Print Version

Effective: Summer 2015

Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Natural Sciences Transferable: CSU/UC
4 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (84 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • Explain the scientific method and demonstrate an ability to use this method of study.
  • Explain the concept of evolution and the mechanism of natural selection.
  • Describe the risk factors and methods of prevention for cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Description -
Methods of science and basic principles of biology. Special emphasis on genetics, ecology, overpopulation, nutrition and disease prevention.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. explain the scientific method and demonstrate its application to problem solving.
  2. critically evaluate scientific information.
  3. relate methods of science and the role science plays in today's world.
  4. describe basic principles and processes common to all forms of life.
  5. explain the cell theory and describe the structure and function of cells
  6. relate basic nutrition concepts to cell function and disease prevention
  7. understand the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease and cancer
  8. describe basic genetic principles unifying past and present life forms.
  9. describe human genetic diseases and disorders.
  10. describe the evidence that supports the theory of evolution
  11. explain the central role of evolution as a theory in biology
  12. describe basic ecological principles and relate them to current environmental issues.
  13. discuss the importance of each human in preserving, protecting and improving the quality of life for all organisms.
  14. use basic laboratory skills to explore topics in biology.
  15. use library and internet facilities to explore topics in biology.
  16. use basic mathematic, communication and critical thinking skills in the study of biology.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
Fully equipped biology laboratory, lecture room, microscopes, computer facilities, and audio visual equipment.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Scientific method
    1. Attributes of science
    2. Steps in the scientific method
    3. Inductive and deductive reasoning
    4. Importance of controls, repeatability and peer review
    5. Limits to the scientific method
  2. Basic biological concepts
    1. Characteristics common to all life forms; the virus debate
    2. Importance of evolution as a central theory in biology
    3. Hierarchical levels of organization in nature
    4. Binomial nomenclature and taxonomy
      1. Domains
      2. Kingdoms
      3. Classification of human beings
  3. Important Elements and Molecules
    1. The elements of life (CHNOPS)
    2. Water
    3. Macromolecules of life
      1. Carbohydrates
      2. Lipids
      3. Proteins
      4. Nucleic Acids
  4. Cells
    1. Characteristics common to all cells
    2. Cell theory
    3. Possible origin(s)
    4. Prokaryotes and eukaryotes
    5. Plasma membrane
      1. Fluid Mosaic theory
      2. Transport mechanisms
    6. Eukaryotic organelles and functions
  5. Energy metabolism and homeostasis
    1. Physics background information
      1. Definitions of energy, work and calories
      2. Laws
        1. Conservation of matter
        2. Conservation of energy
        3. Entropy
    2. Synthesis and hydrolysis
    3. Activation energy, enzymes, ATP
    4. Cellular respiration
      1. Glycolysis
      2. Citric acid cycle
      3. Oxidative phosphorylation
    5. Photosynthesis
      1. Light reaction
      2. Calvin cycle
      3. Environmental issues
        1. Comparing C3, C4 and CAM plants (from the perspective of xeric ad aptations)
        2. Global warming
        3. Ozone depletion
  6. Nutrition
    1. Water
    2. Organic macromolecules: carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins
    3. Recommendations for preventing cardiovascular disease
    4. Vitamins and minerals
    5. Eating disorders: malnutrition, obesity, anorexia, and bulimia
    6. Dietary recommendations for cancer prevention
  7. Molecular genetics
    1. History, research and discoveries
    2. DNA structure and reproduction
    3. Protein synthesis: RNA, transcription, and translation
  8. Reproduction
    1. Cell cycle - interphase, mitosis and cytokinesis
    2. Sexual reproduction and meiosis
    3. Human gametogenesis
  9. Inheritance
    1. Phenotype as controlled by genotype
    2. Mendelian Principles
    3. Nonmendelian inheritance
      1. Sex-linked and sex influenced characteristics
      2. Incomplete and codominance
      3. Multifactorial inheritance
    4. Chromosome abnormalities
    5. Human Genome Project
    6. Allele frequencies in different cultures
  10. Mutations and cancer
    1. Basic definitions - tumor, benign, malignant, metastasis
    2. Carcinogens
    3. Tumor suppressor genes, oncogenes and p53
    4. Cancer's warning signals and safeguards
  11. Evolution
    1. Historical perspective
    2. Central theory in the study of biology
    3. Evidence for evolution
    4. Microevolution and macroevolution
    5. Coevolution
  12. Ecology
    1. Populations
    2. Human population growth: history and prospects for the future
    3. Communities
    4. Ecosystems
    5. Biosphere
    6. Environmental issues and global concerns
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. One or more objective written midterm exams.
  2. Frequent laboratory quizzes that include both short essay and objective questions.
  3. Short essay.
  4. Genetic problems.
  5. Use of nutritional data base.
  6. Written objective comprehensive final exam.
Representative Text(s) -
Campbell, Neil A., L. G. Mitchell, and J. B. Reece. Biology: Concepts & Connections. 5th ed. San Francisco, CA: Benjamin Cummings, 2009.
Duncan, Kathleen: Biology 10 Laboratory Experiments. Foothill College, 2010.
Duncan, Kathleen: Biology 10 Study Guide. Foothill College, 2010.

Disciplines -
Method of Instruction -
Lecture, Discussion, Cooperative learning exercises, Laboratory, Field trips.
Lab Content -
  1. Scientific method
    1. Generating and testing hypotheses
    2. Identifying dependent, independent and controlled variables
    3. Critique experimental design
    4. Recording quantitative and qualitative observations
    5. Data analysis, including reporting and drawing conclusions
  2. Basic skills
    1. Critical thinking
    2. Mathematical calculations
    3. Generating and interpreting graphs
    4. Basics of probability theory applied to transmission genetics
    5. Use of library and internet sources
    6. Written and oral reports
  3. Biology lab skills
    1. Microscopy
    2. Weights and measures
    3. Field observations
  4. Basic principles
    1. Cell structure
    2. Homeostasis with emphasis on osmosis and pH
    3. Photosynthesis
    4. Nutrition and exercise analysis
    5. DNA structure and DNA profiling
    6. Inheritance and human genetic disorders
    7. Mitosis, meiosis and karyotypes
    8. Evolution and natural selection
    9. Ecology and conservation
    10. Applying scientific concepts to daily life issues
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Reading Assignments
    1. Weekly reading assignments from text
    2. Supplemental reading assignments from web source relevant to course material
  2. Writing Assignments
    1. Weekly assignment to answer objective set questions and define vocabulary
    2. 300 word essay - discuss previous interactions with nature, reflect on the impact these interactions to personal development, identify other individuals that should be introduced to this experience and consider the preservation of the habitat in which the experience took place.
    3. 500 word essay - summarize a critical evaluation of a daily menu discussing protein content, cardiovascular risk analysis, and cancer risk analysis.
  3. Computation and writing
    1. Maintain and analyze a diet and exercise diary for one day.
    2. Construct and interpret graphs.
    3. Complete genetic analysis of DNA profile data
    4. Calculate and critically evaluate inheritance problems using Mendelian principles.