Gcc course Syllabus, 2014 bio 104: Fundamentals of Cell Biology Genesee Community College

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GCC Course Syllabus, 2014

BIO 104: Fundamentals of Cell Biology

Genesee Community College (www.genesee.edu)

Fall Semester, 2014

Mrs. Renee Webb

Room 227, York Central School


1st period, 7:50 – 8:35


2nd period, 8:38 – 9:18, alternate days

Office Hours:

3rd and 9th period by appointment;10th period most days

Class Phone:
243-1730 x2227

Home Phone:

245-1810 (cell: you may text or call)




www.yorkcsd.org (click on teacher websites)

Official GCC Course Information

I. Course Title: Fundamentals of Cell Biology

II. Credit Hours: 3
III. Catalog Description:

Introduces basic chemistry, the structure, function, and biochemistry of cells, and the scientific method. Laboratory exercises develop skills including use of binocular microscopes and measuring. This is a preparatory course, for students with little or no recent experience in biology and chemistry, who plan on taking additional biology courses. Two class hours, two lab hours. Prerequisite: Completion of the Genesee Community College reading requirement and completion of the Genesee Community College math requirement or concurrent enrollment in MAT 092. Not open to students with credit in BIO 115, BIO 152 or higher. (Not for credit in Math/Science curriculum)

IV. Prerequisites:

Successful completion of Regents-level Living Environment and Regents Chemistry and associated exams.

V. Texts and Materials:

  1. Textbook: Campbell and Reece; Biology 10th Edition (e-version)

  1. Review Book: Cliffs AP Biology 4th edition

  1. GCC Lab Manual:

E. Materials:

  • Metric ruler

  • Pens (blue and black only)

  • looseleaf paper

  • colored pencils

  • 8 inexpensive two-pocket folder with CENTER INSERT (for unit folders)

  • More durable folder to store labs

VI. Course Student Learning Outcomes (CSLOS): (as listed in GCC course catalog)

Upon successful completion of this course as documented through writing, objective testing, case studies, laboratory practice, and/or classroom discussion, the student will be able to:

Scientific Method and Introduction to Living Things
1. Students will identify the methods scientists use to explore natural phenomena, including observation, hypothesis development, measurement, data collection, experimentation and the evaluation of the data as documented by performance on a test or quiz and the department comprehensive final.*
2. List and give examples of a minimum of 4 characteristic of all living things.
3. Describe and list examples of the 3 Domains of living things.
4. Describe and give examples of a minimum of 7 levels of organization of life.

Inorganic and Organic Chemistry
1. Describe atomic and molecular structure.
2. Compare and contrast ionic, covalent, and hydrogen bonds.
3. List a minimum of 4 properties of water and explain how they are a result of water's polar nature.
4. Define pH and related terms (acid, base, pH number scale)
5. Categorize organic molecules into the 4 major groups using characteristics such as elemental components, biological and physical properties, sources, and uses in organisms.

Classification, Structure and Function of Cells
1. Compare and contrast prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells by identifying structural components.
2. Identify a minimum of 10 organelles in Eukaryotic cells and describe their function, documented on the department comprehensive final.
3. Explain the fluid mosaic model of membrane structure.
4. Describe the mechanisms by which substances may cross the plasma membrane including active or passive process, and the transport mechanism (protein carrier or channel, protein pump, directly through the phospholipid bilayer, via vesicles, etc). Provide specific examples of substances that are likely to cross the membrane by each mechanism.
5. Predict the movement of fluid across membranes based on principles of osmolarity.

Cellular energy
1. State the laws of thermodynamics and give two examples of how they apply to living things.
2. Describe ATP, ADP, phosphorylation and their importance to cellular activity.
3. Describe the structure and function of enzymes in living systems.
4. Compare and contrast aerobic and anaerobic cellular respiration in writing.
5. Explain how photosynthesis is the primary pathway of energy capture in metabolic pathways and how photosynthesis and cellular respiration are interdependent.

1. Label a diagram of the cell cycle and explain what occurs in each stage.
2. Draw and label the stages of mitosis and explain the events of each stage.
3. Identify the major differences between mitosis and meiosis and explain the purpose of each type of nuclear division.
4. Define genetic terminology including crossing over, dominant, recessive, allele, phenotype, genotype, heterozygous, homozygous, carrier, karyotype, non-disjunction, single-gene mutation.
5. Build a model of DNA, and demonstrate semi-conservative replication.
6. Describe the process of protein synthesis(transcription and translation) in an essay.
7. Explain the technique of DNA fingerprinting and at least three ways in which it is being used.

