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Lac ATTACk!  is a competitive card game designed to reinforce understanding of the biological function of the lac operon. Players take on the role of a bacterium attempting to process sugars (glucose and lactose) into sugar points. Players play mutations on their own or an opponent’s bacterium to either enhance or inhibit the ability to process these sugars. Action cards may also be played to further affect these processes. The game is played over a series of 10 rounds with a cumulative scoring of sugar points occurring at the end of each round. The player with the most sugar points at the end of the game wins!


The game consists of a tuck box with 91 cards divided into two decks - the Main deck and the Sugar deck. 
Sugar deck (yellow back, 20 cards total)

  • 14 Lactose cards
  • 6 Glucose cards

Main deck (blue back, 71 cards total)

  • 33 Mutation Cards (blue face)

    • 1 card each: lacP-, lacY-, and lacZ-

    • 2 lacOc cards

    • 5 lacO+ cards

    • 3 cards each: lacZ+, lacP+, lacY+, lacIs, and lacI-

    • 8 lacI+ cards

  • 34 Action Cards (green face)

    • 2 cards each: Nucleotide Excision Repair, Horizontal Gene Transfer, Gene Therapy, CRISPR/Cas9, Photolyase Activation, Base Excision Repair, IPTG, Tetracycline Antibiotic, N-ethylmaleimide (NEM), Ampicillin Antibiotic, cAMP Agonist, Mutagen, and Mustard Gas.

    • 1 card each: Quorum Sensing, Gene Conversion, Conjugation, Multidrug Resistance Gene Cassette, RNA Sponge, Heat Shock, EMS, X-Rays, Calcium Chloride, and Novel Antibiotic.

  • 2 Response Cards (green face)

    • Impermeable Cell Wall & Active Drug Efflux Pumps

Lac ATTACk!: The lac operon competitive card game

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