top of page



Course Outline


General Biology:

Course Description:

Basic principles of general biology as they relate to the cellular, organismic and population levels of organization. Includes cell ultrastructure and function, energy transfer, reproduction, genetics, evolution, diversity of organisms, and ecology.

Course Outline:

  1. Introduction

  1. Course Overview

  2. Characteristics of Living Things

  3. The Nature of Science Compared to Non-Science

  4. Scientific Method

  5. Experimental vs. Observational Science

  1. Chemistry

  1. Atomic Structure: Subatomic Particles, Electron Shells

  2. Chemical Bonding: Covalent, Ionic, Hydrogen Bonds

  3. Biologically Important Compounds and Molecules

  1. Properties of Water

  2. Acids, Bases, Buffers

  3. Macromolecules: Carbohydrates, Lipids, Proteins & Nucleic Acids

  1. Cell Biology

  1. Comparison of Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cell Structures

  2. Eukaryotic Cell Structure

  1. Functions of Organelles

Endoplasmic Reticulum

Golgi Complex

Peroxisome (Microbody)

  1. Membrane Structure and Function

  2. Movement Across Membranes

Facilitated Diffusion

Active Transport

Endocytosis and Exocytosis

  1. Energy Conversion in Eukaryotic Cells

  1. Laws of Thermodynamics

  2. Energy Flow: Photosynthesis, Cell Respiration

2a. Photosynthesis

  1. Structure of the Chloroplast

  2. Light Reaction of Photosynthesis

aa. Location

ab. Photosystems and Their Pigments

ac. The Role of H2O

ad. The Role of NADP

ae. The Role of Electron Transport

af. Chemiosmotic Phosphorylation

  1. Light Independent Reaction – Calvin Cycle

aa. The Role of RuBP

ab. The Role of CO2

ac. The Role of NADPH2

ad. The Role of Rubisco Enzyme

ae. The Role of ATP

  1. How Are Cycles Dependent On One Another

  2. Overall Equation

  3. C3 and C4 Photosynthesis

       2b. Cellular Oxidation of Glucose

  1. Mitochondrion Structure

  2. Glycolysis

aa. Where is ATP Required

ab. Where is ATP Produced

ac. What is Net Gain in ATP

ad. Compare Aerobic and Anaerobic Glycolysis

ae. What is the Role of NAD

af. What is the Purpose of Anaerobic Glycolysis

  1. Conversion of Pyruvate to AcCoA

  2. Krebs Cycle and the Role of AcCoA

aa. Role of NAD

ab. Role of FAD

ac. Net Gain of ATP

  1. Electron Transport System

aa. What is the Role of FADH2 and NADH

ab. What are its Components

ac. What is the Role of O2

ad. How Much ATP is Produced per NADH, FADH2

  1. Overall Equation For Cellular Oxidation of Glucose

  2. Net ATP Production Per Glucose

  1. Genetics: Heredity

  1. Mendel’s Laws and Modern Genetic Terminology

  2. Monohybrid Crosses and Dihybrid Crosses

  3. Patterns of Inheritance

  1. Dominant/Recessive

  2. Sex-linked

  3. Incomplete Dominance

  4. Co-dominance

  5. Polygenic Inheritance

  6. Multiple Alleles

  1. The Genetics of ABO and Rh Blood Groups

  1. Genetics: Molecular

  1. Structure and Replication of DNA

  2. Structure of RNA

  3. Transcription and Translation

  4. Control of Expression

  5. Techniques of Molecular Genetics

  1. DNA Fingerprint

  2. PCR

  3. Techniques For Inserting Genes Into Cells

  1. Origin of Life

  1. Spontaneous Generation

  2. Chemosynthetic Origin

  1. Inorganics to Organics

  2. Organics to Macromolecules

  3. Protocells

  4. Other Considerations (RNA World?) As Time Permits

  1. Evolution (Origin of Species)

  1. History of Development of Evolutionary Principle

  1. Lamarck

  2. Cuvier

  3. Malthus

  4. Darwin

  5. Lyell

  1. Mechanisms of Evolution

  1. Genetic change

  2. Natural selection

  3. Genetic drift

  1. Other Evolutionary Topics

  1. Adaptation

  2. Fitness

  3. Co-evolution/Co-adaptation

  4. Convergent vs. Parallel Evolution

  1. Evidence For a Common Ancestry of Organisms (Evolution)

  2. Speciation

  1. Allopatric

  2. Sympatric

  3. Parapatric

  1. Human Evolution

  1. Diversity of Nature Survey

  1. Kingdom Survey Monera

  2. Kingdom Survey Protista

  3. Kingdom Survey Fungi

  4. Kingdom Survey Plantae

  5. Kingdom Survey Animalia

  1. Population Dynamics

