Bio 161 Principles of Biology: Cell Structure and Function Fall 2013
Instructor: Dr. William Patrie
Office FSC 152
Phone x1400

Web page

Lecture time:  10:00-10:50 MWF; Lab Thursday 1:30-3:30; 5:00-7:00
Office hours:
Monday 1-3, Tuesday 1-2, Wednesday 1-3, Friday 11-12, and by appointment

Required Text: Biology, 9th ed, Campbell and Reece
Principles of Biology II Lab Manual, Pitkin et al., provided on D2L
Recommended: A Student Handbook for Writing in Biology 3
rd Ed. , Knisely 978-1429234917
You will also need a lab notebook.An inexpensive "marble" composition, quad-ruled notebook with a sewn binding is a best choice.Do NOT use loose-leaf, wire-bound or tear-out page notebooks.

The goal of this course is to introduce you to the basic concepts and the scope of modern biology.This goal includes the following objectives:

1) to understand the basics of biochemistry, cell structure and function, genetics, and evolution
2) to apply the scientific method for solving biological problems
3) to use common scientific instrumentation in order to obtain data
4) to interpret, utilize and report biological information
5) to develop good habits of study and observation

I make use of our online class management system, D2L, for this course.In general, I do not provide printed copies of material unless I have made last minute changes.I use PowerPoint in lectures, and you will be able to download these before class.  I also post labs, study guides, some assignments, and occasional syllabus updates.I will have on-line quizzes for you to take on D2L (see below).You can also access your grades via D2L.Do this frequently to be certain there are no recording errors and that you have not missed turning in an assignment.Be sure to check your grades after completing the online quizzes.Let me know ASAP if there are any discrepancies and issues. 

If anyone in this class has a need for note-taking or test-taking accommodations, please feel free to discuss this with me.


Final grades will be based on the percentage determined by dividing your point total by the total points in the course. A= 90 and above; B=80-89.9; C=70-79.9; D=60-69.9; F= less than 60. You will be able access your grades through D2L. Do this regularly to ensure all of your assignments are turned in. I do not grade on a curve.

Exams (450 points): There will be three one hour exams each worth 100 points. Exams will cover lecture, text and lab material.The final exam will be comprehensive and worth 150 points. Exams typically include multiple choice questions, matching, and short essays.You need prior approval to reschedule an exam.

Quizzes and Homeworks (total, approximately 300 points):

D2L Chapter quizzes (approx. 125 points):    Approximately 20 quizzes worth 5-10 points each, will be given  on-line via D2L. The quizzes on D2L are open book and open note and must be done within the allotted period (minimum 48 hours) they are open.You will have 2 opportunities to take each quiz during this time period, and the highest grade will be recorded.  Your response to each question, and whether it is right or wrong, will be provided as feedback after each attempt. The main purpose of these quizzes is to help you review material in a timely manner.  My advice for taking them is to thoroughly study the appropriate material from your notes and textbook and to then take the quiz without use of your notes.  How well you perform on this first attempt will reflect how well you have prepared, and will also reflect how well you would do on an in-class exam with similar preparation.  Make use of your notes for the second attempt and look up the material you had not mastered.  Be sure to check your grades after completing the online quizzes and let me know ASAP if they don't show up.  D2L has had its peculiarities regarding quiz set up, and I'm certain this new release will introduce new problems.  

In-class Quizzes (approx. 100 points): Most of these quizzes will be very short (2-5 questions) and given at the start of most classes.They will cover information from the previous lecture.Format will be multiple choice and short answer.†††

Other quizzes and homeworks (approx. 75 points):   You will have a major genetics problem homework assignment worth 50 points. Any major in-class quizzes will be announced, and I will let you know the format beforehand.


Laboratories are an essential part of biology. Labs are designed to provide experience with commonly used techniques and to reinforce important concepts. We are currently in the process of revising the lab manual, and the lab instructions will be posted weekly on D2L.

