Like most introductory science textbooks, this one opens with a discussion of scientific method. A key feature is its focus on experimental support for what we know about cell and molecular biology. Understanding how science is practiced and how investigators think about experimental results is essential to understanding the relationship of cell structure and function…, not to mention our relationship to the natural world. This is a free Open Education Resource (OER), covered by a Creative Commons CCBY license (check out the Preface!). Every chapter begins with learning objectives and links to relevant recorded lectures. As used by the author, the iText engages students with embedded “just-in-time” learning tools. These include instructor’s annotations (comments) directing students to animations or text of interest, as well as links to writing assignments and quizzes. These interactive features aim to strengthen critical thinking and writing skills necessary to understand cell and molecular biology, not to mention science as a way of thinking in general. Please excuse the marketing terms, but you can choose between Bronze, Silver, or Gold versions, reflecting increasing potential for student interaction with the iText. Download your choice of the iText or the sample chapter at one of the links below.
Study of the core cellular functions (replication, recombination, repair, transcription and translation), and the regulatory mechanisms that control them, including the temporal and spatial order of gene expression.
An integrated course stressing the principles of biology. Life processes are examined primarily at the molecular and cellular levels. Intended for students majoring in biology or for non-majors who wish to take advanced biology courses.
BI102: Survey of Molecular Life and Genetics is intended for one term of the introductory biology course for non-science majors taught at many two- and four-year colleges. The concepts of genetics, as they apply to the study of life, are introduced, including the principles of inheritance, genetics, and gene regulation.
This textbook incorporates the mandates found in Vision and Change and focuses on the non-content aspects of biology education that are just as important. Additionally, this book explicitly teaches the general education outcomes that we have identified as important for this class. This textbook pulls together biology content resources that are accessible for our community college non-major biology students, as well as resources to provide them with explicit instruction in the quantitative literacy, communication, and information literacy general education outcomes as they relate to the biology content they are learning.
Table of Contents
I. Reference Information
II. The Process of Science
III. Themes and Concepts of Biology
IV. Cell Structure and Function
V. Membranes and movement of molecules
VI. Enzyme-catalyzed reactions
VII. How cells obtain energy
This "textbook" is interactive, meaning that although each chapter has text, they also have interactive HTML5 content, such as quizzes, simulations, interactive videos, and images with clickable hotspots. Students receive instant feedback when they complete the interactive content, and therefore, can learn and check their understanding all in one place. The first unit introduces students to the nature of science, including scientific controversies, and information literacy, including how to analyze literature and identify stakeholders. Unit 2 is organismal biology, including carbon cycling and population growth, and unit 3 is molecular biology with a focus on gene expression.
Table of Contents
I. Introduction to Science
1. Nature of Science
2. Scientific Controversies
3. Information Communication
4. Stakeholders and Authority
II. Organismal Biology
6. Introduction to Ecology
8. Systems Thinking and the Carbon Cycle
9. Climate Change
10. Species Interactions
11. Population Growth
13. Phylogenetic Trees: Modeling Evolution
III. Molecular Biology
14. Introduction to Molecular Biology
15. Protein Structure and Function
16. Protein Synthesis Overview
17. Protein Synthesis I: Transcription
18. Protein Synthesis II: RNA Processing
19. Protein Synthesis III: RNA Interference
20. Protein Synthesis IV: Translation
21. Protein Synthesis V: Additional Regulation
22. Genetic Engineering
Though biology as we know it today is a relatively new field, we have been studying living things since the beginning of recorded history. This introductory course in biology starts at the microscopic level, with molecules and cells, then moves into the specifics of cell structure and behavior. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: Describe in general terms how life began on Earth; Identify early scientists that played important roles in furthering our understanding of cellular life; Describe the characteristics that define life; List the inorganic and organic molecules that are necessary for life; List the structure and function of organelles in animal and plant cells; List the similarities and differences between animal and plant cells; Describe the reactions in photosynthesis; Explain how the different photosynthetic reactions are found in different parts of the chloroplast; Describe the sequence of photosynthetic reactions; Explain the use of products and the synthesis of reactants in photosynthesis; Explain how protein is synthesized in eukaryotic cells; Describe the similarities and differences between photosynthesis and aerobic respiration; List the reactions in aerobic respiration; Explain the use of products and the synthesis of reactants in aerobic respiration; Describe the similarities and differences between anaerobic and aerobic respiration. (Biology 101; See also: Psychology 203)
