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Biology 105

BIOL 105
Biology for Health Science Majors

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BIOL 105. Biology for Health Science Majors
Three hours lecture; two hours laboratory (4).

Intended for any student who is not a Biology major, but who needs to take microbiology or human anatomy courses for their majors. Students who are not Biology majors must pass BIOL 105 prior to taking microbiology (BIOL 334), Human Structure and Function (BIOL 310, 311), or Human Anatomy and Physiology (BIOL 322). An introduction to the basic processes of life and science. Emphasis is on scientific investigation and processes common to most organisms including humans: cellular structures and functions, mechanisms of inheritance, and mechanisms of adaptation. Applications are made to genetic technologies, human disorders, and bioethics. Students receiving credit for BIOL 105 may not also receive credit for BIOL 131, 132, 231, or 232. This course has been approved for credit in the Natural Sciences Area of the Core Curriculum.

Detailed Description of Course


1. How organisms get the energy and molecules they need.
2. Nature is stochastic. Randomness at individual levels can produce predictable consequences in populations (of atoms, molecules, individuals).
3. Evolution occurs by modification of pre-existing molecules, processes, structures. Selection is the mechanism of adaptation. Similarity of processes shows relatedness of different forms of life.
4. Theories are unifying explanations of diverse observations. Theories can be speculation or treated as fact. How theories are tested and change.
5. Methods and evidence in science.


  • These statements indicate the minimum coverage. Instructors may go into more depth on any topic as desired.
  • These topics do not have to be covered in lecture or in this order. In fact, students should be required to acquire some information on their own from reading.


Scientific vs nonscientific problem-solving. ( e. g . assumption of constancy of natural laws, emphasis on quantification, tentative nature of hypotheses, skepticism, critical scrutiny by scientific community, role of inspiration, etc .)

Theories and hypotheses

Multiple methods. Description, comparison, correlation, experimentation, modeling. Analysis of data. Graphing, flow diagrams, descriptive statistics, tests of means

  • Evidence versus inference.
  • Scientific communication.
  • Evolution
  • Evidence of relatedness among taxa.
  • How natural selection produces adaptive evolution.
  • Evolutionary perspective on the Domains and Kingdoms, and hierarchical classification.
  • Chemistry basics
  • Atomic theory. Charge, valence, isotopes.
  • Molecules. Structural and molecular formulas.
    • Theories of Bonds. Polar and nonpolar covalent, ionic, hydrogen, single, double.
    • Organic molecules. Monomers/polymers. Skeletal structure and examples of:
      • carbohydrates (poly- di-, mono-),
      • proteins (primary to tertiary structure),
      • lipids (components of triglycerides and phospholipids),
      • nucleotides and nucleic acids.
    • Hydrolysis and dehydration synthesis theory.
    • Thermodynamic theory and energy transformations.
    • Enzymes. Induced fit theory. Active site, substrate. Feedback inhibition theory.
    • ATP/ADP theory.
    • Properties of water. Adhesion, cohesion.
    • pH scale. Buffers.
    • Hydrophilic/hydrophobic properties.

Cell structures (Much may be covered by reading and/or in context of cellular processes)

  • Metabolism.
    • Heterotrophy vs. autotrophy
    • Anaerobic processes -- alcoholic and lactic acid fermentation theories.
      • Function of the process for the cell.
      • Glycolysis theory changes one 6-carbon glucose to two 3-carbon pyruvates.
      • Summary formula, inputs, net energy capture (ATP, NADH), waste energy and waste molecules.
    • Aerobic process -- cellular respiration theory.
      • Function of the process for the cell.
      • Glycolysis changes one 6-carbon glucose to two 3-carbon pyruvates.
      • Each pyruvate is converted to Acetyl CoA.
      • Krebs cycle theory. More NADH, FADH, ATP energy captured in series of molecular changes.
      • Electron transport chain theory. Energy in FADH and NADH converted into ATP energy using O 2.
      • Summary formula for the whole process, inputs, energy capture, waste energy and waste molecules.
    • Autotrophic processes. Function is NOT to produce oxygen.
      • Aerobic photosynthesis.
        • Light dependent reactions. Summary of function, inputs, energy capture (ATP,NADPH), waste.
        • Light independent reactions. Summary of function, inputs, energy capture.
      • Chemoautotrophy. One example. Function, input, and waste products.
    • How cells get energy from proteins and triglycerides.
    • How cells use molecules in energy metabolism to make proteins, triglycerides, polysaccharides.
    • Symbioses of different kinds.
    • Lipid bilayer theory of membrane structure.
      • Theories of movement through membranes.
        • Diffusion/osmosis (Brownian motion, concentration gradient, equilibrium).
        • Active transport.
        • Phagocytosis.
      • Functions of membrane proteins. Transport, receptor/signal transduction.
    • Theories of functions of: Chloroplasts, mitochondria, ribosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, vacuoles, nucleus, cell walls.
    • Differences between prokaryotes and eukaryotes; between plants and animals.
    • Viruses. Basic idea of using host cells to replicate. Basic life cycle.

Cell cycle and cell reproduction.

