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Biology Courses

BI 101
Principles of Biology I (5 credits)
Bi101 provides an introduction to the basic principles of biology and a structure/function analysis of the cell. Topics include: chemical principles, cell structure and function, energy, cellular metabolism and growth and an introduction to Mendelian genetics. A weekly lab complements lecture material with appropriate experiments and demonstrations. Fall and Spring. Group III

BI 102
Principles of Biology II (5 credits)
Bi102 will continue to the introduction to the basic principles of biology.  We will start with an overview of macromolecules with a focus on DNA and protein.  Students will also study patterns of inheritance and how genetics influences the process of evolution.  Students will then learn how evolution has led to biodiversity by looking at the classification of organisms.  We will look at Bacteria, Archaea, Protists and Plants.  Finally we will look at how organisms interact with their environment through the study of ecosystems and ecology.  Weekly labs will support the concepts in the class by investigating specific examples of genetics, inheritance, structure and function of different phyla of living organisms.  Questions pertaining to these experiments will challenge you to think and reason about the information. Bi101 and Bi102 are required for all PMC biology majors. Bi102 can be taken before Bi101.Spring. Group III, Scientific Understanding Thematic Area.

BI 115
Life in the Universe (4 credits)
Is there life elsewhere in the Universe?  Are there other planets in our Solar System or in planetary systems around other stars where life originated and survived?  How much like Earth do planets have to be in order to support life?  Are they common or rare?  In this class, we will consider these and related questions from a variety of perspectives, with an emphasis on evidence supplied by astronomical observations and theories. The scientific study of these questions is now commonly referred to as astrobiology, a new and rapidly expanding interdisciplinary field. Course content will include the overall scale and organization of structure in the Universe, the formation of stars and planets, the nature and history of life on Earth, the physical processes that affect the habitability of planets, the current efforts to detect planets around other stars, and the prospect of interstellar travel. The course is designed to be accessible to non-science majors and science majors alike. Group III Scientific Understanding Signature Course

BI 201/301
Special Topics in Cell Biology
This course is an in-depth exploration of cell structure and function, and builds on the basic information presented in BI101 and BI102. This course is a Special Topics course and therefore the main topic of the course will change to focus on current topics in the field of cell biology research and their application in medicine and biological science. This course continues the biology program emphasis on learning how to read and interpret the appropriate level of research literature. A student taking the course at the 300 level will complete a research paper that utilizes primary literature while students taking the course at the 200 level will complete smaller writing assignments that involve accessing the scientific literature. Current cell biology research scientists are invited to lecture on special topics. Prerequisites: C or higher in Bi101 or permission of the instructor

BI 202
Evolution and Biodiversity
Bi202 examines the processes of evolution and the sequence of events that lead to the introduction of new forms of life. The course starts with a review of basic information about genes, Mendelian inheritance, the general structure of DNA/genes and control of gene expression. Additional topics include the theories of Darwin, adaptation, the emergence of populations, speciation, biodiversity, the origin of life on earth. The course will cover the evolution of plants and fungi, the move of living organisms from aqueous environments to land, the evolution of animals and human evolution. Novel techniques and initiatives such as the Genographic Project will be discussed. The text will be supplemented with readings from the lay and research literature. Offered Spring semester alternate years. Group III

BI 203
Cell Biology (5 credits)
This course focuses on the structure and function of eukaryotic cells. The course begins with a very brief review of cell composition and metabolism, and continues to the fundamentals of molecular biology. Further topics include the organization of the genome, DNA replication, RNA transcription, translation, and protein processing, cell signaling and communication, the cell cycle, cell death and renewal, cellular transformation/cancer induction. The text is supplemented with readings from the lay and research literature. Spring. Prerequisite: BI101 or permission. Group III

BI 205
Anatomy and Physiology I (5 credits)
Students make a systematic study of the human body, its structures, functions and malfunctions. The course allows the student to observe physiological processes in her own body, as well as in living and preserved laboratory specimens. A weekly lab complements the lecture. Fall. Prerequisite(s): C or better in BI 101 or BI 102.     Group III

BI 206
Anatomy and Physiology II (5 credits)
A continuation of BI 205. Spring. Prerequisite: BI 205 or permission. Group III

BI 210
Introduction to Biomedical Laboratory Science (at the Metropolitan College of Boston University) (5 credits)
This course provides a theoretical and practical foundation in laboratory science. Students are introduced to the scientific method, laboratory mathematics, chemistry, biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, and immunology. Students learn hands-on solution making, electrophoresis, protein quantitation and other commonly used laboratory methods. Emphasis is placed on lab safety, proper handling of instruments, careful following of written instructions for lab procedures, maintenance of lab notebooks, and data collection, presentation and analysis. Prerequisites: BI101, BI103; GPA 2.5 Strongly suggest CH110/120. Fall; See Metropolitan College catalogue for schedule. Group III

BI 211
Protein Purification and Analysis (at the Metropolitan College of Boston University) (5 credits)
Familiarizes students with the theory and application of many biochemical techniques involved in protein purification and characterization, such as chromatography (ion exchange, gel permeation, hydrophobic affinity), electrophoresis and blotting techniques. Students learn to think critically about methodology, design a purification scheme, scale it up, and troubleshoot an existing plan. Special problems with recombinant proteins are also covered. The laboratory component will include a wide variety of conventional methods for protein isolation, purification, and characterization. Prerequisites: BI101, Bi103; GPA 2.5 ; Strongly suggest CH110/120. Spring; See Metropolitan College catalogue for schedule. Group III

