Introduction to Biology | Biology | MIT OpenCourseWare

Course Features Course Highlights

This course features a complete set of video lectures by Professor Eric Lander, Director of the Broad Institute at MIT and a principal leader of the Human Genome Project and Professor Robert A. Weinberg, winner of the 1997 National Medal of Science.

Education development efforts for these introductory biology courses are one of many activities conducted by the HHMI Education Group at MIT. This group focuses on curriculum development work for creating teaching tools in undergraduate biology courses.

The MIT Biology Department core courses, 7.012, 7.013, and 7.014, all cover the same core material, which includes the fundamental principles of biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, and cell biology. Biological function at the molecular level is particularly emphasized and covers the structure and regulation of genes, as well as, the structure and synthesis of proteins, how these molecules are integrated into cells, and how these cells are integrated into multicellular systems and organisms. In addition, each version of the subject has its own distinctive material.

7.012 focuses on the exploration of current research in cell biology, immunology, neurobiology, genomics, and molecular medicine.

The study materials, problem sets, and quiz materials used during Fall 2004 for 7.012 include contributions from past instructors, teaching assistants, and other members of the MIT Biology Department affiliated with course #7.012. Since the following works have evolved over a period of many years, no single source can be attributed.

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Introduction to Biology | Biology | MIT OpenCourseWare

Department of Biology Biology – York College / The …


The Biology Program provides academic experiences in the life sciences that meet a variety of student needs. The courses offered cover a broad range of subjects from General Biology, Biostatistics and Genetics, which all majors must take, to Organismic Biology, Molecular and Cell Biology, and Ecology. The program of study fulfills the academic requirements for admission to medical, dental and related professional schools and also prepares students for graduate studies (M.S. or Ph.D.) in all areas of Biology.

The program also provides non-science majors with an understanding of biological concepts and the importance of biological discoveries to the solution of social and environmental problems.

The Biotechnology Program is an interdisciplinary major designed to provide academic, laboratory and research experiences to students with career interests in the biomedical sciences. The program serves as preparation for the pursuit of graduate degrees in biotechnology, molecular genetics, molecular biology, cellular biology, biochemistry and other related fields. It provides a strong academic program for students interested in further studies leading to careers in the medical professions. Graduates with the bachelors degree may also seek jobs on the technician level in areas such as pharmaceutical, hospital and academic research laboratories.

The Biotechnology major incorporates general courses in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, with upper level instruction in Biochemistry, Genetics and Biotechnology. The course of study emphasizes the structure, function and relationships of DNA, RNA and proteins in the regulation of gene expression. Methods used in teaching and research laboratories incorporate instruction and training on modern equipment employed in Biotechnology for processes such as gene cloning, DNA sequencing and RNA processing, with application to the improved analysis, diagnosis and treatment of inherited and acquired human diseases.

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Department of Biology Biology - York College / The ...

Andaaz Web Exclusive: Andrew Hessel – Future of Biology – Video

Andaaz Web Exclusive: Andrew Hessel - Future of Biology
Andaaz Behind The Scenes: Andrew Hessel answers questions from our guests at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston. Andaaz is an inspirational talk show on Sony Entertainment Television covering topics of entrepreneurship, innovation, health, entertainment, spirituality, travel, food, fashion and much more. Please #39;Like #39; us on Facebook for weekly updates, behind the scenes, shows, competitions and more and #39;Follow #39; us on Twitter! : Subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay updated with each segment on our show:

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Andaaz Web Exclusive: Andrew Hessel - Future of Biology - Video

