Newsworthy Topics in Biology

Spring 2010

EarthAware Assignment-25 pts; due April 29

Dr. Jerry Skinner, Capwell Hall 211, 945-8404. email:

Office hours: M 10-11 am; T 10-11 am, W 11-noon, Th 9-10 am, F 1230-130 pm.


Section 1 T-TH 11 am -12:15 pm

Compressed schedule:  12-12:45 pm

J. Skinner Capwell 209
Section 2 M-F 12:30 - 1:45 pm M. Curis Capwell 209
Section 3 M-F   2:00 - 3:15 pm M. Curis Capwell 208

Labs: All labs are held in Capwell 307.

Tuesday Section 3 2-3:50 pm R. Ronchi
Wednesday Section 1 8-9:50 am R. Ronchi
  Section 2 10-11:50 am R. Ronchi
  Section 4 2-3:50 pm R. Ronchi
Thursday Section 5 6-7:50 pm R. Coker

In many labs you will be required to wear safety equipment such as goggles and a lab coat.  These will be provided to you as loaners.  However, if you desire your own personal attire, you may purchase it.



Biology Today     **ISBN: 9780815341574**


Minkoff, E. and P. Baker.  2004.  Biology Today:  An Issues Approach, 3rd edition.  Garland Science, NY.  768 pp.  ISBN 0815341571.

For the publisher's textbook website, click here.

Laboratory Materials are available in the bookstore.

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, and biotechnology.  In this course, you should gain sufficient knowledge to become active member of our increasingly technological society.

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

  1. describe the scientific process and distinguish between science and non-science.
  2. describe the structure of the cell and the function of various cell organelles.
  3. describe the basic tenets of biology:  cell theory; theory of evolution; and inheritance.
  4. describe the basic chemistry of life.
  5. describe the mechanisms in heredity.
  6. analyze how recent scientific advances may impact on society.

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.  Students are expected to be punctual, prepared for class, attentive, and respectful of others.  Students who arrive late for an exam my 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!  To reach me, leave a message with my Voice Mail or email.  Make-up exams will be provided in only the most adverse circumstances (e.g. serious illness) and prior to the next class period.  Documentation of the circumstance (e.g. doctor’s note) may be required. 

Assignments are to be turned in on time.  Late assignments will not be accepted except in the most adverse circumstances (e.g. serious illness).  Documentation of the circumstance (e.g. doctor’s note) will be required.  No lab assignments will be accepted on labs you have not attended and there are no make-ups on labs.  There are multiple lab sections available during each week and if extenuating circumstances do not permit you to attend the lab you are enrolled in, you may attend another lab in the same week with the instructor's permission.

Grading Policy:

Three exams @100 pts  = 300 pts
Quizzes = 100
Comprehensive final = 100
Debate/Presentation = 100
Laboratory Grade  (~30% of total) = 300
Grand Total  900 pts.

Lab grades are compiled by your laboratory instructor and reported to me for inclusion in your final grade.  You receive only a single grade for this course, compiled by me.

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


Tentative Schedule 
JAN 18 Chapter 1.  The Science of Biology.

What's alive?; the scientific method; pseudoscience; Proof of Martians

Scientific Method
  25 Chapter 2. Evolution & Ecology:  Human Genealogy (ppt)Chapter 15.  Evolution and Natural Selectioin (ppt).  Assigned reading: Homo floresiensis; Flush Those Toxins Evolution
FEB 1 Chapter 3.  Chemistry of Life No labs this week.
  8 Spring Break Microscopy


ID of Biological Molecules

Test 1. 

Chapter 5.  Cells, continued. 

Chapter 6.  Energy & Life

Cells & Membranes
MAR 1 Chapter 6. How Cells Acquire Energy. Enzymes
  8 Test 2. 

Chapter 9.  How Cells Divide.

Lab practical esam
15 Spring Break Spring Break
22 Chapter 10.  Meiosis. Eukaryotic Cell Division
  29 Chapter 11.  Foundations of Genetics Mendelian Genetics

Human Genetics

APR 5 Chapter 12.  DNA:  The Genetic Material. Molecular Genetics & DNA


  12 Chapter 13.  How Genes Work Fruit computer lab
19 No class on Monday.

Chapter 14.  The New Biology

pGlo Bacteria 1 & 2

26   Lab Final Exam
MAY 3    
  10 Finals week-time and place TBA  

The Fine Print:

Keystone College does not discriminate in any of its programs on the basis of disability. While there is not a deadline for the disclosure of a disability by a student, in order to facilitate the documentation and accommodation processes, students are encouraged to voluntarily and confidentially disclose any disability requiring an accommodation prior to the beginning of class.  This disclosure should be made to Sarah Keating, Vice President of Enrollment, Keystone’s Section 504/ADA Coordinator.  Students who disclose a disability, and who are seeking an accommodation, ultimately will be expected to provide documentation verifying the disability.

Academic Honesty – Division of Natural Science and Mathematics
All students are subject to the College's policy and procedure on academic dishonesty: see page 79 of the Keystone College 2006-2007 catalog. 

The Natural Science and Mathematics Division recognizes that any form or degree of academic dishonesty challenges the principles of truth and honesty which are among the most important founding principles of science and mathematics discovery.  Keystone College treats academic dishonesty as a serious violation of academic trust.  It penalizes all students found to have engaged in such behavior.
Academic honesty within the College and the Natural Science and Mathematics Division must be a cooperative enterprise of faculty, students and administrators. Acts of academic dishonesty include but are not limited to the following:

  • The illegitimate use of study materials or electronic devices in any form during a quiz or examination.

  • Copying answers from the quiz or examination paper of another student.

  • Plagiarizing or falsifying materials or information used in the completion of any assignment which is graded or evaluated as the student's individual effort. Plagiarism includes submitting as one's own the ideas or work of another, including the laboratory data, written materials or the computer files of another, regardless of whether that information is used verbatim or in paraphrased form.  The same applies to anything derived from the Internet, including research papers purchased online. 

  • Obtaining, through theft, bribery, or collusion, or otherwise improperly securing an examination paper prior to the time and date for the administration of the examination. Also, use of an examination paper previously administered (e.g., during an earlier term) without the consent of the instructor who authored the examination.

  • Impersonating a candidate at an examination or availing oneself of such an impersonation in any traditional or online class. 

  • Intentionally interfering with any person's scholastic work, for example, by damaging or stealing laboratory experiments, computer data files or library materials.

  • It is presumed that material submitted by a student for an assignment is original to that assignment and, therefore, submitting the same work for more than one course without the consent of the instructors of each course in which the work is submitted is considered dishonest.  Submission of previously graded work from prior assignments is considered dishonest. 

  • Aiding or abetting any act of academic dishonesty including but not limited to such offenses as described above.




DNA Replication, Transcription, Translation