What are good resources for self-learning modern molecular biology concepts?

What are good resources for self-learning modern molecular biology concepts?

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My learning of molecular biology ended in the early 90's (and with early 90's era information). While I don't aspire to be a molecular biologist, I do aspire to better understand modern approaches better.

Short of going back to school and taking classes, what are good resources for learning on my own? I'd like to get to the point of being able to understand Nature, Science, Cell, etc. Is this even a feasible goal?

Sure it's feasible! Of course, there are lots of papers that I can't read even with a recent education, but you should be able to make a good dent by:

  • Getting a good modern textbook like Molecular Biology of the Cell by Alberts et al. This is becoming a standard text and gives pretty good coverage of the field. I find that it doesn't always get as detailed as I would like, but such is the nature of textbooks I think. Another textbook that some people like is Molecular Cell Biology by Lodish et al, although I don't have experience with it myself.

  • Watch online lectures. MIT OpenCourseWare has a pretty good molecular biology course. It may get basic for you at times, but the lecturers are well-respected molecular biologists and geneticists.

  • Read reviews in things like Nature Reviews to get a 30,000-foot view. Review authors often touch on concepts that primary literature assume you know. Armed with a good text, you should be able to get a good idea of what people are talking about. On a similar note, the "News and Views" commentary articles that accompany "high-impact" papers are great for giving people unfamiliar with the field a taste of why a certain paper deserves attention.

  • Come back here and ask!

You can watch the iBioSeminars, which are given by some of the best cell and molecular biologists out there.

Drop by the mailing list, which is home to a bunch of autodidactic free thinkers like yourself. They always can suggest fun projects and learning resources.

Also check out Nature's Scitable education resource ("A collaborative learning space for science")

Sorry, I just couldn't help but point out the following book:

Joking aside, every book from this series I read was fantastic. I didn't read this particular one, but I would nonetheless recommend to give it a try.

Biological Sciences

At the forefront of biological research for more than a century, UChicago scientists have furthered efforts to diagnose and treat cancer, discovered a way to preserve blood, and laid the mathematical foundations for the theory of genetic evolution. Today, faculty and students investigate topics ranging from the genetic defects responsible for diabetes to the biomechanics and ecology of marine invertebrates. The department and its substantial resources are housed in the Biological Sciences Learning Center, among the nation’s most up-to-date facilities of its kind.

The faculty of the College believes that a sound knowledge of biology is essential for understanding many of the most pressing problems of modern life and for intelligent involvement in their eventual solution. The Biological Sciences Collegiate Division, therefore, provides a variety of general education courses for all UChicago students—prospective biologists and non-biologists alike. Although most of the course offerings beyond the introductory year are designed to serve the needs of students majoring in Biological Sciences, many of these courses are well suited to students in other areas who wish to study some aspect of modern biology in greater detail. Courses on the ethical and societal implications of the biological sciences, for example, are of interest to many non-majors.

The goals of the Biological Sciences program are to give students (1) an understanding of currently accepted concepts in biology and the experimental support for these concepts and (2) an appreciation of the gaps in our current understanding and the opportunities for new research in this field.

Emphasis is placed on introducing students to the diversity of subject matter and methods of investigation in the biological sciences. The program prepares students for graduate or professional study in the biological sciences and for careers in the biological sciences.

After acquiring a broad base in all levels of biological organization, students tailor programs to meet their interests and goals. Among the options for specialization: Cellular and Molecular Biology, Ecology and Evolution, Endocrinology, Genetics, Immunology, Microbiology, and Neuroscience. The program encourages individual guided research through course credit and summer funding.

Minors are available in Biological Sciences and Computational Neuroscience.

Basic concepts of biology

The concept of homeostasis—that living things maintain a constant internal environment—was first suggested in the 19th century by French physiologist Claude Bernard, who stated that “all the vital mechanisms, varied as they are, have only one object: that of preserving constant the conditions of life.”

As originally conceived by Bernard, homeostasis applied to the struggle of a single organism to survive. The concept was later extended to include any biological system from the cell to the entire biosphere, all the areas of Earth inhabited by living things.

Degree Requirements (120 semester credit hours) 1


Professors: Rockford K. Draper @draper , Juan E. González @jgonzal , Lawrence J. Reitzer @reitzer , Stephen Spiro @sxs067400 , Li Zhang @lxz075000 , Michael Qiwei Zhang @mqz091000

Associate Professors: John G. Burr @burr , Jeff L. DeJong @dejong , Heng Du @hxd131030 , Tae Hoon Kim @txk142630 , Kelli Palmer @klp120030 , Duane D. Winkler @ddw130330 , Zhenyu Xuan @zxx091000

Assistant Professors: Zachary Campbell @zxc153030 , Nicole De Nisco @njd160330 , Nikki Delk @nad140230 , Jyoti Misra @jrm190003 , Faruck Morcos @afg150230

Professors Emeritus: Hans Bremer @hxb068000 , Lee A. Bulla @bulla , Donald M. Gray @dongray

Associate Professors Emeritius: Gail A. M. Breen @breen , Dennis L. Miller @dmiller

Clinical Professor: David Murchison @dfm100020

Research Assistant Professors: Lan Guo @lxg132130 , Li Liu @lliu

Assistant Professors of Instruction: Caitlin Braitsch @cmb170830 , Ida Klang @ixk190014 , Eva Sadat @exs190014 , Zhuoru Wu @zxw190014

Senior Lecturers: Mehmet Candas @candas , Wen-Ju Lin @wenju , Meenakshi Maitra @mxm172731 , Robert C. Marsh @rmarsh , Iti Mehta @ixm121430 , Jing Pan @jxp134330 , Elizabeth Pickett @eaw016100 , Ruben D. Ramirez @rdr092000 , Scott A. Rippel @rippel , Ilya Sapozhnikov @isapoz , Subha Sarcar @sns064000 , Uma Srikanth @ukrish , Michelle Wilson @mxw084000 , Wen-Ho Yu @why061000

I. Core Curriculum Requirements: 42 semester credit hours 2

Communication: 6 semester credit hours

COMM 1311 Survey of Oral and Technology-based Communication

Mathematics: 3 semester credit hours

Life and Physical Sciences: 6 semester credit hours

or CHEM 1315 Honors Freshman Chemistry I 3

or CHEM 1316 Honors Freshman Chemistry II 3

Language, Philosophy and Culture: 3 semester credit hours

Select any 3 semester credit hours from Language, Philosophy and Culture Core courses (see advisor)

Creative Arts: 3 semester credit hours

Select any 3 semester credit hours from Creative Arts Core courses (see advisor)

American History: 6 semester credit hours

Select any 3 semester credit hours from American History Core courses (see advisor)

Government/Political Science: 6 semester credit hours

GOVT 2305 American National Government

GOVT 2306 State and Local Government

Social and Behavioral Sciences: 3 semester credit hours

Select any 3 semester credit hours from Social and Behavioral Sciences Core courses (see advisor)

