BIO 111: Molecules, Genes, and Cells

 

Fall 2008
Classes: MWF 12:30-1:20, Chambers 1006
Labs: M or W 1:30-4:20, Watson 147

BIO 111 homepage: http://www.bio.davidson.edu/courses/Bio111/Bio111.html

Dr. David Wessner
Watson 218, x2846

Office Hours: TR 10:00-12:00

Genetically modified foods. The Human Genome Project. Embryonic stem cells. Cancer vaccines. Gene therapy. As we begin the 21st century, stories about these and many other topics are in the news on a regular basis. It has become imperative that all people develop an understanding of cell and molecular biology to make informed decisions in the grocery store, at the doctor's office, and in the voting booth. BIO 111 is designed to provide you with this information. By the end of this semester, everyone should have a firm grasp of the major concepts that guide our understanding of how cells work. Just as importantly, we will examine how science is done. As we will see throughout the semester, the ability to ask intelligent questions, plan well thought-out experiments, and analyze the data generated by such experiments is more important than simply memorizing every fact in the textbook. Finally, we will emphasize the importance of communicating our newly found knowledge with a larger audience. If you cannot describe a concept we discuss in class to your friends, your parents, or your cousin Martha during Thanksgiving dinner, then you probably don’t understand the concept.

Bio 111 is organized very differently from most other introductory science courses. As you can see from the syllabus, the semester will be divided into 4 sections: 1) Cellular Communication, 2) Genetics, 3) Bioenergetics, and 4) Miscellaneous Topics. Rather than simply reading the textbook from the beginning to the end, we will attempt to address a series of questions during the semester, using the textbook, Study Guide, Internet, and other outside sources to understand the answers to these questions. The syllabus lists pages in the Study Guide that should be read for each class. The Study Guide provides pages in the textbook that should be skimmed (brief overview readings) or read thoroughly (focused readings). It also provides links to material on the WWW that should be read thoroughly. I expect everyone to come to class with a good understanding of the readings assigned for that day. Finally, the Study Guide contains study questions after each section. You are not required to hand in answers to these questions. You should, however, be able to answer them. Discuss these questions with your classmates and, if you don’t understand a question, ask in class.

Reviews and the final exam will draw on material covered in lectures, all assigned readings, and the laboratory sessions. Because of the shear volume of stuff that needs to be covered in Bio 111, we may not actually discuss all of the assigned readings in class. Nevertheless, you will be responsible for the material. Dates for reviews and laboratory assignments are listed in the syllabus. Don't even think about asking for extensions.

There is no attendance policy for the lectures, but . . . material often will be covered in lecture that is not in any of the assigned readings and class participation will be noted and is highly encouraged. Attendance at all laboratory sessions is mandatory. Any unexcused absence will result in a one letter grade decrease in the final course grade. Again, I will assume that everyone in class is well prepared, has read the assigned readings, and is ready to discuss the material.

Required Reading Material

Life: The Science of Biology, 8 th ed. 2008. Sadava, Heller, Orians, Purves, and Hillis. Sinauer Associates, Inc. Sunderland, MA.

Bio 111 Study Guide & Lab Manual . 2008. Campbell, Lom, Bernd, Hales, Wessner, and Sarafova. Davidson College, Davidson, NC.

 

Suggested Reading

New York Times, Science Times, Tuesdays

Scientific American

 

Grades

3 reviews

54% of final grade

2 laboratory presentations (oral and written)

16% of final grade

1 laboratory practical

8% of final grade

1 final exam

22% of final grade

Class participation
+/- 1/2 letter grade

 

Grading Scale

A

100-96

A-

95-90

B+

89-87

B

86-84

B-

83-80

C+

79-77

C

76-74

C-

73-70

D+

69-67

D

66-61

 

Lecture Schedule

Reading assignments listed refer to pages in the Study Guide. Additional readings are listed within the Study Guide. Note: this schedule is flexible. We may make changes if necessary.

Unit I: Cellular Communication

Date

   

Topic

Pages

Aug

25

M

Introduction. What is a Cell?

 

27

W

Getting Glucose into Your Blood

1-12

 

29

F

Sep

1

M

Your Heart Beats Faster

12-20

 

3

W

 

5

F

Your Legs Start Running

20-29

8

M

 

10

W

Fertilization of an egg

29-35

 

12

F

Quorum Sensing in Bacteria

 

15

M

 

 

17

W

Review I handed out (due by start of class on 9/19)

Unit II: Genetics

Date

   

Topic

Pages

Sep
19
F
Introduction to Genetics 39-40
 
22
M
Mendelian Genetics 40-45

24

W

 

26

F

DNA and the Genetic Code

45-55
 

29

M

   
Oct

1

W

 

3

F

   
 

6

M

Sickle Cell Anemia 55-58
 

8

W

 

10

F

Cystic Fibrosis

58-62

 

13

M

Fall Break!

 

15

W

RFLPs

62-67

 

17

F

Mapping the CF Gene

67-75

 

20

M

 

22

W

Identifying the CF Gene

75-83
 

24

F

 
 

27

M

Discussion

 
 

29

W

Review II - In Class

 

 

Unit III: Bioenergetics

Date

   

Topic

Pages

Oct

31

F

Introduction to Bioenergetics

88-89

Nov

3

M

Marijuana and Paraquat

89-98

 

5

W

 

7

F

Synthesizing Food

98-103

 

10

M

Cyanide and Terrorists

103-112

 

12

W

 

14

F

Rusty Nails and Lockjaw

112-115

 

17

M

Vegetarians and Tofu

115-117

 

19

W

 

21

F

Review III handed out (due by start of class on 11/24)

 

 

Unit IV: Miscellaneous Topics

Date

   

Topic

Pages

Nov

24

M

TBA

 

26

W

Thanksgiving Break!

 
 

28

F

Thanksgiving Break!

 
Dec

1

M

HIV/AIDS

131-151

 

3

W

 

5

F

Cancer

118-131

8

M

 

10

W

Discussion

 

Dec 12 — 18 Cumulative self-scheduled final exam



Laboratory Schedule

Date

  Pages

Topic

Aug

25

LM1-4

Safety Issues; How to Use a "Pipetman"

Sep

1

LM5-16

Introduction to Spectrophotometry

Sep

8

LM17-35

Isocitrate Dehydrogenase (IDH): Measurement of Enzyme Activity

Sep

15

LM36-44

Parameters that Affect IDH Activity: Independent Experiments

Sep

22

LM45-55

Introduction to Data Presentation

Sep

29

 

Lab Practical

Oct
6
LM56-62

What is Your Genotype? A PCR Answer

Oct

13

 

Fall Break Week

Oct

20

LM63-77

Using Microscopes; Chlamydomonas Flagellar Regeneration

Oct

27

LM78-80

Variations that Affect Flagellar Regeneration: Independent Experiments

Nov

3
LM81-86

A Beginner's Guide to Statistics and Excel

    LM87-88 Bring YFPM to Lab

Nov

10

 

Oral Presentations and Written Reports on Flagella Experiments.

    LM89-96

Spot-Overaly Ames Test of YFPM (Your Favorite Potential Mutagen)

Nov

17

LM97-101

Quantitating a Mutagen

Nov

24

 

Thanksgiving Break Week

Dec

1

 

Oral Presentations and Written Reports on Ames Test Experiments