Biological Sciences
Mount Saint Mary's College
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Biological Sciences

Course Descriptions

BIO 1 Biological Dynamics (4)
BIO 1 is the first of a two-semester introductory course sequence designed primarily for science majors. This course is an introduction to the biological sciences at the cellular and subcellular level. Topics include the biochemistry and energetics of life, anatomy of the cell, metabolism, cell cycle, and molecular mechanisms of inheritance. Historical perspective and current findings are incorporated into these units of study. Offered every Fall semester. Lecture 3 hrs; discussion 1 hr. Prerequisite: concurrent enrollment in CHE 1A or completion of CHE 1A with a grade of C or better. GS-III, VIIA

BIO 1L Biological Dynamics Laboratory (1)
The laboratory allows students to become proficient in the scientific methods of investigation for each major topic discussed in BIO 1, including the metric system, chemistry of life, cell structure, metabolism, and cell cycle. Offered every Fall semester. Laboratory 3 hrs. Prerequisite: concurrent enrollment in BIO 1 or completion of BIO 1 with a grade of C or better. GS-III, VIIA.

BIO 2 Biological Dynamics (4)
This course is an introduction to the biological sciences with a focus on evolution, biodiversity and ecosystems. Topics include evolutional theory, population evolution, origin of species, natural history, and the structure and functions of different living forms. Concepts of ecosystems and the interactions between living things and environments are introduced. Offered every Spring semester. Lecture 3 hrs; discussion 1 hr. Prerequisite: a grade of C or above in BIO 1 or equivalent. GS-IIID

BIO 2L Biological Dynamics Laboratory (1)
This laboratory is complementary with BIO 2 lecture, and gives students opportunities to observe, examine, and dissect different living forms. Topics include evolution, bacteriology, protists, plant diversity, animal diversity, plant growth and anatomy. Offered every Spring semester. Laboratory 3 hrs. Prerequisite: concurrent enrollment in BIO 2 or completion of BIO 2 with a grade of C or above.  GS-IIID

BIO 1H Freshman Honors Biology (1)
This course is designed to further explore the concepts presented in BIO 1. An emphasis will be placed on application, critical thinking, quantitative reasoning and problem solving skills. Lecture / discussion 1 hr. Prerequisite: concurrent enrollment in BIO1 and department approval. 

BIO 2H Freshman Honors Biology (1)
This course is designed to further explore the concepts presented in BIO 2. An emphasis will be placed on application, critical thinking, quantitative reasoning and problem solving skills. Lecture / discussion 1 hr. Prerequisite: concurrent enrollment in BIO 2H and department approval.

BIO 3 General Microbiology (3) 
This is an introductory microbiology course that will cover the basic principles of microbial growth and metabolism, cellular morphology and structure, taxonomy, pathogenicity, immunity, and control. Course will focus on microorganisms as agents of disease and normal inhabitants of our environment. Offered every semester. Lecture 3 hrs. GS - IIID

BIO 3L General Microbiology Laboratory (1) 
The laboratory complements BIO 3 lecture and will include techniques of isolation, cultivation and identification of bacteria. Laboratory 3 hrs. Prerequisite: concurrent enrollment in BIO 3 or completion of BIO 3 with a grade of C or better. GS - IIID

BIO 5 Life Sciences (3)
This course is an introduction to the biological sciences for non-major students or as a preparation for major students with emphases on cell biology and biodiversity. Topics include cell structure and function, metabolism and energy flow, cell division, inheritance and genetics, natural selection, and structure and functions of different living forms. The laboratory will illuminate these topics and provide opportunities for hands-on experiences. Offered every semester. Lecture 2 hrs.  Laboratory 2 hrs. GS-IIID 

BIO 10 - Health Science (3)
An introductory course designed to provide the student with a basic understanding of the functioning of the human body as it relates to health problems. Included are such topics as nutrition, infectious disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, reproduction, and the effects of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. Offered every semester. Lecture 3 hrs.  GS-IIID

BIO 50A - Human Anatomy (3)
The study of the structure of the human body. A systemic approach is used beginning with the molecular level and progressing to the organism as a whole to demonstrate the interrelationships at each level of organization. Offered every semester.  Lecture 3 hrs. Prerequisites: successful completion of a high school General Biology course and concurrent enrollment in BIO 50A laboratory. GS-IIID

BIO 50AL – Human Anatomy Laboratory (1)
The laboratory complements BIO 50A lecture. Laboratory exercises are used to expand and clarify the concepts presented in lecture. These include microscopic reviews, dissections and other multiple teaching/learning media.  Offered every semester.  Laboratory 3 hrs. Prerequisites: successful completion of a high school General Biology course and concurrent enrollment in BIO 50A lecture or completion of BIO 50A with a grade of C or better. GS-IIID