Component Area Option: 6 semester credit hours

BIOL 2311 Introduction to Modern Biology I 3

II. Major Requirements: 69-70 semester credit hours

Major Preparatory Courses: 24-25 semester credit hours beyond Core Curriculum

CHEM 1111 General Chemistry Laboratory I

or CHEM 1115 Honors Freshman Chemistry Laboratory I

CHEM 1112 General Chemistry Laboratory II

or CHEM 1116 Honors Freshman Chemistry Laboratory II

or CHEM 1315 Honors Freshman Chemistry I 3

or CHEM 1316 Honors Freshman Chemistry II 3

CHEM 2123 Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory I 6

CHEM 2125 Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory II 6

CHEM 2323 Introductory Organic Chemistry I 6

CHEM 2325 Introductory Organic Chemistry II 6

PHYS 2325 Mechanics and PHYS 2125 Physics Laboratory I

or PHYS 2421 Honors Physics I - Mechanics and Heat 7

PHYS 2326 Electromagnetism and Waves

or PHYS 2422 Honors Physics II - Electromagnetism and Waves

Major Core Courses: 33 semester credit hours beyond Core Curriculum

BIOL 2111 Introduction to Modern Biology Workshop I 6

BIOL 2112 Introduction to Modern Biology Workshop II 6

BIOL 2281 Introductory Biology Laboratory 6

BIOL 2311 Introduction to Modern Biology I 3 , 6

BIOL 2312 Introduction to Modern Biology II 6

BIOL 3101 Classical and Molecular Genetics Workshop

BIOL 3102 Eukaryotic Molecular and Cell Biology Workshop

BIOL 3301 Classical and Molecular Genetics

BIOL 3302 Eukaryotic Molecular and Cell Biology

BIOL 4380 Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory 8

or BIOL 3V96 Undergraduate Research in Molecular and Cell Biology 8 (3 semester credit hours)

or BIOL 4399 Senior Honors Research for Thesis in Molecular and Cell Biology 8

or BIOL 4391 Senior Research in Molecular and Cell Biology 8

Major Related Courses: 12 semester credit hours 9

12 semester credit hours upper-division approved molecular biology-related BIOL or CHEM electives

III. Elective Requirements: 8-9 semester credit hours

Free Electives: 8-9 semester credit hours

All students must complete at least 51 semester credit hours of upper-division courses to graduate.

Fast Track Baccalaureate/Master's Degrees

UT Dallas undergraduate students with strong academic records, including at least 15 semester credit hours of upper-division Biology core courses, who intend to pursue graduate work in Biology at UT Dallas, may apply for the Fast Track which involves taking selected graduate courses as an upper-division student. After Fast Track admission to the graduate program, 15 semester credit hours of graduate courses with an earned grade of B or better can be used toward completion of the BS and to satisfy requirements for those courses at the graduate level. Graduate courses must be approved by the graduate advisor. This program provides an opportunity to obtain the BS degree in Biology after 120 semester credit hours of work and an MS degree in Molecular and Cell Biology after an additional 21 semester credit hours of graduate course and research work. Interested students should contact the Biology undergraduate advisor well in advance of the senior year to prepare a degree plan taking maximal advantage of this Fast Track program.

Degree Planning

Upper-division biology courses taken at other institutions may be included as part of the degree plan subject to the provisions of the section on Transfer Admissions.

Major-related courses may not include more than 9 semester credit hours (BS) or 6 semester credit hours (BA) of upper-division transfer credit and not more than 3 semester credit hours (Biology major) or 6 semester credit hours (Molecular Biology major) of individual instruction (e.g., BIOL 3V90, BIOL 3V91, BIOL 3V96, BIOL 4302, BIOL 4390, BIOL 4391, BIOL 4399, or BIOL 4V99).

Students planning a career in a particular allied health profession should consult the school they expect to attend to apprise themselves of the course requirements for admission.

Admission standards for medical and dental schools are set by the individual professional school, whose specific requirements should be reviewed with the help of the UT Dallas Health Professions Advising Center (HPAC). Most professional schools prefer that admission applications be channeled through the HPAC.

1. Incoming freshmen must enroll and complete requirements of UNIV 1010 and the corresponding school-related freshman seminar course. Students, including transfer students, who complete their core curriculum at UT Dallas must take UNIV 2020.

2. Curriculum Requirements can be fulfilled by other approved courses from institutions of higher education. The courses listed are recommended as the most efficient way to satisfy both Core Curriculum and Major Requirements at UT Dallas.

3. A required Major course that also fulfills a Core Curriculum requirement. Semester credit hours are counted in Core Curriculum.

4. Six semester credit hours of Calculus are counted under Mathematics Core and Component Area Option and 2 semester credit hours of Calculus are counted as Major Preparatory Courses.

5. Students may choose one of the following calculus sequences: (a) MATH 2413, MATH 2414, and MATH 2415 or (b) MATH 2417 and MATH 2419.

6. Indicates a prerequisite class to be completed before enrolling for upper-division classes.

7. Students who complete PHYS 2421 do not need to complete PHYS 2125.

8. These substitutes for BIOL 4380 require permission of the Biology Undergraduate Faculty Advisor to ensure equivalent training in recombinant DNA analysis.

9. Up to 6 semester credit hours of research may be used in fulfilling the major related course requirement.

What are good resources for self-learning modern molecular biology concepts? - Biology

Since the removal of the materials that formed the Biology Hypertext, we have heard from a number of users who were not only saddened by Prof. Ingram's death, but also wanted to know if it is possible to still access the materials. Because a fair amount of it was sadly out of date or incorrectly presented, and there is no one available to take over updating and maintaining the Hypertext, at this time there are no plans to re-present the materials.

However, there are a great many useful Biology resources available on the Internet, including: MIT's OpenCourseWare (see specifically the 7.01x classes in the Biology section.) Wikipedia on Biology (try links in the introduction such as Microbiology, Cellular Biology, and Molecular Biology) The Online Biology Book, hosted by Estrella Mountain Community College in Arizona, and written and maintained by Michael J. Farabee, PhD. An online search will net you many more resources, as well.

Thank you again for your interest in the Biology Hypertext.

Learning Objectives for Biology

High School biology will teach students about the basics of life while also challenging high schoolers to complete labs, record findings, and walk through the scientific process from start to finish.

Students should gain real-life science experience with nature studies, dissections, and microscopic slide kits. Some of the learning objectives you set can look something like this:

  • Accurately explain the characteristics of living things.
  • Describe the energy flow between organisms in an ecosystem.
  • Define the human impact on the environment.
  • Recognizes the scientific difference between living and nonliving things.
  • Demonstrates a working knowledge of DNA and genetics.
  • Understands the differences in blood types.
  • Knows how to conduct a dissection.
  • Understands the molecular basis of heredity.
  • Understand and describe the fossil record.

Guide for First-Year Students

A score of 4 or 5 on the AP Biology exam will provide you with advanced placement credit, Biology 20 (score of 4) or Bio 21 (score of 5). All biology majors will start the biology ‘gateway’ courses: Students with Biology AP 5 may take Biology 203L in the Spring semester. All students may take Biology 201L and 202L (if not 203L). These courses will introduce the three foundations of modern biology: molecular biology, genetics and evolution. The gateway courses will take you deep into the topics, beyond AP Bio, and provide a foundation for other advanced courses in biology.

In addition, advanced placement is possible in chemistry, math and physics, depending on your exam scores and by the decision of the respective departments. Students who place out of the first year of chemistry or math will not have to retake those courses for the biology major.

Note that although you can only use two AP credits to reduce the number of credits you need to take for graduation (from 34 to 32), any number of AP credits can be used for placement out of introductory courses. So, advanced placement in chemistry, math and physics will reduce the courses needed to complete the biology major, freeing you up to take more advanced courses or courses in other disciplines.

How do I get started in Biology Courses?

First‐year students can explore biology with first‐year seminars (Biology 89S and Focus courses) biology courses numbered < 200 do not count toward the biology major but are often a great way for students to explore their interest and gain background in biology. There are two introductory course sequences for the biology major:

Sequence 1. For any student: Two-Course Gateway Sequence

Biology 201L: Molecular Biology, requires Chem 21 (AP 5) or 101DL or 110DL* (offered Fall & Spring)
Biology 202L: Genetics and Evolution, no prerequisite (offered Fall & Spring)

This is the normal sequence for students without AP 5 in Biology. Students may take these courses in any order. However, although Biology 202L has no formal prerequisites, it does build on basic molecular biology concepts and vocabulary learned in a prior biology courses. Students who took Biology 201L, AP Biology, or who otherwise have a strong preparation in biology typically perform better in Biology 202L than students without a prior biology course.

