Introduction to Biology
Full course description
Biology, the science of life, studies organisms as the basic units of life. How they are evolved, how they are build up, how they act, how they communicate with each other, how they are related to the non-living environment, and how they reproduce. Since organisms are built up of cells, the basic unity of all life forms, the course will start with biomolecules and reactions that enable life, followed by tasks about organelles, cells, DNA and the protein machinery that results in the diversity of cells. We will continue with cell growth and differentiation, metabolism and reproduction. Towards the end of the course, we will go into organ systems and evolutionary mechanisms that ultimately provide the biodiversity on planet Earth.
After this course, students are able to
- classify the 4 molecules of life based on structure and function
- differentiate between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells based on organelles and their function
- summarize the main pathways to generate ATP
- compare and contrast the processes of cellular respiration and photosynthesis
- transcribe and translate molecules if DNA, mRNA, or amino acid sequence is given
- describe the phases of mitosis and meiosis
- provide and use examples of homeostatic mechanisms in animal bodies
- differentiate between innate and adaptive immunity
- recognize top-down or bottom-up effects in food chains
- differentiate between homologous and analogous adaptations
NB: This course is aimed at students who have only taken basic level biology. It is strongly suggested that students with substantial high school experience in biology consider taking relevant 2000-level courses directly (for an indication of the relevant topics, see SCI-B,). However, the content of this course does go beyond high school biology end level. It is possible to take this course without having previously taken biology, but it will be challenging.
Campbell et al., Biology, a global appraoch, 11th edition, 2018.
Sadava et al., Life, the science of biology, 11th edition, 2016.
- B. Schmitz