Genes and chromosomes theory in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Homologous chromosomes. DNA, RNA, and genetic code theories.

    • Basics of protein synthesis theory.
      • -Function and location in cell.
      • -Transcription (RNA polymerase makes mRNA by sequentially matching, attaching nucleotides. Role of hydrogen bonds, covalent bonds.)
      • -Translation (codons and anticodons, ribosome facilitates sequential alignment of amino acids)
    • Cell cycle stages and functions.
      • Synthesis stage.
      • -DNA replication theory (Basics: DNA polymerase in sequentially matching, attaching nucleotides. Repair enzymes).
    • -Sister chromatids.
    • -Point mutation and formation of new alleles.

Binary fission theory.

Mitotic division theory. Function for the cell. How the chromosomes move in pro-, meta-, ana- and telophase. Meiotic division theory. Function. Haploid/diploid. Differences from mitosis.

  • Role of mitosis and meiosis in development and daily maintenance.
    • Stem cells. Embryonic vs adult. Debate over stem cell research.
    • Theory of cancer development.
  • DNA technology
    • Cloning basics. Cloning stems cells. Cloning new individuals.
    • Polymerase chain reaction basic idea.
    • DNA fingerprinting. Variable restriction fragment loci. Electrophoresis and reading a gel. Calculating probability of a match using multiple loci.
  • Recombinant DNA basics. Restriction enzymes, vectors, identification of desired recombinants.
  • DNA microarray basic idea.
    • Applications - Potential benefits, potential hazards, ethics.


  • Original Mendelian theory of genetics.
    • Alleles, genetic dominance, genotype vs phenotype,
    • monohybrid crosses, probability of offspring, deducing parental genotypes from offspring phenotypes.
    • Extensions of Mendelian theory, e.g. partial dominance, codominance, sex-linkage, multiple alleles, polygeny, sex determination.
    • Environment/genotype interaction.
    • Applications. e.g. human genetics, sporadic vs. familial cancer, male/female differences, behavior.


Three kinds of laboratory exercises will be used. Any one laboratory may be a combination:

  • Demonstrations and observations to teach techniques and concepts, including:

-proper care and use of the use of the microscope,
-measuring metric weight, volume, and distance using the metric system,
-making percent solutions
-accurate observation, including drawing.
-statistical analysis
-measuring pH

  • Investigations to introduce students to various methods of science. Often these will be single lab periods designed to focus on certain features of scientific methods and certain biological concepts.
  • Original student research. At least two projects during the semester will require students to ask their own questions, design at least some of their methods, and discuss their results. They will communicate their results orally and/or in writing. They will generally be spin-offs from previous lab investigations. These may be group projects.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The course will be taught in the class/laboratory format. Class will include not only lecture, but also activities to promote synthesis, application, analysis, problem-solving, and communication skills.

Laboratories will emphasize asking questions that can be answered with observation or experiment, designing experiments based on those questions, data analysis, and communication as aspects of scientific approaches to problem-solving.

Readings from textbook and popular books or journal articles will require students to understand some content without a teacher's explanation. Information searching and evaluation skills will be taught as part of student secondary research.

Whenever possible, students will practice using basic mathematics and statistics.


Student Goals and Objectives of the Course

Students will understand the methodologies of scientific inquiry; think critically about scientific issues and understand that the results of scientific research can be critically interpreted; participate in informed discussions of scientific issues; and describe the natural/physical world within the context of a specific scientific discipline.


Students will be able to:

a.       employ scientific methods to gather and analyze data and test hypotheses in a laboratory setting

b.      distinguish between findings that are based upon empirical data and those that are not

c.       explain the relationships among the sciences and between science, technology, popular media, and contemporary issues in society

d.      explain how scientific ideas are developed or modified over time based on evidence

e.       use the language of science to explain scientific principles within the context of a specific scientific discipline


Assessment Measures 

  • Empiricism Lab reports.
  • Students pose methods, analyze data, etc on exams, quizzes.
  • Scientific problems, methods Lab reports.
  • Students pose methods, analyze data, etc. on exams, quizzes.
  • Multiple problem-solving situations Record the different kinds of testing situations during the course.
  • Applications to world Exams, quizzes test application of biological information to biological issues in society.
  • Library research allows student to explore applications of biological information.
  • Science and society Exams test knowledge of ethical issues.
  • Library research allows student to explore ethical implications of biological information.
  • Informal individual or group writing.
  • Students explain or defend a position on quizzes, exams, papers.

            Possible assessment methods

  • Biological information Quizzes, exams,
  • Short papers.
  • Theories and testing Quizzes, exams,
  • Short papers.
  • Graphing, statistics Lab reports
  • Quizzes, exams
  • Microscope use Observation and correction in lab.
  • Information search, evaluation Quizzes, exams,
  • Papers.
  • Communication Written, oral reports
  • Essay questions on exams, quizzes.
  • Solutions, pH Record the number of such events during the course.
  • Quizzes, exams


Other Course Information

Depending on enrollment, multiple instructors may teach the course in a given semester. They will coordinate laboratory exercises.


Review and Approval

Date Action Approved by


March 2009 Dr. Joel B. Hagen, Chair