Sequence 2. For students with Biology AP 5: One-Course Gateway Sequence

Biology 203L: Molecular Biology, Genetics, and Evolution, requires Biology AP 5, and Chem 21 (AP 5) or 101DL or 110DL* (offered Spring only)

Biology 203L will cover the same material as Biology 201L and 202L in a one semester course. Therefore students who have taken Biology 201L or 202L may not take Biology 203L. Prospective biology majors must take either Biology 203L (if they have Biology AP 5), or both Biology 201L and Biology 202L. Biology majors who satisfy their Gateway requirement with Biology 203L will have the opportunity to take an additional upper-level elective course, in lieu of the second Gateway.

*Chemistry course pre-requisites are enforced at registration

Notes about Common Situations

Typically, there are few seats available in Biology 201L and 202L for the fall semester – that’s OK. Prospective Biology majors do not need to take them in the fall and should focus on getting on track with their math, chemistry, and foreign language requirements. Most students planning to take a Gateway course will start as early the spring of the first year, or fall of their second year.

Biology courses numbered <200 are often a great way for students to explore their interest or gain background in biology. For example, students can explore biology with first‐year seminars (89S courses) and Focus courses, or with 100-level lecture courses. However, these courses do not count toward the biology major.

Prehealth students should expect to take Biology 201L and 202L or, if they have a 5 on the AP Biology exam, Biology 203L and a second biology course with a lab. However, they typically start with Chemistry & Calculus in the fall, and would then enroll in in their first biology course in the spring of their first year or in the fall of their sophomore year. This is acceptable even for students who plan to major in biology.

Students who are planning to major in chemistry, biophysics, biomedical engineering, neuroscience, psychology, or evolutionary anthropology may use Biology 203L. Students without Biology AP 5 may need to complete one or both of Biology 201L and 202L. For the latest updates, check the website for your intended major.

Can I do research and independent study?

All biology majors are encouraged to pursue independent research in the biological sciences under the supervision or sponsorship of a faculty member. The faculty member may be in any Duke department, including Medical Center departments. You can register for independent study and receive a grade and academic credit for your research. Most students will complete at least one or two semesters of independent study during their junior or senior year, although some students begin in their second or even their first year. No credit can be awarded for paid work.

There is no limit on the number of semesters your can enroll in Independent Study, although only two semesters of independent study can be counted towards the major. Independent Study will also satisfy one of the two laboratory course requirements for the major, as well as the Small Group Learning Experience (SGLE) requirement for graduation. Additionally, Independent Study can be used to satisfy the Trinity requirement for a Research Course (R). Students may also request a Writing (W) code for an independent study with approval of their Research Supervisor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Many students will have their work published in the scientific literature and use their research as the basis for graduation with distinction. For more information, please visit independent study.


  • U.S. News & World Report Best Social Mobility
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  • U.S. News & World Report Top Public University
  • U.S. News & World Report Top Performer Economic Diversity
  • U.S. News & World Report Top Business & Engineering Schools

11 Examples of Biology in Everyday Life

Biology is an utterly interesting field of science that has been the centre of focus for centuries. The complex biological concepts have been nagging one and all since times immemorial. Regardless of the advancements occurring in the area of the science and technology, a lot of biological phenomena are still asking a reasonable underlying explanation. The mystery regarding the origin of life on the earth and the appearance of humans remains to be unravelled. It is because of the biology that we exist. Whatever we do involves biology in one way or other. Even when you are doing nothing or sleeping, each cell in your body is working for you. In short, right from the moment you are born, it is biology that plays its role you grow into a child, you encounter teenage, welcome adulthood and after that, you start ageing. All these beautiful yet fascinating processes have a hidden biological principle. Today we are going to discuss some daily life examples whereby biology plays a significant role.

1. Agriculture

The food that we consume is the result of agriculture. We, humans, and animals depend on the agricultural products for sustaining ourselves. Fruits, vegetables, grains, pulses, oils, honey, sugar, tea, coffee, and other foods are all obtained from the plants. Farmers are able to produce the high-yielding and pest-resistant varieties of the crops. Scientists study the complex nature, occurrence, and life-cycle of the pests and with the help of biotechnological techniques, they are able to obtain better quality and quantity of the crops. It is because pollination occurs that the flowers sprout and seeds are obtained. The whole process of pollination is made possible only because of the birds and honey bees.

2. Food & Drinks

What keeps us alive is the food that we consume. Without food, the viability of life is not feasible. Our food items come from plants and animals. Microbes aid in the formation of dairy products like curd, cheese, and yoghurt. The bacterium Lactobacillus helps in the formation of curd from milk. Similarly, yeast, one of the simplest eukaryotes, is used in the process of fermentation. Wine is obtained from grapes through a similar process. Furthermore, there are certain microbes and other biological processes that indirectly help in the production of food. The microorganisms present in the soil act as a decomposing agent, which assist in the production of the compost from dead and decaying organic matter. This compost acts as an effective fertilizer for the growing plants.

3. Health & Medicine

Whenever we get sick, we consult a doctor. The doctor gives us medicines, and we are all good to go. How has this been made possible? The answer to this question lies in biology. It is only because of biology that the study of various disease-causing microorganisms has been made possible. Researchers have investigated the intricate nature of the microorganisms, their occurrence, life-cycle, reproduction, and propagation and hence, come up with measures of control for preventing the disease. Even the formulation of drugs for fighting the disease-causing microorganisms has been made possible because of the study of the biology of those microorganisms.

4. Clothing

Be it heat scorching summers or spine-chilling winters it is the biology which keeps you safe. You wear breathable cotton clothes in summers which are obtained from plants. The thick sweaters which cover you up in cold winters are made of wool which is procured from sheep. Linen, nylon, and fabric dyes are derived from the plants and polyester from fossils nonetheless, whatever be the fabric, it ought to be plant-based.

5. Jet lag

When you travel around the globe and cross multiple time zones, you have a problem falling asleep in the new country. Don’t you? Why does this happen and what is the underlying reason for it? The answer to this question lies in the fact that your body has its internal clock, called the circadian rhythm. The biological clock is responsible for deciding your time to stay awake and the time to fall asleep. Jet lag occurs because your biological clock (circadian rhythm) is synchronized to your original time zone. Your biological clock does not take into consideration the distance you have traveled. Henceforth, the more time zones you cross, the severe your jet lag is going to be.

6. Stem cells

Stem cells are undifferentiated cells. These cells can replicate rapidly. The stem cells are of utmost importance to us because they can develop into the various types of cells, like muscle cell, nerve cell, cardiac cell, etc. We, humans, started our life as a single cell and, after infinite cell divisions, developed into multicellular organisms. The stem cells work in a similar fashion. The embryonic stem cells, totally undifferentiated cells, are called the master cells. The stem cells can replace the damaged tissues and organs, correct the improper functioning of some parts of the organs, introduce genetic defects for research and enable the scientists to develop new drugs for the treatment of the diseases. Once again biology acts as your savior.

7. Altitude Sickness

You might remember the last time you visited a hill station and felt uncomfortable at higher altitudes. What can be the probable explanation for this? Now, again, the answer to this simple question lies in biology. Altitude sickness is a group of symptoms which occur when you climb to a higher altitude. Since you did not give your body the time to adapt to the changing pressure and reducing oxygen levels at the high altitudes the symptoms of altitude sickness occur too quickly. Nevertheless, your fascinating body responds by increasing the breathing rate, which, in turn, not only, increases the oxygen levels in the blood but also changes the blood acidity levels, lung pressure, electrolyte levels, and salt balance.