This lab course supplements Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology. Although it does not replicate a true lab experience, it does enable further exploration of some key principles of molecular and cellular biology. In each unit, the student will work through tutorials related to important scientific concepts, and then will be asked to think creatively about how those concepts can be put to practical or experimental use. This lab course also contains activities devoted to learning important techniques in scientific study such as microscope use, DNA extraction, Polymerase Chain Reaction, and examination of DNA microarrays. Upon successful completion of this lab supplement, students will be able to: Identify the important components of scientific experiments and create their own experiments; Identify the molecular differences between proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, and explain the molecular behavior of water; Describe the process of photosynthesis; Describe the process of cellular respiration; Identify the differences between DNA and RNA; Describe the entire transcription/translation process, from gene to protein; Explain how recombinant genomes are formed; Use critical thinking to find ways that any of the above natural processes might be altered or manipulated; Explain how to use a compound light microscope for data collection; Explain how to conduct and use various experimental techniques, including DNA extraction, PCR, and DNA microarrays. (Biology 101 Laboratory)
After a historical introduction to molecular biology, this course describes the basic types of DNA and RNA structure and the molecular interactions that shape them. It describes how DNA is packaged within the cellular nucleus as chromosomes. It also describes the core processes of molecular biology: replication of DNA, transcription of DNA into messenger RNA, and translation of messenger RNA into a protein. These are followed by modifications of these basic processes: regulation of gene expression, DNA mutation and repair, and DNA recombination and transposition. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: discuss the experimental findings that lead to the discovery of inheritance laws; discuss the experimental findings that lead to the identification of DNA as the hereditary material; compare and contrast the structure and function of mRNA, rRNA, tRNA, and DNA; identify the characteristics of catalyzed reactions; compare and contrast enzyme and ribozyme catalyzed reactions; discuss the structure of the chromosome and the consequence of histone modifications in eukaryotes; discuss the stages of transcription, differential splicing, and RNA turnover; predict the translation product of an mRNA using the genetic code; compare and contrast transcription and translation in prokaryotes and eukaryotes; identify codon bias and variations of the standard genetic code; compare and contrast the regulation of prokaryotic and eukaryotic gene expression; predict the activation of an operon and tissue specific gene expression based on the availability of regulators; compare and contrast mutations based on their effect on the gene product; discuss DNA repair mechanisms; discuss DNA recombination, transposition, and the consequence of exon shuffling; design custom-made recombinant DNA using PCR, restriction enzymes, and site-directed mutagenesis; compare and contrast the uses of model organisms; discuss the uses of model organisms in specific molecular biology applications. (Biology 311)
This overview reviews key concepts and learning activities to help students understand how genes influence our traits by molecular processes. Topics covered include basic understanding of the important roles of proteins and DNA; DNA structure, function and replication; the molecular biology of how genes influence traits, including transcription and translation; and the molecular biology of mutations. To help students understand the relevance of these molecular processes, the suggested learning activities link alleles of specific genes to human characteristics such as albinism, sickle cell anemia and muscular dystrophy. This overview provides links to suggested activities which include hands-on laboratory and simulation activities, web-based simulations, discussion activities and a vocabulary review game.
This course develops and applies scaling laws and the methods of continuum and statistical mechanics to biomechanical phenomena over a range of length scales, from molecular to cellular to tissue or organ level.