Newsworthy Topics in Biology

Fall 2003



Mellinda M. Curis, Capwell Hall 303, 945-5141, x3001. email:  Office hours:  TBA.  I am also available by appointment.

Dr. Jerry Skinner, Capwell Hall 208, 945-5141, x3108. email: Office hours: TBA, and by appointment.

Dorothy Anthony, Lab Instructor.

Class Meetings:
     Lectures: Section 01:   Capwell 212, M-W-F 1-1:50 pm (Skinner)                      

                       Section 02:    Capwell 212, T-Th 9:30-10:45 am (Curis)
     Lab in Capwell 309: Tues   2-3:50 pm (Anthony), Tues 4-5:50 pm (Anthony), Wed 2-3:50 pm (Curis)

Required Materials
Text: Discover magazine, Tuesday's Science section of the New York Times.  All students enrolled must have subscriptions to both. And other assigned readings which will be provided to you.
Laboratory Materials will be available in the bookstore or handed out in class.

Online Biology Book

Course Description
Biology 101 is a one semester general biology course designed for the non-science major. This general biology course focuses on basic biological concepts and recent advances in biology, genetics, evolution and biotechnology.  Upon completion of this course, you should gain sufficient knowledge to become an active member of our increasingly technological society.

Course Objectives:
At the conclusion of this course you will be able to

  1. describe the structure of the cell and the function of various cell organelles.
  2. describe the basic tenets of biology:  cell theory, theory of evolution, and inheritance.
  3. describe the basic chemistry of life.
  4. analyze how recent advances may impact on society.

Course Policies

Attendance, Exams, and Assignments
You will attend ALL lectures and labs, and read all assigned materials beforehand. Attendance and participation will be considered in the final grade.  You are expected to be punctual, prepared for class, attentive, and respectful of others.  If you arrive late for an exam, you may not be permitted to take that exam.  **If you cannot attend an exam you will not be permitted to make it up unless I am informed beforehand! Make-up exams will be provided in only the most adverse circumstances (e.g., serious illness).  Documentation of the circumstance (e.g., doctor's note) may be required.  Laboratory exams may not be made up under any circumstances.

Assignments are expected to be turned in on time.  Late assignments will not be accepted except in the most adverse circumstances.  Documentation of the circumstance (e.g., doctor's note) will be required.  No lab assignments will be accepted for labs you have not attended.

You are expected to follow Keystone College's policy on academic honor (re:  plagiarism, cheating, etc.)  Academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean and result in a grade of zero.

If you have a disability that may require special assistance or accommodation, please contact your professor as soon as possible.

Reaction Papers are to be written and turned in for all articles assigned.  Late assignments will not be accepted. They must be no longer than one typed page (12 point font, double spaced, 1.5" margins).  The first paragraph will be a brief summary of the article.  The second paragraph is to be your reaction to the article.  The paper should include a vocabulary list of new terms you encountered with definitions that you understand.  You should be prepared for quizzes on vocabulary before the article is discussed

Grading Policy:

Four exams @100 pts  = 400 pts
Comprehensive final = 150
Participation = 100
Reaction papers = 100
Debate/Paper = 100
Laboratory = 250
GRAND TOTAL  1100 pts.

Grading scale:

    B+ 87-89.9 C+ 77-79.9 D 60-69.9
A > 93.0% B 83-86.9 C 73-76.9 F < 60%
A- 90-92.9 B- 80-92.9 C- 70-72.9    

If you have a 96.000% or higher average, you are exempt from taking the final exam.


This schedule is tentative and subject to change.

AUG 26 What's alive?; the scientific method; pseudoscience; No Lab This Week
SEP 1 No class Monday, Labor Day

Like Alaska, Like Europa

Deep Under the Sea, Boiling Founts of Life Itself

The Microscope
  8 Great Mysteries of Evolution Scientific Method
  15 Watery Grave Biological Molecules
  22 West Nile Virus Cells & Membranes
  29    Enzymes
OCT 6  Midterm Week Lab Practical Exam
13 No Class Monday, Columbus Day

Cell Structure & Organelles:  organelle diseases

Eukaryotic Cell Division
  20    Human Genetics
  27    Molecular Biology
NOV 3   Mendelian Genetics/Fruit Flies I
  10  Wed, Nov 12-Last day to drop course. rDNA pGlo Bacteria
  17    Fruit Flies II
24 Thanksgiving-classes meet only Mon and Tues No Labs this week
DEC 1    Lab Practical Exam
  8 Finals week:  time and place to be announced