Lab Notebooks (50 points): Preparation prior to lab is essential for understanding the experiment and for its successful execution, and detailed recording of procedures, data, and results are essential to the evaluation and interpretation of your lab. To this end, you are expected to keep a detailed lab notebook. A separate detailed handout will be provided. Briefly, a written lab plan (Purpose, appropriate hypotheses, brief summary of procedure) and answered prelab questions are required prior to each lab (some labs excepted). You need to record your procedures and your data before you leave the lab, and complete your analysis with a brief conclusion as soon as possible, including post-lab questions to be answered before the next lab period. Lab notebooks will be checked periodically during labs, and will be collected and graded at the end of the semester.

Lab Quizzes (100 points): At the start of most labs you will take a short, timed quiz covering that day's pre-lab and the previous weekís post-lab. You may use your lab notebooks (not lab manual) during the quiz. These quizzes will be multiple choice.

Lab Reports (65 points): One complete formal lab report (Mendel's Peas- 25 points) will be turned in for grading towards the end of the semester. You will also be assigned individual formal sections - introduction, methods, results and discussion - during the first half of the semester.DO NOT plagiarize the lab manual or other students.A grading rubric and a description of what needs to be in the report will be provided for each lab. You will receive an F on the assignment if there is evidence of plagiarism; more than one violation will result in an F in the course.  Consult sections on Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism in the college catalog.

Lab Practical (30 points): A lab practical will be given toward the end of the semester.This lab practical will cover techniques such as microscopy and spectrophotometry, as well as factual information from the previous labs.



Attendance: There is a high correlation between class attendance and class performance (i.e., grade). Students who miss class even once a week rarely get better than a D. I occasionally take attendance and give extra credit points to those present. Do not miss labs. Make arrangements in advance if you need to miss a lab. In many cases labs cannot be made up unless we can fit you into another lab section that same week; during the current semester all other lab sections are all before mine. Each unexcused absence (up to 2) from a lab will result in a 25 point deduction from your gradeThree or more unexcused absences will result in an F in the course.

Classroom etiquette: Please turn off cell phones, iPads, etc. during lecture.  Please refrain from talking in class.  Ringing cell phones, texting, and talking during class are unnecessary distractions.  You may be asked to leave the class for violations.  If you use a laptop for taking notes, check with me beforehand and sit near the front (it's easy to get distracted with the internet and games just a click away).  Likewise, let me know if personal situations necessitate keeping a cell phone on.  During exams, electronic devices other than a calculator should be off and put away in a bag or backpack.  I will assume any texting or cell phone/ipad use during an exam is for the purpose of cheating. 

Lab periods are generally less formal and you will obviously need to talk to your lab partners.  In addition, cell phone cameras can be useful for documentation of lab results, and with practice, often take decent photos through a microscope.  However, labs do have quizzes and a lecture component, and the rules above will be applicable for those times. 

Extra Credit: There may be occasional extra credit opportunities, no more than three, tied in to biology seminar attendance and subsequent timely writeup. Students unable to attend will have an alternative assignment. The only opportunities for these extra credit opportunities will be those assigned by me and available to the entire class. Please note that extra credit points have a minimal effect on your overall grade.I do not give extra credit points on an individual basis, so donít ask.


What you need to do to succeed in this class:

Put in the time you need to succeed- The rule of thumb is about two hours minimum per hour in class.For this biology class that means about 10 productive hours of work per week, plus in-class and lab time. For a standard 16 hour semester course load this is about 40 hours of out-of-class time. Unlike many of your high school classes, out-of-class study time is really when you do most of your learning.College is a full time job - be sure to treat it as one.

Work with other students- Many students find that a study partner or a small group facilitates learning. Meet at a regular time in a place with minimal distractions.  Working out problems or concepts before meeting with your group will result in the greatest benefit. 

Come to class prepared- This involves reading the appropriate part of your text before class, and doing any assigned questions or problems.

Take notes in class- The PowerPoint slides are available on D2L.Downloaded and printed out, these can be used to facilitate note-taking in class, but they are not a substitute for note-taking. In this class you will be introduced to themes and concepts most of you have not seen before.I do my best to explain and illustrate concepts such as oxidative phosphorylation, lagging-strand DNA synthesis, and Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium.These concepts are neither intuitive, nor simply memorized.Taking notes when I explain these concepts will aid you in mastering them.The PowerPoints provide illustrations and organization. Some students find the PowerPoint handouts to be a distraction to note-taking.If so, put them aside, take notes in a regular notebook, and then consolidate with the PowerPoints later on.