8. Environment & Ecosystem

It is only because of the field of biology that you are better able to understand the nature of interactions between the organisms and the environment. The diverse interactions which take place between humans are also because of their study at the biological level. We are better able to understand the human psychology and sociology via the biological study of the human body. Not only the human interactions, but we are, now, able to discern other ecological interactions and the study of ecosystems as well. This helps us to identify the potential dangers to the ecosystem and the earth. Once we have identified the dangers, we can move ahead for the betterment of the environment.

9. Fuelling Earth

Ever since awareness increased, we are turning to the renewable sources of energy. However, we cannot deny the fact that most of the world still runs on the fossil fuels, particularly coal and oil. Now, what are fossil fuels? Fossil fuels are the derivatives of living things only and have a biological origin. Fossil fuels like petroleum and natural gas are derived from the dead and decaying biological matter.

10. Next-Generation Biofuels

Worried because of the rapidly exhausting fossil-fuels? Don’t bother a bit because biology, once again, is at your rescue. The development of the biofuels is on the rise. The cultivation and processing of the Jatropha curcas L. (JCL) are increasing because the Jatropha oil is effectively used in engines and diesel generators. What’s more surprising is the fact that Jatropha oil can be utilized directly after extraction, even without refining. Ethanol, manufactured from plant sugars, is mixed with gasoline so as to increase the fuel efficiency. Various biofuels currently in use are derivatives of algae, corn, wheat, rapeseed oil, and sugar beets. The use of biofuels will open a new avenue of fuels to combat the issue of pollution and carbon emission.

11. Drugs: Boon or Bane?

The use of drugs and alcohol has been on the rise among the youth which is a major issue of concern for the society. Majority of the drugs, like opioids, cannabinoids, and coca alkaloids, are obtained from the flowering plants. Other drugs like barbiturates, amphetamines, and benzodiazepines were employed to treat the patients with mental illness, depression, and insomnia. In addition to the drugs above, morphine was used as a painkiller and a useful sedative. However, unfortunately, many people have started misusing these medicinal drugs. When these drugs are taken for other purposes, let alone be medicinal, they affect an individual’s physical, physiological, and psychological functions. Substance use has adverse effects like respiratory failure, heart failure, cerebral hemorrhage and may lead to coma and death.

Best Science Websites for Teaching Biology

HHMI Biointeractive

You may be familiar with HHMI’s free movies and posters they also offer films that are available to stream from the site. Other options include 3-D interactives, virtual labs, and printable activities.

Biology Junction

If you need a template for lab reports, ideas for your biology club, pacing guides or lessons for biology, Pre-AP Biology, or AP Biology, this is a good place to start.

Biology Corner

Developed by a high school teacher, Biology Corner includes curated resources from around the web paired with extra practice and presentations and as well as ready-to-use investigations.

Virtual Urchin

Sounds odd, but this robust site hosted by Stanford University utilizes sea urchins as an engaging entry point to life science concepts ranging from basic biology (introductory microscopy and predator-prey relationships) to university-level curriculum (gene function in embryos).


This site’s evolution lab makes phylogeny and evolutionary history accessible to all students while scaffolding an understanding of the fossil record, the role of DNA in evolution, and an introduction to biogeography. Kids can also play the role of a molecular engineer by solving RNA folding puzzles.

National Geographic Education

The resource library offers learning materials and activities on topics such as Oceanography, Cloning, Heterotrophs, and Genetically Modified Organisms.

Annenberg Learner Interactives

Rediscovering Biology: Molecular to Global Perspectives is an advanced course designed for high school teachers who possess substantial knowledge of basic biology but who want to update their content knowledge and understanding. The multimedia course materials include video, online text, interactive web activities, and a course guide.


Visit the undergraduate and graduate pages for course requirements for specific programs. For up-to-date information on course offerings, schedules, room locations and registration, please visit the Student Information System (SIS).

Undergraduate Courses

Bio 001 Environment Preservation and Improvement. Cross-listed as ENV 91
Seminar based on current readings from environmental journals that provide insight into environmental science for use by scientists, science media, business leaders, and political decision makers. Topic areas include biodiversity and wildlife, alternative energy, ocean protection, climate shift, urban ecology, sustainable agriculture, GIS and remote imagery.
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 004 Gross Anatomy. Cross-listed as OTS 102
A systemic approach to human anatomy, including the skeletal, muscular, respiratory, digestive, genital, urinary, and nervous systems. Detailed study of the upper and lower extremities, emphasizing normal function. Laboratory sessions weekly.
Prerequisites: Any college biology course.
Typically Offered: Fall, Summer

Bio 005 Neuroanatomy. Cross-listed as OTS 103
The structure and basic function of the nervous system: both central and peripheral nerves analyzed as to functional components, course, and action. Basic tracts of the central nervous system outlined and traced. Laboratory sessions weekly.
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 006 Big Bang to Humankind. Cross-listed as CHEM 6 and AST 6
An exploration of the origins of the Universe, the formation of Earth and its structure, the chemistry of life, the development of complex organisms, and the development of modern humans including evidence for the various ideas presented, the scientific method used by scientists, and how the community of scientists evaluate the evidence. This course does not fulfill pre-med requirements for a lab-based chemistry course.
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 007 Environmental Biology. Cross-listed as ENV 7
An examination of major natural and created ecosystems and human influences on them. Biological bases for species distributions, human population size, and conservation. Ecological bases for sound land use and pollution abatement.
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 008 Microbiology of Food.
Systems-based approach to how microbes play critical roles in the production, processing, and consumption of foods. Tools that microbiologists are using to study the microbiology of food systems basic principles of microbial diversity, ecology, evolution, physiology, and genetics using a farm-to-gut approach. Equal attention to beneficial microbes as well as the historical and contemporary impacts of pathogens. Guest lectures from farmers, chefs, and local food producers and in-class demonstrations and tastings.
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 010 Plants and Humanity. Cross-listed as ENV 10
Principles of botany accenting economic aspects and multicultural implications of plants, their medicinal products, crop potential, and biodiversity. Emphasis placed on global aspects of this dynamic science, with selected topics on acid rain, deforestation, biotechnology, and other applications. Also covered are medicinal, poisonous, and psychoactive species, as well as nutritional sources from seaweeds and mushrooms to mangos and durians.
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 011 Kinesiology. Cross-listed as Occupational Therapy 104
Introduction to normal human movement. The basic anatomical, physiological, and biomechanical principles that underpin normal movement and function. Includes the assessment of muscle and joint function through manual muscle testing and goniometry. Emphasis on the biomechanics of everyday activities.
Typically Offered: Summer

Bio 012 Evolution in Our World.
Designed for non-biology majors, explores the diversity of life on our planet, how that diversity came about, and how human actions are causing changes for the future. The evidence for evolutionary change the mechanisms through which such changes occur and the ways in which pollution, ocean acidification, and climate change are subjecting all organisms to a new range of selective pressures. Applications of evolutionary thinking to biomedical research.
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 013 Cells and Organisms with Lab.
An introductory course primarily for prospective biology majors. General biological principles and widely used methods related to current advances in cell and molecular biology, genetics, immunology, plant and biomedical sciences. Two lectures and one laboratory each week. Credit cannot be received for both BIO 13 and ES 11.
Recommendations: Advanced high-school chemistry and biology recommended.
Typically Offered: Fall, Summer