Laboratory Skills: Students will demonstrate these in laboratory and answer questions on the department comprehensive final.
1. Display appropriate safety practices in the laboratory, as outlined by the instructor while using chemicals, sharps, and biological specimens.
2. Estimate volume, length, and mass using appropriate metric units by measuring with a meter stick, graduated cylinder, pipette, micropipette and balance.
3. Determine the pH of solutions using indicator paper and or pH meter.
4. Determine the presence of carbohydrates using Benedicts and IKI tests, proteins using Biuret test, and lipids using Sudan test.
5. Properly use and store a microscope.
6. Prepare, stain, and observe wet mount microscope slides; use the correct focus knob to focus on microscopic specimens at all powers.*
7. Focus on specimens using oil with the oil immersion lens. Clean the oil immersion lens and prepared slides after using immersion oil.
8. Sketch and correctly label microscopic specimens and measure and estimate the size of structures viewed through the microscope.
9. Experiment using enzymes and substrate to determine the effects of pH, temperature, concentration and inhibitors on production of products.
10. Experiment to determine the effects of isotonic, hypertonic and hypotonic solutions on cells and tissues.
11. Experiment with fermentation or aerobic respiration to illustrate gas exchange and fuel use in living organisms.
12. Construct models of organic molecules (DNA, sugar, amino acid, and lipid).
13. Correlate models such as the cell and its organelles with actual structures seen in photomicrographs and with the microscope.

* This course objective has been identified as a student learning outcome that must be formally assessed as part of the Comprehensive Assessment Plan of the college. All faculty teaching this course must collect the required data and submit the required analysis and documentation at the conclusion of the semester to the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.

Content Outline:
A. Introduction
1. Characteristics of Life
2. Unity and Diversity of Life
3. Organization of Life
4. Scientific Method - Nature of Science
5. Scientific Measurement

B. Chemistry of Life

1. Elements, Atoms, Molecules, Ions
2. Bonding and Chemical Reactions
a. Hydrolysis
b. Dehydration Synthesis
3. Exchanges and Substitutions
4. Inorganic Molecules
a. Ions
b. Acids, Bases, Salts, Buffers
5. Importance of Water
6. Biologically Important Organic Molecules
a. Carbohydrates
b. Lipids
c. Proteins
i. Enzyme structure and function
ii. Importance of antibodies
7. Nucleotides and nucleic acids

C. The Cell - Structure and Function

1. 3 Domains
2. Cell size
3. Prokaryotic cell structure
4. Eukaryotic cell structure
a. Nucleus
b. Cytoplasm
c. Organelles
d. Membrane
e. Plant vs. animal
5. Transport across the plasma membrane
a. Passive vs. active
b. Diffusion
c. facilitated diffusion
d. osmosis: osmolarity and tonicity
e. active transport
f. vesicular transport mechanisms

D. Energy and Life

1. Energy - ATP
2. Cellular Respiration
a. Glycolysis
b. Krebs cycle
c. Electron transport
3. Fermentation
4. Photosynthesis

E. Continuance of Life - Genetics

1. Cell Reproduction
a. Asexual
b. Sexual
2. Cell Division
a. Mitosis and Cytokinesis
b. Meiosis
3. Molecular Genetics
b. Replication of DNA
c. Protein Synthesis
d. Genetic Code
e. Control of Gene Expression
f. Mutations
4. Biotechnology
a. Techniques
b. Applications

Laboratory experiments and modeling

1. Lab safety
2. Measurement
3. Chemistry and structure of biomolecules
4. Acids Bases and Buffers
5. How to use the microscope
6. Cell study with the microscope
7. Osmosis and diffusion
8. Enzymes
9. Fermentation and respiration
10. DNA modeling
11. Protein Synthesis modeling
12. DNA forensics - gel electrophoresis

Effective Term: Fall 2014

VII. Course Requirements:

  1. Completion of unit folders, including all required notes, homework

  1. Unit examinations for each topic

C. Completion of the following laboratory activities and associated write-

ups and quizzes:

1. GCC Lab #1 “Measurement and the Scientific Method”

2. GCC Lab #2 “ Water, Acid, Bases, and Buffers”

3. GCC Lab #3 “Biomolecules: Chemistry of Life”

4. GCC Lab #4 “Introduction to The Microscope”

5. GCC Lab #5 “Cells”

6. GCC Lab #6 “Using the Oil Immersion Lens”

7. GCC Lab #7 Osmosis and Diffusion

8. GCC Lab #8: “Enzymes”

9. GCC Lab #9 “Introduction to Cellular Respiration”

10. GCC Lab #10 “Cell Cycle and Mitosis”

11. GCC Lab #11 “DNA Replication”

12. GCC Lab #12 “Translation and Transcription”

13. GCC Lab #13 “DNA Extraction” (optional)
VIII. Grading Criteria:

Your grade each quarter will be calculated approximately as follows:

75% quizzes and tests

25% homework and labs

Your GCC semester grade will be calculated as follows:

40% 1st quarter average

40% 2nd quarter average

20% GCC final examination

Note: Homework and labs are extremely important components of your grade. Learning to be disciplined and hardworking is as important as understanding the content. Complete your homework intelligently and on-time; if not, your grade will reflect this lack of effort. You cannot get by on just your “smarts” in this class; show me you are conscientious as well.

