This in-class activity requires that the students read an article in The Atlantic about an interesting (and modern) case of the plague. The article provides a great platform to showcase the Inorganic side of broad societal themes like evolutionary biology, environmental and hereditary influences on disease, and the collaboration between biology, medicine, and history. The article itself contains little chemistry, but can be used to guide students into learning about iron in bioinorganic chemistry.
Accompanying article found here:
A student should learn introductory bioinorganic nomenclature associated with iron enzymes and proteins in order to complete this assignment.
A student should be able to apply his/her knowledge of coordination chemistry to answer questions about siderophores (which might be a foreign topic).
Students' knowledge of coordination chemistry will be probed specifically in areas of thermodynamic stability constants for metal-ligand complexes, radical reactions associated with oxygen-derived radicals, redox chemistry, principles of hard-soft acids and bases.