BIO 50B – Human Physiology (3)
An introduction to physiological principles with emphasis on organ systems. An integrative approach is used beginning with the molecular and progressing to the organism as a whole to demonstrate the interrelationships at each level of organization. Offered every semester. Lecture 3 hrs. Prerequisites: a grade of C or above in BIO 50A lecture and laboratory. GS-IIID

BIO 50BL – Human Physiology Laboratory (1)
The laboratory complements BIO 50B lecture. Laboratory exercises include measurements of physiological activities from the molecular level to the whole organism. Offered every semester.  Laboratory 3 hrs.  Prerequisites: a grade of C or above in BIO 50A lecture and laboratory and concurrent enrollment in BIO 50B lecture or completion of BIO 50B with a grade of C or better. GS-IIID

BIO 67 Environmental Science (3) 
This course is an introduction to the multidisciplinary field of environmental science with respect to science, law/policy, and economics. The science component covers basic concepts of life, environments and natural resources, biodiversity, renewable and non-renewable resources, conservation, pollution, and other environmental concerns. The law/policy and economic components introduce students to federal and state regulations, risk assessments, social complications, and economic impacts. Field trips, guest lectures, and class debates will be incorporated. Lecture 3 hrs. GS-IIID

BIO 87 - Fundamental Concepts (1-3)
An acyclic series of basic concepts in the field of biological sciences which present an introductory understanding of living systems. GS-IIID

BIO 103 Microbiology (4)
The course focuses on basic principles of microbial growth and metabolism, cellular morphology and structure, taxonomy, pathogenicity, immunity, and control. Course will emphasize microorganisms as agents of disease and normal inhabitants of our environment. Lab will include techniques of isolation, cultivation and identification of microorganisms, with an emphasis on bacteria. Offered every other year. Lecture 3 hrs. Laboratory 3 hrs. Prerequisite: a grade of C or above in CHE 1A/B. Recommended: BIO 135, BIO 130, BIO 152.

BIO 105 - Immunology (3)
Exploration of fundamental concepts of immunology.  Topics include basic mechanisms of innate and adaptive immunity, host:pathogen interactions, regulation of immune responses, antibody and T-cell receptor structure and function, autoimmunity, immunodeficiency and vaccines.  Emphasis is placed on biochemical and molecular approaches to studying the immune system and applications in medicine and research.  Offered every other year. Lecture 3 hrs.  Prerequisites: a grade of C or above in BIO 1/2 and CHE 1 A/B.

BIO 111 Ecology (4)
This course focuses on the general principles of ecology, including natural history, the interactions between organisms and their environments, population dynamics, interactions among organisms at community and ecosystem levels, and large scale ecology, such as landscape ecology and global ecology. Scientific investigations in ecological principles and environmental problems will be discussed throughout the course. Laboratory gives students opportunities to learn how to design, execute, analyze and present research projects. Lecture 3 hrs. Laboratory 3 hrs. Prerequisite: a grade of C or above in BIO 1/2

BIO 112 Human Nutrition (3)
A study of different nutrients with emphasis on nutritional requirements for health and prevention of chronic diseases which are major causes of death in the United States today. Topics include healthy lifestyle including daily meal planning, weight control and exercise, harmful effects of alcohol and drugs. Special needs during pregnancy and lactation, infancy and childhood, adulthood, and old age will also be considered. This course is primarily designed for second-year nursing major students. Lecture 3 hrs.

BIO 115AB - Research Methods (1,1)
Introduction to the philosophy and principles of scientific methods of inquiry used in research and problem solving. Includes identification of problems, construction of hypotheses and initial development of research questions and proposal. Second semester emphasizes oral presentation of published literature.

BIO 125 – Developmental Biology (4) 
This course focuses on the patterns, processes and mechanisms by which a single cell changes and is transformed into a fully organized individual. We will explore – at the cellular and molecular levels — the mechanisms involved in fertilization, morphogenesis, organogenesis, and sex determination, emphasizing the experimental bases for generalizations whenever appropriate. In the laboratory, students will use several model systems including sea urchin, Drosophila, Caenorhabditis, frog, zebra fish and chick to investigate aspects of developmental mechanisms. Offered every other year. Lecture 3 hrs. Laboratory 3 hrs. Prerequisites:   a grade of C or above in BIO 1/2, BIO 152.