IX. Course Policies:

  1. Labs: Because the GCC curriculum includes required labs, in addition to regular class time, all students taking this class must also be scheduled for a lab on alternate days. The lab grade will be incorporated into the total class average.

B. Organization: Plan on creating individual unit folders. For each unit, you will create a table of contents and organize notes, handouts drawings quizzes, etc. You will study for each test from this folder. If you need a little “organizational remediation,” stop by after class anytime and I’ll be happy to assist you.

C. Homework Policy: Homework, classwork, and labs will usually be collected for a grade. Because these assignments are so important in deepening your understanding of each topic, it is essential that you hand in assignments that are HIGH QUALITY and ON TIME.

Assignments not handed in during the class period they are due will have pointed deducted*. If you do not have your assignment completed at the time it is collected, you must hand it in sometime before 10th period, or stay 10th period for help.

20% deduction if handed in the end of 10th period on the day it is due

50% deduction for any late work handed in by the time the unit folder/unit test is due.

100% deduction if not handed in by the time the unit folder/unit test is due.

*See me for extenuating circumstances. If for some reason you do not complete your homework by the day following the due date, or make other arrangements with me, you should still complete the work and incorporate it into your unit folder, which will be graded.
D. Absences: If you are absent the day an assignment is due, you must hand in the assignment on the day you return to school. If homework was assigned on the day you were absent, it is due the day after you return. For longer absences, please see me when you return so we can create a schedule to make up the work. Remember, it is your responsibility to find out what you missed, including notes and classwork. I will not chase you down! Make an appointment with me immediately upon your return if you need to copy notes from me or need help in any other way.
E. Extra Sessions: Due to the large amount of material and limited time, plan on meeting approximately once per month outside of class (more for final exam review). These supplemental classes are strongly recommended. You will be given notice of these times, and I will do my best to accommodate your schedules. Please let me know ahead of time if you are unable to attend, so that we may make alternate arrangements.
F. Safety Responsibilities: All students are to follow lab safety precautions as listed on each lab, including wearing appropriate eyewear as recommended and acting in a manner that does not endanger self and others.

  1. Plagiarism/Cheating: Plagiarism is the dual act of presenting and claiming the words, ideas, data, or creations of others as one’s own. Plagiarism may be intentional--as in a false claim of authorship--or unintentional--as in a failure to document information sources using MLA, APA, CBE, or other style sheets or manuals adopted by instructors in the College. Presenting ideas in the exact or nearly exact wording as found in primary or secondary sources constitutes plagiarism, as does patching together paraphrased statements without in-text citation. Each faculty member will determine appropriate responses to plagiarism. Disciplinary action resulting from confirmed instances of plagiarism and/or cheating may include receipt of a failing grade on an assignment or the course, removal of a student from a class, or expulsion of a student from the College.

X. G.C.C. Credit:

In order to receive G.C.C. credit, you must officially register with Genesee

Community College and pay the required fee. A representative from the

college will come to class sometime in the first two weeks of class to

distribute materials and answer any questions you may have.
Philosophical Statement:

More than just an accumulation of facts, biology is a process of inquiry and a pathway to higher-order thinking in all areas of life. My goal is to create a stimulating and supportive environment where each student is challenged to develop the ability to process, learn, and think independently, and ultimately, to utilize these skills in future life experiences. -Renee Webb

Course Schedule
XI. Course Schedule: Fall, 2014 *This schedule is an approximation, and is subject to change as needed





Text +

(review bk)

Unit Test


1 (3)




Summer h/w




2 (5)





#1: Scientific Method

3 (5)





4 (5)








M, 9/22

#2:Acids, Bases, Water

5 (5)

Sept 29

-Oct 3



#3: Biomolecules Chemistry of Life

6 (4)





8, 27, 18

(37; 136; 176-177)


W 10/8

#4: Introduction to the Microscope

7 (4)








T, 10/14

#6: Oil Immersion Lens

8 (5)


20 - 24




#5: Cells

9 (4.5)




& Enzymes




M, 10/27

#7: Osmosis and Diffusion

10 (5)



(13h = End of M.P.)

Test / Photosyn.




T 11/4

#8: Enzymes

11 (4)



Photosyn. /




12 (5)


Nov. 21




#9: Cellular Respiration

Full Wk. Off



Thanksgiving Break

13 (5)



Resp. / Test





W, 12/3

#10 Cell Cycle and Mitosis

14 (5)



Mitosis and Meiosis



15 (5)



Finish Mitosis

and Meiosis


F 12/19



-Jan 2

Christmas Break

-Heredity h/w



Meet over breakTBA


16 (5)




#13 DNA Extraction

17 (5)




Mol. Genetics




F 1/9

#11: DNA Replication

18 (4)



Mol. Genetics

16, 17

Mol Genetics F, 1/16

#12 Protein Synthesis

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