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Textbook:  Campbell Biology, Reece, Jane B., et al, 10th edition, Pearson/Benjamin Cummings, 2011.

Laboratory Manual and Equipment

Biology:  Cellular and Molecular – BIOL 123, 3rd Custom Edition, Community College of Philadelphia, Biology Department by Mader, Sylvia S. Laboratory Manual to Accompany Inquiry into Life, 14th edition, McGraw-Hill.

Students are required to wear Safety Glasses and Gloves during all laboratory sessions.

Biology 123 provides students with a firm knowledge of cellular and molecular biology.

At the end of the course students will:

1. Identify the unifying themes that characterize the biological sciences.

2. Characterize the structure and function of biologically-important molecules with an emphasis on macromolecules.

3. Explain the structure and function of both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

4. Explain the structure and function of cellular membranes.

5. Explain the molecular mechanism of cellular communication.

6. Trace the flow of energy and matter through biological systems.

7. Compare and contrast methods of cellular reproduction.

8. Explain the structural organization of the prokaryotic and eukaryotic genome.

9. Explain the flow of genetic information in biological systems.


(*) denotes objectives emphasized in lab

Chapter 1:  Introduction to Biology

1. Describe the unifying themes that characterize the biological sciences.

2. List and explain the characteristics of living systems.

3. Diagram the hierarchy of structural organization in biology and explain how the properties of life emerge from complex organization.

4. Distinguish among the three domains of life, and among the eukaryotic kingdoms.

5. Apply the scientific method as it relates to biology. *

6. Distinguish between the following pairs of terms: quantitative and qualitative data, inductive and deductive reasoning, science and technology. *

7. Explain how science and technology are interdependent. *

Chapter 2:  Chemical Context of Life

1. Identify the six major elements of biological systems and explain how electron configuration influences the chemical behavior of an atom.

2. Define electronegativity and explain how it influences the formation of chemical bonds.

3. Differentiate between and discuss the biological importance of the following: nonpolar covalent bonds, polar covalent bonds, ionic bonds, hydrogen bonds, and van der Waals interactions.

4. Evaluate ionic dissociation as it relates to molecular structure.

Chapter 3: Water and the Fitness of the Environment

1. List four characteristics of water that are emergent properties resulting from hydrogen bonding.

2. Contrast acids and bases. *

3. Explain how buffers work. *

Chapter 4:  Carbon and the Molecular Diversity of Life

1. Explain how carbon’s electron configuration explains its ability to form complex and diverse organic molecules.

2. Describe how carbon skeletons may vary and explain how this variation contributes to the diversity and complexity of organic molecules.

3. Distinguish among the three types of isomers: structural, geometric, and enantiomer.

4. Name the major functional groups found in organic molecules; describe the basic structure of each group and outline the chemical properties of the organic molecules in which they occur.

Chapter 5:  The Structure and Function of Macromolecules

  1. List the four major classes of biomolecules.
  2. Describe how organic polymers are formed and broken down.
  3. Explain how organic polymers contribute to biological diversity.
  4. Describe the distinguishing characteristics of carbohydrates, explain how they are classified, and discuss their biological functions.
  5. Describe the unique properties, building block molecules and biological importance of five important groups of lipids: fats, phospholipids, sphingolipids, waxes and steroids.
  6. Discuss the amphipathic nature of some molecules.
  7. Describe the characteristics that distinguish proteins from the other major classes of macromolecules, and explain biologically important functions of proteins.
  8. Describe the structure of amino acids, and explain how amino acids may be grouped according to the physical and chemical properties of the side chains, and how side chain diversity affects the properties of a protein.
  9. Discuss why amino acids are amphoteric.
  10. Explain what determines protein conformation and why it is important.
  11. Describe the four levels of protein structure and the chemicals bonds and interactions that stabilize the structure of a protein.
  12. Describe the characteristics that distinguish nucleic acids from the other major groups of macromolecules.
  13. Distinguish between the following pairs: pyrimidine and purine, nucleotide and nucleoside, ribose and deoxyribose, the 5 end and 3 end of a nucleotide.
  14. Describe the structure of the nitrogenous bases found in nucleic acids.
  15. Describe the three dimensional structure of DNA and how its structure is stabilized.
  16. Choose the appropriate chemical reagents to identify the different classes of carbohydrates.*
  17. Evaluate biological samples for the presence of protein. *