BIO 130 Genetics (4)
The course focuses on the organization, maintenance, function and inheritance of genes. Topics include Mendelian inheritance, mapping and linkage of genes, structure and inheritance of chromosomes, genetic mutations, and the analysis of genomes. In addition, the course includes discussions of genetic disorders, the relationship of genetics to environmental influences, and an introduction to both current and historical techniques used in the field. Offered once per year. Lecture 3 hrs. Laboratory 3 hrs. Prerequisites: a grade of C or above in BIO 1/2, and BIO 135.

BIO 135 Molecular Biology (4)
This course focuses on the central dogma of biology and emphasizes the following topics: (1) structure and function of macromolecules such as DNA, RNA, and proteins; (2) DNA replication and repair; (3) expression of the genome through transcription, splicing, and translation; (4) gene regulation. The laboratory portion of the course introduces techniques in nucleic acid and protein preparation and manipulation fundamental in modern experimentation. Lecture 3 hrs. Laboratory 3 hrs. Prerequisites: a grade of C or above in BIO 1/2.

BIO 141 – Cancer Biology (3)
This class will focus on molecular, genetic, and cellular aspects of cancer. Genetic topics discussed include tumor suppressor genes, oncogenes, and the mechanisms of DNA mutation leading to cancer. Cellular aspects covered in the class will include cell cycle regulation, metastasis and angiogenesis. The class will also touch upon some cancer therapies and treatments. Offered every other Fall semester. Lecture 3 hrs. Prerequisite: a grade of C or above in BIO 135 and BIO 130.

BIO 151 Medical Physiology (4)
The lecture portion of this course will cover the physiology of cells, organs and organ systems with an emphasis on biophysical and biochemical principles and how they contribute to homeostasis. All of the major organ systems will be covered including nervous, muscular, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, endocrine, and reproductive. The laboratory component will involve performing experimental investigations of physiological phenomena using both animal and human model systems. Offered every other year. Lecture 3 hrs.   Laboratory 3 hrs. Prerequisites: a grade of C or above in BIO 1/2 and CHE 1A/B. Recommended: BIO 152. GS-II, VIIA

BIO 152 Cellular Biology (4)
A detailed analysis of eukaryotic cell structure and function. This course aims to give students an in-depth understanding of protein structure and function, membrane dynamics, cell communication, and cell cycle regulation. An emphasis is placed on research findings in each topic. Laboratory techniques cover current methods in cell biology and include cell culture, cell fractionation, electrophoresis, immunoassays, histology and microscopy. Offered every year. Lecture 3 hrs. Laboratory 3 hrs. Prerequisites: a grade of C or above in BIO 1/2 and BIO 135.

BIO 160 Neurobiology (3)
An introduction to the fundamental concepts of neurobiology. An emphasis is placed on the molecular organization, biochemistry and physiology of nerve cells and how the organization of these cells underlies the functional properties of the brain and behavior. Topics to be covered include membrane biophysics, synaptic physiology, sensory transduction, motor control and the molecular mechanisms of learning and memory. Offered every other year. Lecture 3 hrs. Prerequisites: a grade of C or above in BIO 1/2; CHE 1A/B, PHY 1B. Recommended: BIO 152; BIO 151; CHE 107.

BIO 167 Advanced Topics in Environmental Science (4) 
This is an upper division course with emphases on analyzing and solving environmental problems. Traditional classroom lectures, laboratory exercises, formal debates, guest lectures and field trips are incorporated to help students to gain hand-on experience and understand real world problems. Topics include, but are not limited to, knowledge of environments and natural resources, invasive species, pollution, global warming, wild life and habitat conservation, and other environmental concerns. Lecture 3 hrs.  Laboratory 3 hrs. Prerequisite: a grade of C or above in BIO 1/2. 

BIO 187 Selected Topics in Biology (1-3) 
An acyclic series of topics of current interest in the biological sciences which presents recent developments in the field.

BIO 195 Senior Seminar in Biology (3)
An in-depth analysis of various topics in biology. This is a capstone course in which students will demonstrate their cumulative knowledge of the biology major through student presentations, discussions, and written reports.

BIO 196H - Senior Honors Thesis (3)
Open only to students admitted into the Honors Program.

BIO 197 Research Readings (1)
A seminar style course that will use current literature in a biological topic to teach students how to read and critically evaluate scientific manuscripts. An emphasis is placed on analyzing research design and methodology, data presentation and developing conclusions. Topics will be chosen by the instructor. Offered every semester.

BIO 199 Independent Study (1-3)
The initiation or continuation of a project under departmental faculty direction. Work should culminate in a research paper or report.