Bio 014 Organisms and Population with Lab.
Forms a logical sequel to BIO 13. Selected topics in animal and plant physiology, development, genetics, and population biology, with emphasis on evolutionary mechanisms. Two lectures and one laboratory each week.
Recommendations: BIO 13 strongly recommended.
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 040 Bioinformatics. Cross-listed as COMP 7
A hands-on introductory course in bioinformatics for students with little or no computer science background. Basic programming skills for data manipulation and analysis. Methods and applications of online tools for sequence alignment, molecular phylogeny, gene expression data analysis, and linking molecular variation to disease. Counts towards the laboratory requirement for the biology major. (Group Q)
Prerequisites: BIO 41 or BME 62 or equivalent.
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 041 General Genetics.
Basic concepts of classical and molecular genetics, including Mendelian genetics, genetic mapping, the genetic code, gene transcription and translation, regulation in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, genomics, and human chromosomal abnormalities. Two lectures.
Prerequisites: Requires completion of BIO 13 or equivalent.
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 044 Primate Social Behavior. Cross-listed as ANTH 44
Introduction to social lives of primates. Uses experimental and observational studies to teach students how to understand and engage with scientific literature and method. Covers ecological, physiological, and developmental bases of primate social behavior, with attention to evolution of social interactions among individuals of different age, sex, relatedness, and status. Topics include competition and cooperation, dominance and territoriality, sex and mating, parenting, cognition and conservation. Includes a weekly lab where students will learn primatological methods. No pre-requisites. (Group C)
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 046 Cell Biology.
Basic concepts of cellular organization, function, and regulation. Emphasis on molecular/biochemical research methods used in the study of protein structure and function, gene expression and regulation, signal transduction, intracellular transport, and cell communication. (Group A)
Prerequisites: BIO 0013 or permission of instructor.
Recommendations: Completion or co-enrollment in BIO 41.
Typically Offered: Spring, Summer

Bio 049 Experiments in Physiology.
Experimental investigations of several problems in physiology using a wide variety of modern techniques. Classes will concentrate on several biological concepts and emphasize appropriate experimental design, data collection, data analysis and presentation. One laboratory session per week plus one discussion period.
Prerequisites: Requires completion of BIO 14 or equivalent.
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 050 Experiments in Molecular Biology.
Investigation of series of laboratory problems using modern techniques of biotechnology. Gene cloning, recombinant protein expression, protein biochemistry, and immunochemistry are emphasized for teaching state-of-the-art laboratory skills and for reinforcing basic concepts of modern molecular biology. One laboratory session per week plus one discussion period.
Prerequisites: Requires completion of BIO 13 or equivalent.
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 051 Experiments in Ecology. Cross-listed as ENV 51
An introduction to field research in different habitats. Emphasis on acquiring skills in taxonomic identification, sampling techniques, hypothesis testing and experimental design, data analysis and interpretation, as well as oral and written communication. Opportunity for student-designed group research projects on ecological questions. One laboratory session per week plus one discussion period.
Prerequisites: Requires completion of BIO 14 or equivalent.
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 052 Experiments in Cell Biology.
The field of Cell Biology focuses on examining cells and the behaviors they perform. This course will introduce students to the investigation of several laboratory problems using standard techniques of cell biology examining diverse organisms, ranging from single cells to intact animals. One laboratory session per week plus one discussion period.
Prerequisites: Requires completion of BIO 13 or equivalent.
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 054 Molecular Genetics Projects Lab.
A discovery-based research experience in the field of molecular genetics, taught at the introductory level. Students will each carry out a related independent research project using modern techniques in genetics and molecular biology to discover gene function, identify proteins that play a role in maintaining genome stability, and develop testable hypotheses. Techniques used will include genetic assays, PCR, gene knockouts, and phenotype analysis.
Prerequisites: BIO 13. Genetics prior to or concurrent with taking the course is suggested but not required. The course is appropriate for sophomores and juniors with no prior laboratory experience.
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 055 Microbiome Research Lab.
Concepts and techniques in microbiome science through independent research projects. Designing and conducting experiments to characterize microbiome diversity, identify processes that control microbiome composition, and quantify functional roles of microbiomes. Principles of experimental design, microbial genomics and metagenomics, microbiome data management and analysis, in vitro microbiome reconstruction, experimental evolution, microbial trait analysis, and microbial genetic screens.
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 061 Biology of Aging.
An introduction to concepts relevant to the biology of aging. Focus on molecular, cellular, and physiological changes that occur during the aging process in humans and other organisms. Major topics include theories of aging, genetic regulation of longevity in model systems, and therapeutic modulation of the aging process. (Group A)
Prerequisites: BIO 13 and BIO 14 or their equivalent, or consent.
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 062 Molecular Biotechnology. Cross-listed as ChBE 62 and BME 02
Overview of key aspects of molecular biology and engineering aspects of biotechnology. Lecture topics include molecular biology, recombinant DNA techniques, immunology, cell biology, protein purification, fermentation, cell culture, combinatorial methods, and bioinformatics. May be taken at the 100-level with consent. (Group A)
Prerequisites: Consent
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 075 Comparative Vertebrate Physiology.
A comparative study of vertebrate function. Physiology of selected systems, including digestion, circulation, excretion, respiration, and temperature regulation. Emphasis on physiological adaptations to the environment. Three lectures. (Group B)
Prerequisites: BIO 13 and BIO 14. One year of chemistry recommended.
Typically Offered: TBD

Bio 093/094 Introduction to Research.
At least ten hours per week of guided laboratory research, generally including one hour of consultation or seminar with research supervisor and a paper. Details of individual project to be worked out with the supervisor. Gives students an opportunity to participate in biological research on the Tufts Medford/Somerville and Boston campuses. Does not satisfy laboratory or course requirement for the major in biology. May be counted as credit toward degree only. Students typically initiate independent research in their sophomore or junior years. Pass/fail grading.
Recommendations: Permission of research mentor and subsequently course coordinator.
Typically Offered: Bio 93-Spring, Bio 94- Fall