Chapter 6:  Cell Structure

Chapter 27:  Bacteria and Archaea

  1. Explain why there are both upper and lower limits to cell size.
  2. Compare and contrast prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
  3. Distinguish between the cell walls of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.
  4. State the function of the following features: capsule, fimbriae, sex pilus, nucleoid, plasmid, and endospore.
  5. Explain why compartmentalization is important in eukaryotic cells.
  6. Describe the structure and function of the nucleus, and explain how the nucleus controls protein synthesis in the cytoplasm.
  7. Describe the structure and function of a eukaryotic ribosome, the difference between free and bound ribosomes.  Discuss intracellular protein targeting.
  8. List the components of the endomembrane system, describe their formation, their structures and functions, and summarize the functional relationships among them.
  9. Distinguish between vesicles and vacuoles.
  10. Describe the types of vacuoles and explain how their functions differ.
  11. Explain the role of peroxisomes in eukaryotic cells.
  12. Describe the structure of a mitochondrion and a chloroplast.
  13. Describe the functions of the cytoskeleton explaining the structure and functions of microtubules, microfilaments, and intermediate filaments.
  14. Explain how the ultrastructure of cilia and flagella relates to their function.
  15. Describe the structure of intercellular junctions found in plant and animal cells, and relate their structure to function.
  16. Describe the structure of a plant cell wall.
  17. Describe the structure and roles of the extracellular matrix in animal cells.
  18. Describe techniques used to study cell structure and function. *
  19. Describe the principles, advantages, and limitations of the dissecting stereomicroscope, compound light microscope, transmission electron microscope and the scanning electron microscope. *
  20. Demonstrate the proper use of a compound light microscope. *
  21. Demonstrate the proper techniques for preparing a wet mount. *
  22. Describe the structure of a bacterial chromosome.
  23. Discuss horizontal gene transfer in bacteria: conjugation, transduction and transformation. *
  24. Explain how the F plasmid controls conjugation in bacteria. *
  25. Explain how R plasmids confer antibiotic resistance on bacteria. *
  26. Demonstrate and calculate transformation efficiency of genetically-manipulated E. coli*

Chapter 7:  Membrane Structure and Function

1. Describe the functions of the cell membrane.

2. Explain how hydrophobic interactions and phospholipid structure determine membrane structure and function.

3. Describe the fluid properties of the cell membrane and explain how membrane fluidity is influenced by membrane composition.

4. Describe how proteins are spatially arranged in the plasma membrane and discuss their functions.  Distinguish between peripheral and integral membrane proteins; channel and carrier proteins.

5. Compare and contrast passive and active transport.

6. Describe factors that affect selective permeability of membranes.

7. Explain how transport proteins function and why they are similar to enzymes.

8. Describe the difference between simple diffusion and facilitated diffusion; describe one model for facilitated diffusion.

9. Explain why a concentration gradient across a membrane represents potential energy.

10. Explain what mechanisms can generate a membrane potential or electrochemical gradient.

11. Explain how potential energy generated by transmembrane solute gradients can be harvested by the cell and used to transport substances across the membrane.

12. Explain how large molecules or large quantities of material are transported across the cell membrane via endocytosis (3 types) and exocytosis.

13. Explain how membrane proteins interface with and respond to changes in the extracellular environment.

14. Set up a demonstration of diffusion; explain what causes it, why it is a spontaneous process and what factors influence rate of diffusion. *

15. Define osmosis and predict the direction of water movement based upon differences in solute concentration. *

16. Demonstrate the effect of hypertonic, hypotonic, and isotonic solutions on animal and plant cells.*

Chapter 8:  An Introduction to Metabolism

1. Explain the role of catabolic and anabolic pathways in the energy exchanges of cellular metabolism; explain amphibolic pathways.

2. Distinguish between kinetic and potential energy; open and closed systems; exergonic and endergonic reactions.

3. Explain the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics;

4. Explain why highly ordered living organisms do not violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

5. Distinguish between entropy, enthalpy and free energy; explain their mathematical relationships.

6. List two major factors that contribute to the spontaneity of a process.

7. Explain the implications of free energy changes on living systems and cell metabolism.

8. Describe the function of ATP in the cell and explain how ATP performs cellular work.

9. Explain why an investment of activation energy is necessary to initiate a spontaneous reaction. *

10. Describe the function of enzymes in biological systems and the mechanisms by which enzymes lower activation energy. *

11. Evaluate the variables that are known to contribute to the efficiency of enzyme activity. *

12. Explain how metabolic pathways are regulated.

Chapter 9:  Cellular Respiration: Harvesting Chemical Energy

1. Explain in general terms how redox reactions are involved in energy exchanges.

2. Explain how exergonic oxidation of glucose is coupled to endergonic synthesis of ATP.

3. Distinguish between substrate-level phosphorylation and oxidative phosphorylation.

4. Name the four stages of cellular respiration; for each, state the region of the eukaryotic cell where it occurs and the products that result.