  1. General Population Characteristics

  1. Linear Growth

  2. Exponential Growth

  3. Logistic Populations

  4. Carrying Capacity

  5. Limiting Factors

  1. Human Population Dynamics

  1. Birth Rate, Death Rate, & Annual Percentage Growth Rate

  2. Comparison Between More Developed & Less Developed Countries

  3. Methods and Ethics of Human Population Control

  1. Ecology

  1. Ecosystem Structure

  1. Abiotic Factors

  2. Biotic Factors

  1. The Flow of Energy in Ecosystems

  1. Food Chains

  2. Food Webs

  3. Energy Pyramids

  4. Symbiotic Relationships

  1. Communalism

  2. Mutualism

  3. Parasitism

  1. Major Ecosystems

  1. Marine

  2. Aquatic

  3. Estuarine

  4. Terrestrial

  1. Biogeochemical Cycles

  1. Nitrogen

  2. Phosphorus

  3. Carbon/Oxygen

  4. Soil

  5. Water

  1. Succession

  1. Primary

  2. Secondary

  1. Others Topic in Ecology

  1. Biological Magnification

  2. Feedback Loops

  1. Controversies in Ecology

  1. Greenhouse Warning

  2. Ozone Depletion

  3. Endangered Species List


General Microbiology:

Course Description:

General Microbiology is an upper division course on Microbial Biology consisting of both lecture and laboratory. The course will cover eukaryotic and prokaryotic microbes and viruses but will emphasize bacteria. This course will provide a conceptual and experimental background in microbiology sufficient to enable students to take more advanced courses in related fields.

Student Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this course you will be able to:

• Compare and distinguish the basic groups of microbes, including prokaryotic microbes (Archaea, Bacteria), and Viruses, and eukaryotic microbes.

• Understand the processes needed for one bacterium to become two, and understand the mechanisms involved.

• Compare and contrast major pathways of catabolism, specify the relative energy yield from each pathway, list the key products of each pathway, and describe biochemical pathways used for microbial taxonomy.

• Compare and contrast major pathways of biosynthesis and list the key products of each pathway.

• Draw a typical microbial growth curve and predict the effect of different environmental conditions on the curve.

• Compare and contrast eukaryotic and prokaryotic genomes, and gene expression in each group.

• Compare and contrast the acquisition of novel genetic information in microbes via mutations and genetic exchange, specifically conjugation, transformation, and transduction,

• Specify the role of microbes in global C, N, S, and P cycles, and list examples of microbes that contribute to key metabolic aspects of these cycles.

• List different types of symbiotic interactions between microbes and other organisms, including commensalism, mutualism, and parasitism, and provide examples of each.

• Summarize common features of microbial pathogens, with emphasis on bacterial and viral pathogens. • Summarize mechanisms of animal defenses to infection, including primary defenses, innate immunity, and acquired immunity.

• Compare and contrast beneficial and harmful uses of organisms, including applications in biotechnology and bioterrorism.

• Have a solid grasp of the scope of the microbial world and its role in shaping this planet and all its inhabitants


Course Outline:

  • Microbiology: An Evolving Science

  • The Bacterial Cell: Structure and Function I

  • The Bacterial Cell: Structure and Function II

  • Bacterial Culture, Growth and Development

  • From Genes to Proteins

  • Viruses: The Bacteriophage

  • Mobile Genetic Elements and Gene Transfer

  • Molecular Regulation

  • Energy through Respiration and Fermentation I

  • Energy through Respiration and Fermentation II

  • Biosynthesis

  • Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology

  • Origins and Evolution

  • Bacterial Diversity

  • The Archaea

  • Eukarya

  • Microbial Ecology

  • Microbes and the Global Environment

  • Microbes & History

  • Normal Flora

  • Innate Immunity

  • Microbial Pathogenesis

  • Microbial Diseases

  • Antimicrobial Therapy

bottom of page