible could exist in similar extraterrestrial environments.
- From an assortment of DNA sequences provided for comparison (including pictures of organisms) students choose 5 in addition to Halobacterium to use Clustal alignment and tree. (eg.)
- Students draw their tree and answer questions.
- Proceed to the Carolina Biological Supply Company kit: 15-4770: Introduction to Life in an Extreme Environment Teacher's Manual with Student Guide. The kit includes most materials needed, instructions for teacher and student worksheets.