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Education: Other Resources


  • Barnett, James A. “Beginnings of microbiology and biochemistry: the contribution of yeast research.” Microbiology 149, no. 3 (2003): 557-567.
  • Bud, Robert. Penicillin: Triumph and Tragedy. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.
  • Bud, Robert. The Uses of Life: A History of Biotechnology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
  • Cohen, Susan and Christine Cosgrove. Normal at Any Cost: Tall Girls, Short Boys, and the Medical Industry’s Quest to Manipulate Height. New York: Tarcher, 2009.
  • Enari, Tor-Magnus. From Beer to Molecular Biology: The Evolution of Industrial Biotechnology. Nürnberg: Fachverlag Hans Carl, 1999.
  • Gradmann, Christoph, and Elborg Forster. Laboratory disease: Robert Koch's medical bacteriology. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.
  • Hammonds, Evelynn Maxine. Childhood’s Deadly Scourge: The campaign to control diphtheria in New York City, 1880-1930. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.
  • Hansen, Bert. Picturing Medical Progress from Pasteur to Polio: A History of Mass Media Images and Popular Attitudes in America. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2009.
  • Hobby, Gladys L. Penicillin: Meeting the Challenge. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1985.
  • Hughes, Sally Smith. Genentech: The Beginnings of Biotech. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011.
  • Klatz, Dr. Ronald and Carol Kahn. Grow Young with HGH. New York: Harper Perennial, 1997.
  • Lax, Eric. The Mold in Dr. Florey's Coat: The Story of the Penicillin Miracle. New York: H. Holt, 2004.
  • Liebenau, Jonathan. Medical Science and Medical Industry: The formation of the American Pharmaceutical Industry. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987.
  • Ouellette, Robert P. and Paul N. Cheremisinoff. Essentials of Biotechnology. Lancaster, PA: Technomic Publishing Co., 1985.
  • Parascandola, John. The History of Antibiotics: A Symposium. Madison, WI: American Institute of the History of Pharmacy, 1980.
  • Pasteur, Louis, Frank Faulkner, and David C. Robb. Studies on Fermentation: The Diseases of Beer, Their Causes, and the Means of Preventing Them. London: Macmillan & Co, 1879.
  • Rasmussen, Nicolas. “Biotechnology before the “Biotech revolution”: Life Scientists, Chemists, and product Development in 1930s-1940s America.” In Chemical Sciences in the 20th Century: Bridging Boundaries. Edited by C. Reinhardt. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH, 2001.
  • Ratcliff, J. D. Yellow magic: the story of penicillin. New York: Random House, 1945.
  • Stockwell, Brent R. The Quest for the Cure: The Science and Stories Behind the Next Generation of Medicines. New York: Columbia University Press, 2011.
  • Tomes, Nancy. The Gospel of Germs:Men, women and the microbe in American life. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998.
  • Waxham, F. E. Intubation of the larynx. Chicago: Charles Truax, 1888.
  • Weindling, Paul. “From Medical Research to Clinical Practice: Serum Therapy for Diphtheria in the 1890s.” In Medical Innovations in Historical Perspective. Edited by J. Pickstone. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1992.
  • Zimmer, Carl. Microcosm: E.coli and The New Science of Life. New York: Pantheon Books, 2008.
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K-12 Suggested Readings


  • Capeci, Anne and John Speirs (illustrator). The Magic School Bus Science Chapter Book #6: The Giant Germ. New York: Scholastic Inc, 2000.
    Grade level: 2-5
    A class of young students uses a school bus with the ability to shrink, to explore the germs, or microbes, near their picnic site, learning about tiny organisms that can sometimes cause or cure illness. They run into trouble when they face a giant germ in their adventures.
  • Cole, Joanna, Bruce Degen (illustrator), and Bob Ostrum (illustrator). The Magic School Bus In a Pickle: A Book About Microbes. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1998.
    Grade level: Preschool-3
    Youngsters learn about fermentation—the process responsible for beer and wine brewing, and the production of vinegar, a pickling agent—as they uncover a mystery about a prize-winning cucumber that disappeared, being replaced by a pickle.
  • Frantz, Jennifer. The Trouble with Germs (Sid the Science Kid). New York: HarperCollins Publisher, 2010.
    Grade level: Preschool-3
    Sid learns about the ability of microbes to cause sickness through interactions with his parents and teacher. Sid’s dad, who is ill with a cold, tells him that some germs cause colds and explains to him the importance of hand-washing. His mother shows him images of germs magnified by a high-powered microscope. When Sid gets to school, his teacher leads the class through a lesson on germs. His experiences give Sid a newfound appreciation for good hygiene.
  • Hopkinson, Deborah. The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2013.
    Grade level: 5-12
    An orphan named Eel lives a hardscrabble existence in mid-19th century London, combing the floor of the filthy Thames River for items he might sell. The cholera outbreak of 1854 strikes the city, and while the prevailing belief is that it has been caused by poisonous air, Dr. John Snow believes there is another culprit. Eel and his friend set out to gather evidence supporting Dr. Snow’s belief. Here is a fictional story illustrating a real historical event—the rise of the germ theory of disease.
  • Peterson Haddix, Margaret. Running Out of Time. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks, 1997.
    Grade level: 3-7
    A teenage girl, Jessie Keyser, has grown up in an isolated village constructed to resemble mid-19th century towns thinking that the year is 1840, when it is really 1996. When a diphtheria outbreak sickens the children of her town, Jessie must venture out into the modern world—frighteningly foreign to her—to find medicines.
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  • Birch, Beverly and Christian Birmingham. Pasteur’s Fight Against Microbes. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series Inc., 1996.
    Grade level: 1-6
    Made accessible for children with bright illustrations and simple, engaging language, this book tells the story of Louis Pasteur’s first foray into studying microbes, as he examined rotten beet juice in an effort to help the wine and beer industries prevent the costly spoilage of their materials.
  • Gunnison Ballen, Susan. Seven Wonders of Medicine. Minneapolis: Twenty-First Century Books, 2010.
    Grade level: 5-9
    This book explores seven scientific advancements that have revolutionized modern medicine, including the advent of microscopy, which gave doctors and other scientists a glimpse at germs that cause disease, and the development of the first antibiotics, which allowed for the treatment of many infectious illnesses, saving countless lives.
  • Hall, Linley Erin. Careers in Biotechnology. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, 2005.
    Grade level: 6-12
    Hall explores careers in the field of biotechnology, discusses the education and training required, and explains some of the issues professionals in biotechnology grapple with today.
  • Standiford, Natalie and Donald Cook (illustrator). The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto. New York: Random House Children’s Books, 1989.
    Grade level: Kindergarten-3
    This tells the story of Balto, a Siberian Husky sled dog who led a run of over 50 miles to deliver diphtheria antitoxin to Nome, Alaska—a town then in the midst of an outbreak. Balto’s heroic, historical trek is commemorated yearly during the Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race.
  • Yuwiler, Janice. Insulin: Great Medical Discoveries. San Diego, CA: Lucent Books, 2005.
    Grade level: 6-10
    Yuwiler tells the story of Frederick Grant Banting and John James Rickard McCleod’s groundbreaking work, for which they won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1923. The duo was the first to extract insulin from a pancreas.
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Web Resources


  • Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. “Biotech Lab.”
    Biotech Lab” at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is an exhibition whose companion website offers “units of study” for educators and an onsite activity calendar.
  • DNA Learning Center. “Mechanism of Recombination, 3D animation with basic narration.” Cold Spring Laboratory. (accessed December 4, 2013).
    Mechanism of Recombination” provides an animated overview of the process by portions of DNA in one cell are cut and inserted into another.
  • National Human Genome Research Institute. “Educational Resources.” National Institutes of Health. (accessed June 12, 2019).
    Education Resources” provides fact sheets, a glossary of genetics terms, genomics teaching tools, and information on community outreach for teachers, students, and the public. The resources are “intended to spark scientific curiosity, improve genomic literacy and foster engagement among learners.”
  • North Carolina Biotechnology Center. “Biotechnology Teacher Resources Online.” (accessed December 4, 2013).
    Biotechnology Teacher Resources Online
    is a list of videos, animations, and audio files that teach K-12 students about topics in biotechnology.
  • Smithsonian’s History Explorer. “Biotechnology at the Cutting Edge.” (accessed December 4, 2013).
    Biotechnology at the Cutting Edge” features video interviews of top researchers in the field of biotechnology who teach the basics of biotechnology.
  • University of Arizona, “BIOTECH Project.” (accessed December 4, 2013).
    The BIOTECH Project offers technical support for K-12 instruction on DNA and biotechnology. The Jr. Biotech part of the program offers labs and lesson plans for middle school educators.
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  • DNA Learning Center. “How insulin is made using bacteria.” Cold Spring Laboratory. (accessed December 4, 2013).
    How insulin is made using bacteria” provides an interactive illustration that describes the process of insulin production using recombinant DNA from bacteria.
  • ----. "The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1923." Nobel Foundaton. (accessed December 4, 2013).
    The Nobel website lists the prizes, plus the laureates for each year the prize has been awarded. This page features the winners of the 1923 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine, Frederick Grant Banting and John James Rickard McCleod, who were the first to isolate insulin from a pancreas.
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  • A Science Odyssey: People and Discoveries. “Fleming discovers penicillin, 1928-1945.” PBS. (accessed December 4, 2013).
    Fleming discovers penicillin, 1928-1945” gives a brief account of Alexander Fleming’s work, which resulted in the discovery of penicillin.
  • Brought to Life. “Germ Theory.” Science Museum, London, England. (accessed December 4, 2013).
    Brought to Life is the London Science Museum’s History of Medicine website. Its “Germ Theory” page offers a brief explanation of the theory, and notes several scientists who contributed to its discovery and acceptance.
  • Harvard University Library Open Collections Program. “Germ Theory.” Contagion: Historical Views of Diseases and Epidemics. (accessed December 4, 2013).
    This site explains germ theory, the idea that microbes are the causes of many diseases, which came to prominence in the 19th century.
  • Nobel Media. "Sir Alexander Fleming – Biographical." (accessed December 4, 2013).
    The page presents a brief biographical sketch of laureate Alexander Fleming, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 for the discovery of penicillin.
  • The American Phytopathological Society. “K-12 Lessons and Laboratories.” (accessed December 4, 2013).
    K-12 Lessons and Laboratories is a series of educational activities and instruction plans for youngsters to learn about microbes.
  • The Mercantile Library. “Science in the Real World: Microbes in Action.” University of Missouri-St. Louis. (accessed December 4, 2013).
    The Science in the Real World: Microbes in Action program fosters an understanding of and appreciation for microbiology through hands-on activities for K-12 students, and lesson plans, informative workshops, and a newsletter for teachers.
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