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Bio 141 Essential Biology (4.5 credits)


Syllabus Summer Term
Mr. Matthew T. McDonald, M.S.
Course Description: This course introduces the essential biological concepts needed by
contemporary engineering students to make biologically informed decisions throughout
their lives and engineering careers. The course focuses on five core biological topics: cells,
genetics, evolution, ecology and physiology. Coverage emphasizes concepts essential for
understanding modern biology with specific applications to societal concerns about
biotechnology, health, conservation, biodiversity and bioethics. Evolution will be introduced
throughout the course as a unifying theme in understanding molecular biology to
communities and ecosystems. Students will gain a basic knowledge of cell structure and
metabolism; molecular biology and inheritance; animal structure and function and how
biological diversity evolves and the effect of human impacts on the environment.
Text : Custom version Biology: The Core, Eric Simon Includes lab exercises and
recitation activities. This package is ONLY available at Drexels Bookstore.

Format of the Course:


3 hours of lecture /week
1 hour of recitation/week
2 hours of lab/week
Overall Goals for the Course:
Upon completion of this course, it is anticipated that you will be able to understand:
The major molecules that make up cells, basic cell structure & function, and how they
harvest chemical energy through Cellular Respiration or Photosynthesis
How cells divide and replicate and the fundamental principles of inheritance
The basics of molecular biology of gene and their regulation and the application of
techniques to biotechnology
How populations and biological diversity evolves, the evidence for evolution
The principles governing communities and ecosystems and the human impact on the
Environment
The principles of the functioning of the human body
On a more global scale it is hoped that you will be able to:
Discuss the social, ethical and ecological implications of Biology and Biotechnology
Make informed decisions when interacting with biological entities such as
pharmaceutical and medical products, genetically modified food etc
Serve as an informational resource to your family and friends on the subject of
Biology, Biotechnology and the Environment

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Grading Assessment:
Quizzes (5)
15% (paper quizzes given in recitation)
Midterms (3)
30% (Lab period Week 4, Week 6 and Week 8)
Final Exam
20%
Recitations (9)
20% (Recitation attendance x Online Homework)
Laboratory (5)
15% (Lab attendance x Lab Assignment)
Guaranteed Grading Scale
A+ = 98-100
B+ = 88-89.9
A = 92-97.9
B = 82-87.9
A- = 90-91.9
B- = 80-81.9
F = <60

C+ = 78-79.9
C = 72-77.9
C- = 70-71.9

D+ = 68-69.9
D = 60-67.9

You must pass every component of the course to pass the course overall
Communication: All communication will be through the mail function in BbLearn
Your lecture material will be available on BbLearn. You need to complete the
Acknowledgement of Course Rules Quiz and score 1/1 before you have access to the
course material.

Communication:
All emails are to be sent via LEARN. If you are unfamiliar with how to do this,
please contact me immediately following the first lecture. You may also seek
assistance from IRT. We will respond to emails within 1 business day, (i.e. between
the hours of 8am 5pm, Monday to Friday), emails received in the late evening, as
well as those received on the weekend will be answered on the next business day.
This response policy also applies to any voicemails received. Any classwide
announcements, including changes to course set up or evaluation are also going to
made via BbLearn
Attendance:
Attendance is expected in ALL recitation and laboratory sessions.
You are expected to participate in all class discussions. Thus, your attendance in class is
essential both for your own education and for the education of your peers. You are
responsible for learning any class material that you may miss through an absence. You are
also responsible for any announcements made in class.
Laboratories:
Lab attendance is compulsory and must follow all safety guidelines. Please plan to arrive on
time for the labs with appropriate lab attire. There are no make-up labs, missing a lab will
result in a 5% reduction of your grade for lack of attendance and for missing the required
lab assignment. Legitimate absences will be assessed by the course instructor only and

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arrangements to attend other sections are subject to prior approval by the instructor.
Students have to pass the lab component of the course to pass the course overall.
Recitations:
Recitations attendance is compulsory. Attempts will be made to provide a better
understanding of the concepts discussed in lecture, and application of covered content.
Attendance will be taken at the beginning of recitation and quizzes may be administered
during the recitation sessions so punctuality is highly recommended.