CMU Biology Team Introduces New Screening Method To Detect Invasive Species

Photo Credit: CBS Detroit

MT. PLEASANT Central Michigan University biology professor Andrew R. Mahon and a group of researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Notre Dame and The Nature Conservancy have identified a genetic method of surveillance to detect the abundance of invasive species in water. The study is the first to utilize the common genetic technique known as PCR screening to detect the relative abundance of a particular Asian carp species by testing for residual environmental DNA in water samples. The findings of their recent study have been published in PLOS ONE, the electronic journal of the Public Library of Science, an open-access publisher of research from all areas of science. Access the article here . Our study shows the percentage of DNA positive samplingswe find is directly related to the number of that particular species of fish in the water, said Mahon, lead scientist on the study. This validates the use of eDNA surveillance sensitivity for the detection of multiple species of Asian carps in water systems. Researchers compared genetic material found in water samples to the number of fish found in a 2.6-mile stretch of river in the Chicago canal system after it was treated with retenone and the fish carcasses were collected. Our results showed a positive correlation between the number of genetic samples and the abundance of fish after the canal was treated, said Mahon. This testing provides another tool for environmental management agencies to use in determining whether invasive species are present in the water. This genetic testing method, along with other traditional options currently being used such as netting, electro fishing, and hook and line sampling, offers an additional tool for detecting invasive species and one more option in the battle against these species getting into our waterways, said Mahon. USGS Southeast Ecological Science Center scientists Margaret Hunter and Leo Nico are co-authors on the study, providing expertise, genetic samples and information on black carp.

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CMU Biology Team Introduces New Screening Method To Detect Invasive Species

Biology students place top at Mammalogists meeting

Two ASU biology students won top prizes for their research presentations at the annual meeting of the Texas Society of Mammalogists held at Texas Tech University Feb. 15 17.

Senior Malorri Hughes won the Vernon Bailey Award and a $400 honorarium for best poster presentation in classical mammalogy at the organismal level for her project entitled Prevalence of the Sinus Roundworm, Skrjabingylus chitwoodorum, in Rabies-Negative Texas Skunks (Mephitis mephitis).

Classical Mammalogy at the Organismal Level simply means studying the mammal as a whole, Hughes said. We would study the animals environment, habitat, behavior, ecological niche, etc.

Graduate student Wesley Brashear won the Clyde Jones Award and a $400 honorarium for best poster presentation in studies pertaining to mammalian cytology, evolution, and systematics. Brashears project on bat systematics is entitled Further Evidence for the Basal Divergence of Cheiromeles (Chiroptera: Molossidae).

The Clyde Jones Award is an award given for the best poster presentation in studies pertaining to mammalian cytology; a study of cellular processes, structure and function, evolution and systematicsthe study of the evolutionary relationships of groups of organisms, Brashear said.

Using a DNA sequencer, Brashear discovered that a rather unique Malaysian species of bat called the Naked Bulldog is the oldest species of bat in the Basal Divergence of Cherinomeles, or the Chiropetra Molossidae.

18 ASU undergraduate and graduate students attended the TSM meeting, including Krysta Demere, who presented a research poster entitled Investigation of Bat Populations and Activity in Northern Tom Green and Southwestern Coke Counties.

Hughes research over rabid skunks proved to be particularly interesting for Dr. Robert Dowler, who became her mentor.

Hughes mentor, Dr. Robert Dowler, assisted Hughes with her project.

Dr. Dowler salvages the heads of rabies-negative skunks from the Texas Department of State Health Services, and eventually they are added to the Angelo State Natural History Collection, Hughes said.

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Biology students place top at Mammalogists meeting

UTSW molecular biologist Olson wins March of Dimes developmental biology prize

Public release date: 8-Mar-2013 [ | E-mail | Share ]

Contact: Deborah Wormser 214-648-3404 UT Southwestern Medical Center

DALLAS March 8, 2013 Dr. Eric Olson, chairman of molecular biology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, is the 2013 recipient of the March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology for identifying key genetic pathways in the formation of the heart and other muscles.

His work is credited with forging new insights into heart development and regeneration that could lead to novel treatments for heart disease and muscle dysfunction. Several drugs based on his research are currently under study.

Dr. Joe Leigh Simpson, senior vice president for research and global programs for the March of Dimes, said about 1 percent of newborns have heart abnormalities that occur during development.

"Dr. Olson's work has portrayed a detailed genetic model for heart development that provides a framework for how these genes function in normal and abnormal heart development. His work will surely lead to new ways to treat and prevent cardiac defects in infants as well as in adults," Dr. Simpson said.

Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, president of UT Southwestern, said, "Dr. Olson's studies have led to profound insights into cardiac development and advanced our understanding of the basic mechanisms underlying altered cardiovascular function in disease. His work represents the very best in our faculty's efforts to pursue discoveries that can ultimately lead to better prevention and treatment of serious heart disease."

Dr. Olson joined the UTSW faculty in 1995 as chair of the then-newly formed Department of Molecular Biology. Dr. Olson, who earned his doctorate in biochemistry at Wake Forest University's Bowman Gray School of Medicine in 1981, was recruited from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

At UT Southwestern, Dr. Olson also directs the Nancy B. and Jake L. Hamon Center for Basic Research in Cancer. "I have been especially fortunate to work with an amazing group of colleagues at UT Southwestern, who made this award possible," Dr. Olson said. "Given that congenital heart disease is the most common human birth defect, I am also grateful that our work on heart development and disease was recognized on the 75th anniversary of the March of Dimes."

An elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Olson has garnered numerous awards and honors, including the 2012 Passano Award and the Institut de France's prestigious Lefoulon-Delalande Foundation Grand Prize for Science from the French Academy of Sciences in 2009. He also has won the Pollin Prize for Pediatric Research, the Pasarow Award in Cardiovascular Medicine, the Outstanding Investigator Award from the International Society for Heart Research, and an inaugural Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Heart Association. He was awarded the AHA's National Research Achievement Award for work that the organization described as having "redrawn battle lines in the fight against heart disease."

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UTSW molecular biologist Olson wins March of Dimes developmental biology prize

Windsor High School biology teacher Tammie Pennington nominated for prestigious award

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JOSHUA POLSON/ Tammie Pennington, a biology teacher at Windsor High School, watches as Garrett Graff, 15, starts an experiment Friday afternoon at Windor High School. Pennington was watched by four scholars who critiqued her teaching skills for the biology teacher of the year in Colorado.

JOSHUA POLSON/ Tammie Pennington, right, a biology teacher at Windsor High School, watches as Maddie Singleton, 15, prepares lab equipment during class Friday afternoon at Windsor High School. Pennington is currently in the running for biology teacher of year in Colorado.

WINDSOR Tammie Pennington is a rock star in the classroom just ask her students. Pennington, 44, a Windsor High School biology teacher, even makes biology fun for students who dont particularly like it. Carson Barnhart, a 15-year-old sophomore in Penningtons pre-Advanced Placement biology class, admits science isnt on the top of her list of favorites. Science isnt really my thing, but I definitely get it, Barnhart said. Shes a great teacher, and we have a lot of fun. Theres a lot of hands-on, and I really like the hands-on thing. In the classroom, shes really relaxed, and shes

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Windsor High School biology teacher Tammie Pennington nominated for prestigious award

BioBricks founder on his shift from computer science to synthetic biology

Tom Knight, founding director of BioBricks, was pulled away from computer science and into synthetic biology after becoming fascinated by cell division and data storage.

Speaking at the Economist's Technology Frontiers conference, he explained how he used to work in computer science, exploring artificial intelligence, integrated circuit design and programming around the time when the web was emerging. However 15-20 years ago, he decided that "biology would be the next important thing that would change the world as we know it".

Knight was inspired by seeing cell division of bacteria through transmission electron microscopy, a property of living systems which "from the standpoint of an engineer like myself is rather surprising and remarkable". He added: "There are some profound implications. We don't have physical objects that we engineer that reproduce themselves. OK, so maybe computer viruses, but physical objects such as buildings and microprocessors don't have the property that they reproduce themselves."

In addition to this reproduction, Knight was fascinated by the storage capacity of cells. E Coli, for example, has around four million base pairs of DNA. "That's one megabyte of information stored in a region of a micron in each dimension."

"That storage density is somewhere in the vicinity of 10^7 or 10^8 times higher than the very best disk drives, USB sticks or any other semi conductor technology we can build today. That's another reason why a computer jerk like me should be interested in cells. I can store more information that way than with any of the technology I have available," Knight said.