Undergraduate and Graduate Courses

Bio 103 Developmental Biology.
Basic concepts of developmental biology with emphasis on the molecular events underlying the morphological changes that occur during development. Examples will be drawn from a number of phyla to illustrate developmental mechanisms, e.g., gametogenesis, cleavage, organogenesis and determination, cell-cell interactions, induction, and programs of gene activation. (Group A)
Recommendations: BIO 41 or BIO 46.
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 104 Immunology.
Concepts of modern immunology and their importance in biology. Topics include humoral and cellular immune responses, antibody structure and biosynthesis, antigen-antibody interactions, cellular immunology, immunological tolerance, autoimmunity, and tumor immunology. (Group A)
Recommendations: BIO 41.
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 105 Molecular Biology.
Gene structure and function in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, fundamentals of recombinant DNA technology. Molecular mechanisms of DNA replication and repair, recombination, transcription, and protein synthesis are emphasized. Advanced topics including regulation of gene expression during development, transposition, and regulation of chromatin structure are based on current literature. (Group A)
Recommendations: BIO 41.
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 106 Microbiology Lecture.
A survey of the structures and functions of microbes, including bacteria, archaea, viruses, and eukaryotic microbes (fungi, protists). Topics include microbial genetics, physiology, cell biology, diversity, evolution, ecology, and the human microbiome. BIO 107 (Microbiology Lab) is not required but may be taken concurrently. (Group A or C)
Prerequisites: Requires completion of BIO 13, BIO 14, and BIO 41 or graduate standing.
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 107 Microbiology Lab.
Examination of microbial diversity and function using laboratory techniques to isolate, identify, and manipulate microbes. Introduction to microscopy, sterile technique, microbial cell culture, microbial physiology, sequence-based microbial identification, and antibiotic susceptibility testing. One laboratory session per week. Must be taken concurrently with BIO 106 (Microbiology Lecture).
Prerequisites: BIO 13, BIO 14, and BIO 41, or graduate standing.
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 108 Plant Development. Cross-listed as ENV 108
Structural and physiological aspects of plant development. Genetic and environmental influences on development as these pertain to germination, root and shoot growth, and plant sexuality and flowering. Information on corn, bean, and tobacco systems will be extended to diverse groups such as cacti, ferns, bromelaids, water plants, parasitic and carnivorous plants. (Group B)
Recommendations: BIO 13 and BIO 14, or equivalent.
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 110 Endocrinology.
A comprehensive introduction to the chemical and physiological principle of hormonal integration in animals. Topics include endocrine regulation of metabolism, growth and development, reproduction, neural functions, mineral and water balance, behavior, and nutrition. (Group B)
Recommendations: BIO 13 and BIO 14, or equivalent.
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 115 General Physiology.
Elements of homeostasis, circulation, respiration, and excretion are discussed at various levels, from the molecular to the organ system. (Group B)
Recommendations: BIO 13 and BIO 14, or equivalent.
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 116 General Physiology II.
Elements of homeostasis and of endocrine, nervous, and digestive systems are discussed at various levels, from the molecular to the organ system. Material will include lessons from and comparisons across vertebrates and invertebrates. (Group B)
Prerequisites: BIO 13 and BIO 14, or equivalent.
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 117 Physiology of Movement.
Introduction to the physiological basis of human and animal movement. Topics include biomechanics, kinesiology, muscle and bone physiology, biological materials, and locomotion. (Group B or Q)
Prerequisites: BIO 13 and BIO 14 or equivalent required. Physics 1 and Math 32 will be helpful, but not required.
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 118 Plant Physiology.
Interaction of living plant components performing biological functions including water transport, mineral uptake, movements, and signaling between plant parts in response to environmental cues. (Group B)
Recommendations: BIO 13 and BIO 14, or equivalent. Introductory chemistry recommended.
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 119 Biophysics. Cross-listed as PHY 25, BME 25 and BME 125
Presentation at an introductory level of selected topics in physics relevant to modern medicine and biology. Development of topics to the point of application to biomedical problems. Topics drawn from acoustics, physics of fluids, diffusion, laser physics, and other subjects varying from year to year. Offered alternate years. (Group Q)
Recommendations: PHY 1, 2, or 11, 12 or permission of instructor.
Corequisites: MATH 42 (formerly MATH 13).
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 130 Animal Behavior. Cross-listed as ENV 130
An examination of ethological theory: the development of behavior, orientation, migration, communication, and social behavior. Particular emphasis will be placed on the functioning of animal societies. (Group C)
Recommendations: BIO 13 or 14, or equivalent or permission of instructor.
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 131 Principles of Medical Imaging. Cross-listed as BME 131 and EE 131
This interdisciplinary course presents the principles of medical imaging techniques such as diagnostic ultrasound, radiography, X-ray, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). For each imaging modality, topics include the physical principles, key aspects of instrumentation design, mathematical methods, and the anatomical/physiological information content of the images. Representative medical images will be discussed and interpreted. This course cannot be taken for basic science requirement for engineering students.
Recommendations: MATH 32 (formerly MATH 11), PHY 2 or 12, or permission of instructor.
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 132 Biostatistics.
An examination of statistical methods for designing, analyzing, and interpreting biological experiments and observations. Topics include probability, parameter estimation, inference, correlation, regression, analysis of variance, and nonparametric methods. (Group Q)
Prerequisites: BIO 13 and BIO 14, or equivalent, plus one additional biology course above BIO 14.
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 133 Ecological Statistics and Data w/Lab.
Probability and likelihood, fitting simple statistical models to data, and using these models to make predictions. Examples come from ecology, emphasis on monitoring plant and animal populations and forecasting how these populations will respond to changing environments. Includes use of discrete probability distributions (binomial and Poisson), building mixed and compounded probability distributions, an introduction to Bayesian statistics, and use of the open-source statistics program, R. Students should have a good working knowledge of high school algebra and an interest in ecology. (Group C or Q)
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 134 Neurobiology.
Biology of nervous systems. From the biophysical basis of neuronal function, through synaptic interactions and signal processing in neural circuits, to behavior, learning, and memory. Examples from both vertebrates and invertebrates. (Group B)
Recommendations: BIO 13 and BIO 14, plus one Group A course in biology or PSY 103.
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 142 Population and Community Ecology. Cross-listed as ENV 142
Introduction to population dynamics (population structure and growth), species interactions (predator-prey, competition, mutualism), and community structure (adaptations to the physical environment, patterns and processes governing the world’s biomes). (Group C)
Prerequisites: BIO 14 or equivalent, or permission of instructor.
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 143 Evolutionary Biology w/lab. Cross-listed as ENV 143
Examines hypotheses for patterns of biological diversity and for the apparent good fit of organisms to the environment. Topics include the genetic and developmental basis of evolutionary change, processes at the population level, the theory of evolution by natural selection, concepts of fitness and adaptation, rates and long-term trends in evolution, extinction, biogeographical patterns, determinants of conflict and cooperation, the evolution of sex and life history, modes of speciation, and coevolutionary dynamics. The laboratory will familiarize students with evolutionary genetics methods. Topics include genotype-phenotype relationships, DNA sequence assembly and alignment, gene and gene pathway function, estimation of population demography and phylogenetic relationships, and hypothesis testing. (Group A, C, or Q)
Recommendations: BIO 13 and BIO 14, or equivalent.
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 144 Principles of Conservation Biology. Cross-listed as ENV 144
Learning and application of principles from population ecology, population genetics, and community ecology to the conservation of species and ecosystems. Focus on rare and endangered species, as well as threatened ecosystems. Includes applications from animal behavior, captive breeding, and wildlife management. Readings from current texts and primary literature. (Group C)
Recommendations: BIO 14 or equivalent.
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 151 Mathematical Neuroscience. Cross listed as MATH 151
Mathematical and computational study of systems of differential equations modeling nerve cells (equilibria, limit cycles, bifurcations), neuronal networks (intrinsic rhythmic synchronization, entrainment by external inputs), and learning (synaptic plasticity), and of the potential function of rhythmic synchrony for signaling among neuronal networks and for plasticity. (Group Q)
Prerequisites: Math 51 or instructor’s consent.
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 152 Biochemistry and Cell Metabolism.
An in-depth examination of the structure and function of biomolecules: chemical and physical properties of proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids enzyme kinetics and mechanisms metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, and amino acids and the metabolic relationships of organ systems. (Group A)
Prerequisites: BIO 13 and CHEM 51 & 53 or equivalent
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 162 Molecular Biotechnology. Cross-listed as BME 162 and CHBE 162
Overview of key aspects of molecular biology and engineering aspects of biotechnology. Lecture topics include molecular biology, recombinant DNA techniques, immunology, cell biology, protein purification, fermentation, cell culture, combinatorial methods, bioethics, and bioinformatics with review and discussion of primary literature. Comprehensive technical paper on an emerging topic. Students may not receive credit for both BME162 and BME 33. (Group A)
Recommendations: CHEM 1, BIO 13 or permission of instructor.
Typically Offered: Summer

Bio 163 Recombinant DNA Techniques. Cross-listed as CHBE163 and BME 163
This lecture and laboratory course is designed to familiarize the student with methods employed to produce recombinant products. The lectures cover fundamental aspects of the recombinant DNA methodologies used in the laboratory as well as some commercial applications of the techniques. The laboratory provides hands-on experience with the key skills used in genetic engineering including DNA isolation, restriction enzyme mapping, cloning and selection, protein expression, gel electrophoresis, polymerase chain reaction, DNA sequencing, and related techniques. Cannot be taken for credit if BIO 50 is taken for credit. (Group A)
Recommendations: CHEM 1, BIO 13, or permission of instructor.
Typically Offered: Summer