Academic Honesty:

The

Department

of

Biology

has

ZERO

TOLERANCE

FABRICATION, CHEATING, and ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT.

policy

towards

For this reason

the Department of Biology has elected to impose the MAXIMUM PENALTY for
cases of fabrication, cheating and academic misconduct. IF an act of
fabrication, cheating or academic misconduct are determined to have occurred
in a course within the department after consultation between the student,
faculty member and representative from the department (Department Head, or
Assistant or Associate Department Head) the penalty will be FAILURE FOR
THE ENTIRE COURSE with the inability to withdraw from the course. This
penalty will be applied for first and all violations.

Cheating is an extremely serious breach of academic integrity. Students who cheat


or participate in cheating will be reported to the Universitys Office of Judicial
Affairs for disciplinary action. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Plagiarism is considered to be equivalent to cheating since you are copying someone
elses work without giving them due credit, and will be dealt with severely. Cases of
plagiarism will be dealt with on a case by case basis with the sanction administered
to be in accordance with the severity of the plagiarism, but may also result in
failure of the course or other sanctions listed above.

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Drexel Academic policies
Drexels academic policies are strictly adhered to and students are expected to
familiarize themselves with all such policies. Links to specific policies are as
follows:
Academic Integrity, Plagiarism and Cheating policy:
http://www.drexel.edu/provost/policies/academic_dishonesty.asp
http://drexel.edu/studentlife/judicial/honesty.html
Students with Disabilities:
Current AVL and accommodation letters need to be presented BEFORE
accommodations can be made.
http://www.drexel.edu/ods/student_reg.html
For information on dropping courses, please visit:
http://www.drexel.edu/provost/policies/course_drop.asp
Academic Expectations:
Students should be familiar with the policies, schedule and requirements of this
course as included in this syllabus and the laboratory schedule, or communicated by
the instructor.
Students are expected to attend lectures. While the lecture will be based on the
accompanying textbook and referenced chapters, there may be topics that are
covered in the lecture that are not included in the textbook.
Students are expected to review the assigned reading material. To successfully
complete this course, you will need to review all of the assigned reading material on
your own and be prepared for any questions that may arise from it.
Recitation and Laboratory Attendance is MANDATORY! You must provide
documentation for your absence and will be responsible for obtaining data and
completing all work associated with that laboratory after arrangements with the
instructor.
We do not give incompletes, so please plan on giving the course the required
attention and effort to do well.

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Tentative Lecture Schedule for Summer Term
Week 1: Chap 1 Introduction (online)
Week 2: Chap 2 and 3 Cells and the Chemistry of Life
Week 3: Chap 4 Energy and Life
Week 4: Chap 5 Chromosomes and Inheritance
Week 5: Chap 6 DNA: The molecule of life
Week 6: Chap 7 Darwinian Evolution
Week 7: Chap 12 Ecology
Week 8: Chap 11 Human Systems
Week 9: Chap 11 Human Systems
Week 10: Chap 11 Human Systems
Week 10: Review and Special Topics

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TENTATIVE RECITATION SCHEDULE
This is the tentative Recitation schedule for the quarter. The exercises identified are
subject to change. There will be no recitation in week 1 of the term. Recitation will meet
EVERY week beginning in week 2.
Please also note you will have homework to complete and hand in after taking your
recitation. You will be using the indicated exercises from Cooperative Learning resource.
The assignments are intended to reinforce material learned in the lecture and recitation.
You will submit your homework at the following recitation.
Please remember that recitation attendance is MANDATORY, you will not receive credit
for doing the homework if you were absent from the accompanying recitation. Please also
remember that you MUST be on time for your recitation. There will also be 5 multiple
choice quizzes that you will take over the course of the term. These quizzes will be
administered during the recitation.
WEEKS

EXERCISE

Rec Excercise

Paper Quiz

and Homework

(Chap as noted)

1
2

Chemistry of Life

Mastering Biology

Cell Structure and Function

2&3

Energy

Cell Division

(Midterm in lab time)

DNA

5&6

Evolution

(Midterm in lab time)

Ecology

7 & 12

Circulation

(Midterm in lab time)

10

Nervous system

11

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TENTATIVE LABORATORY SCHEDULE
This is the tentative lab schedule for the quarter. The exercises identified are subject to
change. There will not be lab in week 1 of the term and labs meet every week.
You will have an exercise based on the lab principles to complete at the end of each lab.
These MUST be turned in to your TA at the end of the designated lab period.
Please remember that lab attendance is MANDATORY. You will not receive credit for
turning in work if you were absent from the accompanying lab. Please also remember that
you MUST be on time for your lab and be in proper lab attire (no bare midriffs, arms,
heels or toes) in order to be allowed entry to the lab. Safety guidelines for the lab are
also posted on BbLearn. Your lab exercises are bound in to your text. Please read the
exercises ahead of time and come to lab prepared.