Take notes when reading your text- The textbook is well-written and is an important resource. You will use it in both Principles I and II, and your upper level courses will build upon these courses (don't sell back this book!). It is most useful when read at the time we cover the material in lecture. A quick skimming of the chapter before class with a more detailed reading immediately after the topic is covered is often the best approach. The figures are especially useful, as these often sum up the topic or concept. Try to reproduce key figures from memory, with appropriate labels. Ask questions as you read.If the section you are reading is about amino acids, read the section with the intent of answering "What is an amino acid?What is the structure of an amino acid?What is the significance of amino acids?"Write down questions you might have as you read.

Compile your notes- Organize your lecture notes and notes you take from the text.I always found that recopying my notes reinforced information and helped me determine what I didn't understand.

Get help early- See me during office hours, email me, or see a biology tutor. Tutors are available at the Learning Center (x1420) in the library and here in Franklin Science Center.  Details will be available during the next week or two when student tutor schedules are established.  The night before the exam is okay for memorizing the finer details, but too late for figuring out major concepts!

Lecture and Lab Schedule F2013- may be subject to change -updated 8/25/2013





M 8/26

Chapter 1 Themes in the Study of Life

Overview of the scientific method, record keeping, and reports

W 8/28

Chapter 2 Basic Chemistry

F 8/30

Chapter 2 Basic Chemistry

M  9/2

Labor Day - no class

Primary Literature Discussion/Microscope overview

W 9/4

Chapter 3 Water

F 9/6

Chapter 4 Carbon Chemistry

M 9/9

Chapter 5 Macromolecules

Cells and Organic Molecules

W 9/11

Chapter 5 Macromolecules


F 9/13

Chapter 5 Macromolecules

M 9/16

 Chapter 8 Metabolism


W 9/18

Chapter 8 Metabolism


F 9/20



M 9/23

Exam 1 (Chapters 1-5, 8)

Enzyme I

W 9/25

Chapter 6 Cell Structure


F 9/27

Chapter 6 Cell Structure

M 9/30

Chapter 7 Membrane Structure and Function

Enzyme II

W 10/2

Chapter 9 Cellular Respiration


F 10/4

Chapter 9 Cellular Respiration


M 10/7

Chapter 9 Cellular Respiration

Photosynthesis & Respiration

W 10/9

Chapter 10 Photosynthesis


F  10/11

Chapter 10 Photosynthesis

M 10/14


Cell Reproduction (Chapter 12 Cell Cycle)

W 10/16

Chapter 12 Cell Cycle; Chapter 11, section 11.4

F 10/18

Chapter 13 Meiosis

M 10/21


Human Genetics

W 10/23

Exam 2 (Chapters 6-10)


F 10/25

Chapter 14 Mendelian Genetics


M 10/28

Chapter 14 Mendelian Genetics

Mendelís Peas

W 10/30

Chapter 15 Chromosomal Basis of Inheritance


F 11/1

Chapter 15 Chromosomal Basis of Inheritance


M 11/4

Chapter 16 Molecular Basis of Inheritance

PV92 I/DNA Tech (Ch 20)

W 11/6

Chapter 17 Gene to Protein


F 11/8

Chapter 17 Gene to Protein

M 11/11


PV92 I/DNA Tech (Ch 20)

W 11/13

Exam 3 (Chapters 12-16)

F 11/15

Chapter 20 DNA Technology


M 11/18

Chapter 21 Genome Organization and Evolution

PV92 III/Pop. Genetics

W 11/20

Chapter 21 Genome Organization and Evolution


F 11/22

Chapter 22 Descent with Modification

M 11/25

Chapter 22 Descent with Modification

No Lab



M 12/2

Chapter 23 Evolution of Populations

Lab Practical

W 12/4

Chapter 23 Evolution of Populations

F 12/6

Final Review