Bio 164 Marine Biology. Cross-listed as ENV 164
An intermediate-level introduction to the biology of marine organisms. Detailed survey of major marine animal and plant groups food web dynamics physiological and ecological adaptations to key marine habitats, including the deep sea, coral reefs, estuaries, and the intertidal zone. The impact of global warming, ocean acidification, and overfishing on marine communities and fisheries. (Group C)
Prerequisites: BIO 13 and BIO 14, or equivalent.
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 168 Biotechnology Processing Projects Lab. Cross-listed as BME 168 and CHBE 168
Laboratory experience with techniques in biotechnology processing: fermentation of recombinant E. coli cells, hybridoma cell culture, purification of proteins and antibodies and related analytical procedures. Laboratories accompanied by lectures and relevant readings to cover the underlying principles. Counts as laboratory course for biology major.
Typically Offered: TBD

Bio 169 Seminar in Biotechnology. Cross-listed as BME 169 and CHBE 169
Seminar course. Journal articles on current biotechnology-related research are reviewed. Leading researchers in the field present seminars and students assess future research directions based on in-depth review of articles and presentations. (Group A)
Recommendations: BIO 62/162
Typically Offered: TBD

Bio 171 Biochemistry I. Cross- listed as CHEM 171
Structure and function of proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and lipids. Mechanisms and molecular function of binding proteins, enzymes, and membrane transporters. In- depth explorations of metabolic pathways and regulation with connections to physiology and human disease. Prerequisites: CHEM 51 or two semesters of organic chemistry taken elsewhere. (Group A)
Recommendations: BIO 13.
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 172 Biochemistry II. Cross-listed as CHEM 172
Continuation of Biology 171. One course. (Group A)
Recommendations: BIO 171.
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 173 R for Biologists.
Introduction to R, the language and environment for statistical computing and graphics. Programming skills in R will be developed through a combination of reading and doing. (Group Q)
Typically Offered: TBD

Bio 174 Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering.
Covers synthesis, characterization, and functional properties of organic and inorganic biomaterials and the process of tissue engineering. Fundamental issues related to the utility of biomaterials are explored based on their biocompatability, stability, interfaces, and fate in the body. Clinical applications for biomaterials are explored, as are new directions in design and synthesis to achieve better biocompatibility. Testing methods, regulatory issues, legal constraints, and emerging research directions are also discussed.
Recommendations: CHEM 2, or permission of instructor.
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 178 Seminar in Immunology.
Advanced topics in immunology. Readings and discussion of the current literature emphasized. Topics include antigen presentation. T-cell activation, cytokine release and effects, self- and non-self recognition, and immunopathology of HIV. (Group A)
Recommendations: BIO 104 and permission of instructor.
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 179 Seminar: Marine Biology.
Exploration of the primary scientific literature in areas selected by mutual consent. Topics may include symbiotic interactions, migration and dispersal, larval ecology, adult feeding and locomotory biology, responses to pollutants, and physiology of deep-sea animals. Strong focus on developing critical reading skills and effective writing through frequent, short assignments. (Group C)
Recommendations: Junior standing and BIO 164 or permission of instructor.
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 180 Seminar in Conservation Biology.
Advanced topics in conservation biology. Readings and discussion of the current literature emphasized. Topics will change each year example topics are landscape ecology, dynamics and conservation of small populations, and restoration ecology. Please see departmental website for detailed semester course descriptions. (Group C)
Recommendations: Upper level Group C course in Biology
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 181 Tropical Ecology Conservation. Cross-listed as ENV 181
Ecology and evolution of biodiversity in the tropics. Discussions of original literature presentations of particular ecosystems, communities, or organisms team design of research project to be completed during two weeks of intensive fieldwork in December/January in Costa Rica. Meets two times per week during the semester and is followed by a required research trip to Costa Rica. Funding may be available for those in need. (Group C)
Recommendations: BIO 14L or equivalent. Permission of instructor required.
Typically Offered: Fall- alternate years

Bio 182 Chimpanzee Behavioral Ecology. Cross-listed with ANTH 177
Advanced seminar on current topics in behavioral research of chimpanzees and bonobos. Topics may include foraging, dominance, cooperation, adolescence, reproduction, culture, ranging, cognition, molecular ecology, and social relationships. Discuss behavioral flexibility of chimpanzees among different communities across Africa. Learn to collect and analyze behavioral data. Compare the behavior of chimpanzees and bonobos with that of humans and examine how these species might serve as models for human evolution. (Group C)
Prerequisites: ANTH 44/BIO 44 or consent.
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 183 Darwinian Medicine Seminar.
The mechanistic vs. evolutionary causes of diseases and modern medical practice. Focus on the evolutionary causes of disease as a means of sharpening research skills and the understanding and application of Darwinian thought. Evolutionary hypothesis creation and testing in both oral and manuscript form. (Group C)
Prerequisites: BIO 130 or permission of instructor.
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 185 Food4All: Ecology, Technology, Sustainability. Cross-listed as ENV 182
An interdisciplinary examination of the pros and cons of two divergent approaches to meeting the increasing global food demand: organic farming and genetic engineering. Contrasting crops grown in developing and industrialized countries serve as case studies to evaluate: (1) how ecological knowledge makes food production more sustainable (2) what existing and emerging approaches can, in the face of climate change, contribute to a reliable supply of nutritious food and (3) the political and economic drivers that shape who has access to these technologies. An important focus is developing communication skills for negotiating stakeholder-specific perspectives (growers, advocacy groups, industry, governmental agencies). Please see departmental website for specific details. (Group C) Recommendations: Intro Bio or Intro Chemistry or equivalent
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 186 Seminar in Field Endocrinology.
Advanced seminar explores the mechanistic role of endocrine systems in coordinating how animals survive, breed, and adapt to the ever-changing natural environment. Emphasis on wild animals in natural conditions with focus on student-led discussions of primary scientific literature surrounding a core text. (Group B)
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 188 Seminar in Molecular Biology and Genetics.
Current topics in molecular biology, genetics and genomics, studied through readings from the original literature. Focus will be on studies recognized by the Nobel Prize Committee as pivotal to modern molecular biology and genetics. These studies and current research directions that follow from them will be covered using a combination of lectures, class discussion, and presentations. Selected topics of current interest to be covered include genome structure and polymorphisms as related to human disease, RNA functioning in the regulation of gene expression, and cell cycle regulation and cancer. (Group A)
Recommendations: BIO 41 and junior standing or permission of instructor.
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 190 DNA: Structure-function.
DNA is the indispensable molecule of life. Fundamentals of DNA structure and functioning are therefore central to understanding molecular genetics and genomics. In this course, DNA structure and function are examined through lectures and discussions of the original scholarly literature. Originally, DNA was believed to be a uniform right-handed double helix with limited structural flexibility. It has now become clear, however, that its structure is highly versatile, and this versatility is vital for major genetic processes. Topics include DNA secondary and tertiary structures, DNA topology and topoisomerases, mechanisms of protein-DNA recognition and the structure of the chromatin how the principles of DNA organization are employed in key genetic transactions, including DNA replication, transcription, repair, and recombination. (Group A)
Recommendations: BIO 41 and junior standing or consent.
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 193/194 Independent Research.
At least fifteen hours per week of laboratory or field investigation, which must include independent design of experiments. Students write a summary of research accomplished and give an oral presentation to members of the department.
Recommendations: Sophomore standing or higher, and BIO 93 or BIO 94 or equivalent, and prior permission of research mentor and course coordinator.
Typically Offered: BIO 193-Fall, BIO 194- Spring

Bio 195: Independent Study in Biology.
Exploration of special topics in biology through seminars or guided individual study. Prerequisite: consent.

Bio 196: Exploratory Topics in Biology.
Exploration of special topics in biology though seminars or lecture.