He added that he was also fascinated by catabolism and anabolism -- biochemical processes that take place in living organisms, building things up and breaking them down, to maintain life. He draws parallels between anabolic processes and manufacturing, drawing on a finite core of building materials and referring to a "blueprint" to create things. "Biology does this in an incredibly precise way; in a way that allows us to specify with the genome exactly what's going to be produced."

"We have very little ability to put atoms exactly where we want them. Semiconductor engineers don't get to put atoms where we want them. Biology puts every atom in the place it wants with precise control. We can use that as a very powerful manufacturing technology."

This line of thinking led him to the development of BioBricks -- genetic sequences which have been standardised like electronic components. These Lego-like BioBricks have various functions and can be plugged into each other to create entirely new biological systems in microorganisms. As explained in our article from September 2012, BioBricks can be used to transform bacteria into machines for sensing and degrading pollutants. One tool measures arsenic levels in water -- you add the bacteria to a bottle wait over night and "if it turns red, you have a problem". This replaces the need for expensive laboratory tests.

So far 10,000 of these BIoBricks have been standardised. You can find out more at

Don't miss: Synthetic biologists build Lego-style BioBricks in public lab

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BioBricks founder on his shift from computer science to synthetic biology

Exercise biology major could combine with NPB major

Committee reviewing possible outcomes

Written by KELLEY DRECHSLER Aggie News Writer Published on March 5, 2013 Filed under Campus News

Admissions to the exercise biology (EXB) major will be suspended for the 2013-14 school year, and the major will potentially be combined with the neurobiology, physiology and behavior (NPB) major.

In the spring of 2012, a committee formed within the department of NPB to reorganize the exercise biology program in the face of budget cuts, increasing enrollments and declines in the number of faculty members. The committee includes professors Dave Furlow, Mark Goldman, Tom Hahn, Samantha Harris, Gaby Nevitt and Marty Usrey.

The goal of the committee is to find a way to combine the increasingly popular exercise biology and NPB majors into a combined program.

The committee hopes that through the reorganization, the school will be able to use limited resources for the exercise biology major more efficiently, promote increased collaboration across departments and offer courses to students who are interested in research, graduate school or careers related to integrative biology.

Either it needs to be an impacted major or combined with another major, said David A. Hawkins, professor of neurobiology, physiology and behavior.

Currently, the NPB major has approximately 950 students and the EXB major has approximately 650 students. Approximately 60 percent of the students in biological sciences majors declare an emphasis in NPB.

I think the exercise biology major involves a lot of what is not offered outside of the other biology majors, said Megan Barrett, an exercise biology peer advisor.

The committee unanimously decided that combining the available resources for both majors into one program with the option of emphasizing in specialties within the combined program would be the most effective and efficient action.

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Exercise biology major could combine with NPB major

Lynn marine biology students get scuba lesson

Home > News Lynn marine biology students get scuba lesson By Chris Stevens / The Daily Item

DANVERS Lynn English High School Marine Biology students got to put scuba diving book smarts to the test when they got a crash course in the real thing.

That was so awesome; I wish I was a fish, said junior Rochelli Jiminez after swimming the length of the pool in scuba gear at the Paul J. Lydon Aquatics Center in Danvers.

LEHS science teacher Joe Skahan said his students have been learning about scuba diving and underwater exploration, and he wanted the kids to have an opportunity for a hands-on lesson outside the classroom to see what its like to breathe underwater.

Skahan, who said hes been diving for a few years, put in a call to Undersea Divers in Beverly, and instructor Shaun Maguire offered to give the kids a free lesson.

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Seven of Skahans students fidgeted and giggled nervously as Maguire walked them through the process of diving while outside the pool. Once in the water, Maguire helped the students strap on vests outfitted with air tanks, regulators and gauges and showed them how to use them. Maguire had the kids get used to the weight and the feel of the equipment and try out the regulator before they donned masks and sank to the bottom of the shallow end of the pool.

After splashing around the kids made for open water in the deep end led by Maguire.

Jiminez popped up several times before she got the hang of actually breathing underwater.

I was nervous at first, she said. I thought I might drown.

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Lynn marine biology students get scuba lesson