5. Explain how mitochondrion structure relates to its function.

6. Explain chemiosmosis and its role in ATP production.

7. Assess the effect of regulatory mechanisms on cellular respiration.

8. Compare and contrast fermentation, aerobic respiration and anaerobic respiration.

9. Describe the fate of pyruvate in the absence of oxygen.

Chapter 10:  Photosynthesis

1. Distinguish between autotrophic and heterotrophic nutrition.

2. Explain how chloroplast structure relates to its function.

3. Explain what happens when chlorophyll or accessory pigments absorb photons of visible light.

4. Summarize the light-dependent reactions and list the components of a photosystem and explain their function.

5. Trace the movement of electrons in linear electron flow and cyclic electron flow and identify the products of each.

6. Describe the events that cause chloroplasts to shift from linear electron flow to cyclic electron flow.

7. Summarize the carbon-fixing reactions of the Calvin cycle and describe changes that occur in the carbon skeleton of the intermediates.

8. Describe the role of ATP and NADPH in the Calvin cycle.

9. Compare and contrast C3, C4, and CAM photosynthesis and state the advantages of each.

10. Judge the differences in molecular structure of photosynthetic pigments using paper chromatography. *

11. Measure and compare the difference between the effect of white light and green light on photosynthesis. *

Chapter 11:  Cell Communication

1. Categorize chemical signals in terms of the proximity of the communicating cells.

2. Describe the nature of a ligand-receptor interaction and state how such interactions initiate a signal transduction system.

3. Compare different types of cell-surface receptors (G protein-coupled receptors, tyrosine kinase receptors, and ligand-gated ion channel receptors) and contrast with intracellular receptors.

4. Describe the role of protein phosphorylation in signal transduction.

5. Explain how an original signal molecule can produce a cellular response when it may not even enter the target cell; include the role of second messengers.

6. Explain why different types of cells may respond differently to the same signal molecule.

7. Describe how cAMP, DAG and IP3 are formed and how they propagate signal information.

8. Describe how signal information is transduced into cellular responses in the cytoplasm and in the nucleus.

9. Describe how signal amplification via second messengers is accomplished in target cells.

Chapter 12:  Cell Cycle and Chapter 18:  Regulation of Gene Expression

  1. Describe the structural organization of the prokaryotic and eukaryotic genome.
  2. Describe how chromosome number changes throughout the human life cycle.
  3. List the phases of the cell cycle and describe the sequence of events that occurs during each phase.
  4. List the phases of mitosis and describe the events characteristic of each phase.
  5. Compare cytokinesis in animals and plants.
  6. Describe the process of binary fission in bacteria.
  7. Describe the roles of checkpoints, cyclin, Cdk, and MPF, in the cell-cycle control system.
  8. Describe the normal control mechanisms that limit cell growth and division.
  9. Discuss how cancer results from genetic changes that affect cell cycle control.
  10. Discuss the types of genes associated with cancer: proto-oncogenes, oncogenes, and tumor-suppressor genes
  11. Explain how the abnormal division of cancerous cells escapes normal cell cycle controls.
  12. Distinguish between benign, malignant, and metastatic tumors.

Chapter 13:  Meiosis and Sexual Life Cycles

  1. Explain why organisms only reproduce their own kind, and why offspring more closely resemble their parents than unrelated individuals of the same species.
  2. Explain what makes heredity possible.
  3. Distinguish between the following terms: somatic cell and gamete; autosome and sex chromosomes; haploid and diploid.
  4. Distinguish among the life cycle patterns of animals, fungi, and plants.
  5. List the phases of meiosis I and meiosis II and describe the events characteristic of each phase; include synapsis and genetic recombination during Prophase I.
  6. Describe key differences between mitosis and meiosis; explain how the end result of meiosis differs from that of mitosis.
  7. Explain how independent assortment, crossing over, and random fertilization contribute to genetic variation in sexually reproducing organisms.

