July Meeting Recap: Infectious Disease!

July’s meeting of The Ladder brought together medical scholars of all ages to the UROC in North Minneapolis to learn about infectious disease. In addition to learning about different varieties and causes of infectious disease, we learned about those folks in medicine & healthcare who play roles in helping prevent and treat infectious disease, and conduct research that informs everything we know about infectious diseases.


Scholars learned about a variety of diseases caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites, as well as how some diseases are spread and prevented.


Medical scholars participated in an exercise to illustrate how some infectious diseases are spread by physical contact. In this exercise all scholars received test tubes filled with clear liquid, but one scholar’s test tube contained a special, but invisible, substance (a liquid with a pH greater than 7.0 – no actual infectious diseases were involved!!!). Scholars then exchanged small amounts of fluid from their and a few others’ test tubes:



Each scholar’s test tube was then treated with an indicator (in this case, a substance called phenolphthalein that turns pink in base solutions), and everyone whose test tube was “infected” by the fluid with high pH turned bright pink:



Scholars were able to see that just one infected individual can spread infection to many others (yikes!) but they also learned that the spread of many diseases can be prevented by measures as simple as hand-washing and covering sneezes and coughs.

Join us for next month’s meeting of the Ladder – a Society of Medical Scholars ages 9-99. Our next meeting is August 9th (always the second Saturday of the month – even over the summer!) and open to all ages. You’ll have a lot of fun, get a free lunch, and probably even learn something in the process! We meet at the UROC building (2001 Plymouth Ave N) in North Minneapolis.

“Lift as you Climb, Build as you Grow”

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