WEEK

EXERCISE

MIDTERM

1
2

The Cell

Photosynthesis

Heredity

5
6

Ch 2, 3 and 4
Evolutionary Mechanisms

7
8

Ch 5 & 6
Ecological Relationships

9
10

Ch 7 & 12
Neural Control

Science Safety Rules and Procedures Agreement

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In the laboratory you will be given a set of safety rules that are required to be
followed in order to participate in a laboratory experiment. Not following these
rules and procedures will increase the chance of severe accidents and injuries to
yourself and others. Not following these rules may also affect your laboratory
grade.
The following sanctions represent the minimum response to violations of our safety
rules and procedures:
First Offense: A verbal warning with a record kept of the warning.
Second Offense: A written warning with a point deduction from the current
experiment.
Third Offense: Dismissal from the laboratory for the day. You will also
receive a zero for the current experiment OR a zero for your attendance.
*Students will not be allowed to make-up labs if they were dismissed due to
safety violations.
Extra Credit:
Extra Credit opportunities are built into the course and no other opportunities will be
given at the end of the term. I strongly suggest that you take advantage of these
opportunities while they are available. They are designed to ultimately help you do well in
the course. Your participation on the Mastering Biology website will count towards extra
credit points that will be added to your grade at the end of the term. The opportunities
are as follows:
Mastering Biology:
1. The general rule is that a student needs 2hrs of study time per hour of lecture per
week to do well. In order to receive these points you need to spend a minimum of
1hr per week in activities of your choice on Mastering Biology.
2. You will also find the material to be more manageable and the lecture experience to
be more helpful if you have read the chapter(s) before attending lecture. There
are quizzes by chapter on the website (in the study area) as well. In order to
encourage you to do what is ultimately best for you, I will randomly select chapter
quizzes at the end of the term and extra credit points will also be given to students
who have completed the selected quizzes BEFORE the chapter was covered in
lecture.

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Finally, I realize that there is a lot to keep track of. The overview on the following page is
to assist you in staying on target with preparing for and handing in all graded items.

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Bio141 Overview
Week

Date

Lecture - Reading and Topic (3hrs


per week)

Exercise

6/22/2014

Chap 1 An Introduction
(online)

6/29/2014

Chaps 2 and 3 Cells and the


Chemistry of Life

7/6/2014

6
7

7/13/2014

Chap 4 Energy and Life


Chap 5 - Chromosomes and
Inheritance

7/20/2014

Chap 6 - DNA: The Molecule of


Life

7/27/2014
8/3/2014

Chemistry of Life

Ex 5.1

Cell Structure and Function

Ex 6.3

2&3

Photosynthesis

Energy

Ex 9.2

Heredity

Cell Division

Ex 11-12

DNA

Ex 15-16

The Cell

MIDTERM

5&6

8/17/2014

Chap 11 - Human Systems

10

8/24/2014

Chap 11 - Human Systems

Midterm in lab
time Ch 2, 3
and 4

Evolutionary
Mechanisms

Evolution

Ex 25.3

Ecology

Ex 52.2

MIDTERM

Chap 12 - Ecology

Chap 11 - Human Systems

EXAMS

Paper Quiz given at


start of recitation on
text chapter indicated

Chap 7 - Darwinian Evolution

8/10/2014

Lab (2hrs every week


starting week 2)

Recitation (1hr per week starting week 2)

7 & 12

Midterm in lab
time Ch 5 & 6

Ecological
Relationships

Circulation

Ex 44.2

Nervous system

Ex 45.2

MIDTERM
11

Neural Control

Midterm in lab
time Ch 7 &12

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