Biology 261 Fall 2008

Course Goals and Objectives

A. To develop literacy in cell biology. Upon completion of this course:

         Students will be able to articulate connections between fundamental chemical principles and cellular phenomena.

         Students will be able to recognize the structures and articulate the functions of the major classes of macromolecules.

         Students will be able to describe essential eukaryotic cellular and sub-cellular structures, such as the cytoskeleton and organelles; and their functions.

         Students will be able to articulate the basic components of cellular membranes and to demonstrate an understanding of membrane function at the basic level.

         Students will be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of the cellular physiology of both prokaryotes and eukaryotes and of their core metabolic pathways Students will be able to describe the flow of information from DNA to protein, including the processes of DNA replication, transcription and translation.

         Students will be able to describe points in and identify possible mechanisms for the regulation of eukaryotic gene expression at an introductory level.

         Students will be able to recognize that connections exist between ecological and physiological phenomena and the fundamental intracellular processes that determine organismal performance. 

B. To reinforce scientific process skills. Upon completion of this course:

         Students will have had additional experience with hypothesis driven experimentation in a laboratory setting

         Students will have had additional experience with the analysis of quantitative information

         Students will be able to interpret data in graphical and tabular formats.

         Students will possess laboratory skills appropriate for basic experimentation in cellular and molecular biology (such as use of compound microscopes, pan balances, micropipets and spectrophotometers).

         Students will have been introduced to basic aseptic technique for the handling of microorganisms and to the appropriate handing and disposal of hazardous chemicals

         Students will have had experience with electrophoretic separation of protein and nucleic acid molecules.

         Students will have been introduced to computer assisted analysis of DNA information (bioinformatics)

C. To reinforce skills in oral and written communication. Upon completion of this course:

          Students will be able to write a complete laboratory report in the IMRAD format.

          Student will be able to document sources appropriately

          Students will be able to give an oral presentation on experimental work

D. To cultivate the understanding that the study of cellular and molecular biology is connected to social issues. Upon completion of this course:

          Students have been introduced to the connections between cellular and molecular biology and social issues through a case study.

          Students will have had experience documenting their personal reflections on these connections.

E. To prepare students for entry into Biology 262, Genetics. Upon completion of this course, in addition to the relevant items under A and B above:

         Students will be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of the cell cycle and of mitosis and meiosis.

         Students will be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of the connections between cell division and transmission (Mendelian) genetics