One of the tests being used for COVID-19 is an antibody blood test. It is used to detect the presence of antibodies (specific immune molecules) in a person who is recovering or has recovered from a specific infection (like COVID-19). The presence of antibodies to COVID-19 in your blood plasma indicates that you were exposed to this virus and that your immune system fought it off (you could also get a positive test after being vaccinated). These antibodies now remain and, if you are exposed to the virus again, will help you eradicate it in your body, generally without symptoms – you are considered “immune” to this virus.
In this assignment, you will go to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute website and perform a virtual lab carrying out the testing done to carry out an antibody test. You carry out the steps in a simplified version of the lab and get results. Note: make sure to follow all the directions in the virtual lab. If you skip a step, it might change your results. This particular virtual lab lets you make mistakes but those mistakes have consequences at the end. [Note: this is the same organization that put together the transgenic fly virtual lab so the setup for the two is similar.]
Link to webpage; you will need to click on “Launch Interactive” button: HHMI Virtual Immunology Lab (Links to an external site.)
The virtual lab has a main page where you perform the experiments and tabs on the right for a) background information, b) a lab notebook explaining the steps as you go, a glossary for definitions of key terms, and c) a help section.
In addition, at the end of the virtual lab, it has a button that allows you to pull up a printable summary page. Do that and take a screenshot or photo that you will submit as well.
Summary: Submit 2 things:
1) Answers to worksheet questions
2) Screenshot or photo of printable summary page
You will be graded based on a) correct answers to homework questions, b) whether answers are in your own words, and c) successful completion of the lab based on summary sheet.
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