Chapter 14:  Mendel and the Gene Idea

  1. Explain Mendel’s law of segregation.
  2. Distinguish between genotype and phenotype; heterozygous and homozygous; dominant and recessive.
  3. Define the term “random event”, and explain why it is significant that allele segregation during meiosis and fusion of gametes at fertilization are random events.
  4. Explain Mendel’s law of independent assortment.
  5. Explain how the phenotypic expression of the heterozygote is affected by complete dominance, incomplete dominance and codominance.

Chapter 15:  Chromosomal Basis for Inheritance

1. Distinguish among deletions, duplications, translocations and inversions within the genome of an organism.

2. Define polyploidy.

3. Define aneuplidy: trisomy and monosomy.

4. Explain how nondisjunction can lead to aneuploidy and polyploidy.

5. Explain how an organism compensates for the fact that some individuals have a double dosage of X-linked genes while others have only one.

Chapter 16:  The Molecular Basis of Inheritance

  1. Explain how Watson and Crick deduced the structure of DNA, and describe what evidence they used.
  2. Describe the structure of DNA.
  3. Explain semi-conservative replication and the roles of helicase, single strand binding protein, DNA polymerase, DNA ligase and primase; include the following terms: antiparallel structure, leading strand, lagging strand, and Okazaki fragments.
  4. Describe the function of telomeres and their implication in the replication of eukaryotic DNA.
  5. Compare and contrast the organization of prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes.
  6. Distinguish between heterochromatin and euchromatin.
  7. Explain how DNA methylation and histone acetylation affect chromatin structure and gene expression.

Chapter 17:  From Gene to Protein

1. Explain how RNA differs from DNA.

2. Explain how information flows from gene to polypeptide.

3. Describe where transcription and translation occur in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes, and the significance of the differences inherent in these two types of cells.

4. Define codon, and explain what relationship exists between the linear sequence of codons on mRNA and the linear sequence of amino acids in a polypeptide.

5. Explain in what way the genetic code is redundant and unambiguous.

6. Explain the process of transcription including the three major steps of initiation, elongation, and termination.

7. Describe the general role of RNA polymerase in transcription.

8. Distinguish among mRNA, tRNA, and rRNA.

9. Describe the difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic mRNA.

10. Describe the process and purpose of mRNA processing in the eukaryotic cell.

11. Explain how eukaryotic mRNA is processed before it leaves the nucleus.

12. Describe the biological functions of introns, exons and gene splicing.

13. Describe the term “wobble effect” as it relates to translation.

14. Describe the structure of a ribosome, and explain how this structure relates to function.

15. Describe the process of translation, including initiation, elongation, and termination, and explain what enzymes, protein factors, and energy sources are needed for each stage.

16. Describe how mutagenesis can occur and its possible effect on protein structure.

17. Describe the difference between a base pair substitution, a base pair insertion or deletion; explain how a frame-shift mutation can occur.

Chapter 18:  Regulation of Gene Expression

  1. Describe the importance of mRNA degradation in eukaryotes, and how it can be prevented.
  2. Explain how gene expression may be controlled at the translational and post-translational level.
  3. Compare the arrangement of coordinately controlled genes in prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
  4. Describe the effects of gene amplification, selective gene loss and DNA methylation.

Chapter 19: Viruses

1. List and describe the structural components of viruses. *

2. Explain why viruses are obligate parasites. *

3. Describe the patterns of viral genome replication. *

4. Distinguish between lytic and lysogenic reproductive cycles using phage T4 and phage lambda as examples. *

Chapter 20:  Biotechnology

1. Outline the steps involved in the isolation and purification of plasmid DNA from bacterial cells. *

2. Describe the natural function of restriction enzymes and explain how they are used in recombinant DNA technology. *

3. Explain how the creation of sticky ends by restriction enzymes is useful in producing a recombinant DNA molecule. *

4. Describe how restriction enzymes and gel electrophoresis are used to isolate DNA fragments. *

5. Explain how gel electrophoresis is used to analyze nucleic acids and to distinguish between two alleles of a gene. *

6. Explain how vectors are used in recombinant DNA technology. *

7. List and describe the two major sources of genes for cloning. *

8. Define a SNP and explain how it may produce a RFLP. *

9. Explain how DNA technology is used in the forensic sciences. *

10. Explain how bacteria can be induced to produce eukaryotic gene products. *

11. Explain how RFLP analysis and PCR can be applied to the Human Genome Project. *

Biol 123

Cellular & Molecular Biology

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