Bio 199 Senior Honors Thesis.
Intensive laboratory or field investigation, including independent design of experiments, a written thesis, and an oral defense. Application is made during the student's sixth semester. Normally, the applicant should have received at least three grades of A toward satisfying the concentration requirements for the biology major and should have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.30. This is a yearlong course. Each semester counts as 4 credits towards a student’s credit load. Students will earn 8 credits at the end of the second semester.

Graduate Courses

Bio 200 Lab Meeting.
Lab meeting of the Professor in the selected section. This course is only for
members of the lab, and should not be chosen without permission of the professor. It is 0 credits.
Typically Offered: Fall & Spring

Bio 201 Biology Department Seminar.
This course, designed for biology graduate students, explores in a seminar format current research in the field of Biology. A satisfactory grade translates into attendance of >80% of seminars.
Typically Offered: Fall & Spring

Bio 241 Advanced Genetics: DNA Repair and Genome Editing.
This course will teach the current state-of-the-art knowledge of DNA repair pathways that the cell uses to maintain a stable genome, including double-strand break repair, gap repair, repair and replication through DNA structures and chromatin, and consequences of inappropriate repair for cell health and cancer initiation. It will also cover current genome editing technologies including CRISPR-Cas9, adenovirus-mediated gene delivery for gene therapy, and RNAi. The course will have both a lecture component and a presentation/discussion component emphasizing reading original journal articles in these fields and techniques used to make discoveries.
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 243 Topics in Molecular and Cellular Biology.
Topics will be chosen from the following and differ each year: DNA repair, DNA replication, regulation of gene transcription, cellular mechanisms of maintaining genome stability, protein structure, protein function and regulation, cell biology of signaling pathways, cell-cell communication and biophysical controls of developmental morphology. Students will read and present papers from the current literature. Novel experimental techniques used to answer central questions will be emphasized.
(Group A)
Recommendations: A previous course in Cell and Molecular Biology, such as BIO 105 or equivalent, and permission of instructor.
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 244 Graduate Seminar in Evolutionary Ecology.
An examination of current topics in evolutionary ecology, including plant-herbivore coevolution, sexual selection, phenotypic plasticity, life-history strategies, and conservation biology. Reading and discussion of primary literature will include focus on experimental methodologies and statistical methods.
(Group C)
Recommendations: BIO 142 or 143, or equivalent, and permission of instructor.
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 246 Topics in Physiology of Animal Behavior.
An examination at the graduate level of current topics in physiology related to animal behavior. Topics may include biomechanics, neurophysiology, endocrinology and cognition. Students will read and present papers from the current literature. Discussions will focus on key papers in the field, critical evaluation of data or published interpretations and an understanding of experimental techniques used to answer central questions. (Group B)
Prerequisite recommendations: One course from Bio 110, 116, 134 or equivalent, and graduate standing or permission of the instructor.
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 253 Graduate Student Research Rotation-Fall.
A research rotation is an opportunity to explore a new area of Biology, to learn new techniques, and to become acquainted with some of the research ongoing in our department as students conduct intensive laboratory or field investigation, including independent design of experiments ending with a final oral report. Students will normally present their findings the Friday before the start of spring semester. Rotation Duration: Oral reports will be given to a group consisting of other students who have just finished a rotation, the sponsoring research mentors, members of the students' committees, graduate students, and other interested persons.
Recommendations: Consent.

Bio 254 Graduate Student Research Rotation-Spring.
A research rotation is an opportunity to explore a new area of Biology, to learn new techniques, and to become acquainted with some of the research ongoing in our department as students conduct intensive laboratory or field investigation, including independent design of experiments ending with a final oral report. Students will normally present their findings the Friday before the start of spring semester. Rotation Duration: Oral reports will be given to a group consisting of other students who have just finished a rotation, the sponsoring research mentors, members of the students' committees, graduate students, and other interested persons.
Recommendations: Consent.

Bio 255 Graduate Student Research Rotation-Summer.
A research rotation is an opportunity to explore a new area of Biology, to learn new techniques, and to become acquainted with some of the research ongoing in our department as students conduct intensive laboratory or field investigation, including independent design of experiments ending with a final oral report. Students will normally present their findings the Friday before the start of spring semester. Rotation Duration: Oral reports will be given to a group consisting of other students who have just finished a rotation, the sponsoring research mentors, members of the students' committees, graduate students, and other interested persons.
Recommendations: Consent.

Bio 256 Master’s Thesis, First Year.
This course provides credit for first year graduate student MS thesis research. The content includes learning experimental design, research presentations, and reading papers in the field of the chosen ThMS research.
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 257 Graduate Research and Experimental Design.
This course provides credit for second year graduate student thesis or dissertation research. The content includes learning experimental design, research presentations, and reading papers in the field of the chosen PhD or ThMS research.
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 258 Graduate Research and Experimental Design, 2nd Year.
This course provides credit for second year graduate student thesis or dissertation research. The content includes learning experimental design, research presentations, and reading papers in the field of the chosen PhD or ThMS research.
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 259 Capstone Research Proposal and Review.
This course consists of writing and successfully defending a Research Proposal by the end of the second PhD year, in accordance with the Biology Graduate Guidelines.

Bio 260 Teaching Biology: Pedagogy and Practice.
This course aims to enhance the professional development of graduate students by preparing them to teach biological sciences in academic venues that range from community colleges to Research I universities. Graduate student participants will be introduced to issues related to teaching in both lab and lecture settings and will apply effective teaching techniques in their own classrooms. Program participants will learn about pedagogy, gain practical teaching experience, and receive mentoring and formal evaluation of their teaching. The course requirements are designed to be flexible enough to be pursued alongside full-time disciplinary studies yet ensure that participants are rigorously trained in biology-specific pedagogy.
Recommendations: Consent / BIO13L Teaching Assistants
Typically Offered: Fall

Bio 262 Science Communication.
This course is designed to help graduate students learn how to communicate better about science to the public, to their fellow scientists, to advocacy groups, and to funding agencies. Scientists are increasingly called upon to explain and advocate science to diverse groups. This course will provide training in writing, speaking, and graphical presentation skills in a variety of formats. Students will also learn how to effectively edit and critique their work and others’. We will focus on writing and communicating in a popular style so that students can develop their abilities to present information clearly and logically such skills will translate naturally into writing for scientific journals, for grants, and for presentations at conferences.
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 263 Special Topics.
Please contact the department for detailed information.

Bio 264 Molecular Biotechnology. Cross-listed as CHBE 262 and BME 262
Overview of key aspects of molecular biology and engineering aspects of biotechnology. Lecture topics include molecular biology, recombinant DNA techniques, immunology, cell biology, protein purification, fermentation, cell culture, combinatorial methods, and bioinformatics. (Group A.) Includes a semester-long technical project and oral presentation. (Also offered as lower-level.)
Typically Offered: Spring

Bio 291 Graduate Seminar in Molecular and Development Biology A/B.
Presentation of individual reports on basic topics in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology to a seminar group for discussion and criticism.

Bio 292 Graduate Seminar A/B.
Presentation of individual reports on basic topics to a seminar group for discussion and criticism. Contact departmental for specific details.

Bio 293 Special Topics.
Guided individual study of an approved topic.

Bio 294 Special Topics.
Guided individual study of an approved topic.

Bio 295 Master’s Thesis.
Guided research on a topic that has been approved as a suitable subject for a master's thesis.

Bio 296 Master’s Thesis.
Guided research on a topic that has been approved as a suitable subject for a master's thesis.

Bio 297 PhD Dissertation.
Guided research on a topic suitable for a doctoral dissertation.

Bio 298 PhD Dissertation.
Guided research on a topic suitable for a doctoral dissertation.

Watch the video: Molecular Biology A Review of the Basics Part 1 (September 2022).


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  5. Andrue

    We must have a look !!!

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