BI 212
Environmental Issues: Global Problems, Local Solutions
Students learn to relate important environmental issues such as global warming, overpopulation, resource use and the consequences of industrialization to current positions of scientists, educators, politicians and the general public. Emphasis is placed on issues of global concern and local actions proposed to address them. A background of ecological principles begins the course which concludes with students presenting a portfolio on a local grassroots movement. Offered Spring semester in alternate years. Group III

BI 213
Techniques in Molecular Biology (at the Metropolitan College of Boston University) (5 credits)
The course is comprised of a lecture part focusing on the structure, function, and analysis of DNA and RNA and a laboratory component in which students isolate, analyze, and manipulate DNA and RNA in the test tube. Experiments include the isolation of genomic DNA and RNA, followed by their analysis through gel electrophoresis, spectrophotometry, PCR, and blotting techniques. Students are introduced to recombinant DNA technology through bacterial transformation, plasmid preps, mapping of plasmids by restriction digests, and purification of recombinant protein from bacteria by column chromatography. The course also includes a bioinformatics component in which students use a web platform to access various genetic databases, retrieve genetic sequence information and analyze the sequences using free software for translation and restriction enzyme mapping. Prerequisites: BI101, BI103; GPA 2.5; Strongly suggest CH110/120. Fall; See Metropolitan College Catalogue for Schedule. Group III

BI 222
CSI: An Introduction to Forensic Science
Forensic Science is the application of science to law. This course will provide students with an introduction to forensic science in an interdisciplinary way. The course will introduce basic concepts in anatomy and physiology and apply that knowledge to conventional forensic serology, fingerprint analysis, and forensic pathology. Students will apply quantitative reasoning to understand and analyze blood spatter patterns. Students will learn about DNA and how DNA evidence can be used to solve crimes. In addition, techniques used in autopsy, time of death determination, decomposition, trauma, toxicology, drug identification, and computer forensics will be introduced. Students will apply what they learn in laboratory exercises, case study analysis and a final project where they will analyze a mock crime scene. Group: IDS and Scientific Understanding SIGNATURE course.

BI 225
Students study the science of foods, their components, and the human body’s needs, including evaluation of diet and nutritional status using a life span approach. Also included are issues such as women’s health research, diet, heart disease, and malnutrition. Offered Fall semester in alternate years. Group III  Scientific Understanding Thematic Area Course

BI 230
Emerging Diseases
Scientific literacy is crucial for decision-makers in our society.  An informed public is essential for the health and well-being of the local and global community.  The challenge of emerging diseases has both historical roots and immediate urgency. These diseases have a two-fold impact: a) they pose immediate, dangerous and sometimes life-threatening challenges to a specific population and b) they are capable of spreading to other populations within close proximity with the added danger of an eventual world-wide infection.  Ancient and current history are full of examples of diseases that emerged locally and spread globally:  the bubonic plague(s) in Europe during the Middle Ages, the global pandemic of “Spanish Influenza” in 1918, the repeated waves of infectious polio virus epidemics world-wide in the 1900s, the continuous sporadic outbreaks of Ebola virus infections, the current HIV pandemic now spanning 40 years, and emerging viral infections, such as Zika.   Group III, Scientific Understanding Signature Course.

BI 240
The Biology of Women
This course focuses on the biology of women over their life span. Major topics include normal development from conception to death in women; wellness and illness; life span decision making; problems, process, and solution(s); and the current status of research on women. Offered Spring semester in alternate years. Group III

BI 245
Drugs and Society
Students are introduced to the biological effects of drugs on humans. All major drug classes are studied, with emphasis on those affecting the central nervous system and behavior. Students examine the actions, uses, limitations, and side effects of drugs. Prescription and over-the-counter, as well as herbal and illegal drugs are discussed. Offered Fall semester in alternate years. Prerequisite: BI 101 or PY 101 or permission. Group III

BI 250
The Biology of HIV and AIDS
Explores the biological aspects of AIDS and HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus). Topics include origins of the virus and the disease, perturbation of the human immune system, pathogenesis of the virus, methods of transmission, current and future epidemiology. Offered Spring semester in alternate years. Group III

BI 254
Cell Culture Techniques (at the Metropolitan College of Boston University) (5 credits)
This course gives students a foundation in basic cell culture techniques used in modern cell culture labs. The topics covered will include aseptic technique, freezing and thawing of cell stocks, passage and maintenance of cells, and culture of adherent and suspension cells. Emphasis will be on practical hands-on experience and much of the class time will be devoted to laboratory work. A short lecture introduces relevant information and techniques to be performed in the laboratory. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to function in a cell culture laboratory at the level of a novice technician and be able to understand and follow basic cell culture protocols. Spring; See Metropolitan College Catalogue for Schedule. Prerequisites: BI101, Bi103; GPA 2.5; Strongly suggest CH110/120. Group III

Bi 275
Critical Issues in Genetics for Women
This course will examine issues or choices a woman may face during the course of her lifetime that might require a basic knowledge of genetics. Such issues could include the implication of genetic traits as they affect ethnicity, the use of research as it affects her or her family, or the use of recreational drugs, including alcohol. This interdisciplinary course will begin with a review of the essentials of human genetics which will give the student the tools to make informed decisions about the issues which affect her life.. These choices will be discussed and evaluated using the case study approach. Students will complete the course by presenting a case of her own to her peers. This course is designed for all students. Fall or Spring. Group III

BI 280
Ethical Issues of Science Technology
Ethics is the disciplined reflection on the moral intuitions and the moral choices that people make. Bioethics is the analysis of these choices in science and medicine. This course uses a case method of instruction and focuses on the major ethical dilemmas of twenty first century medicine and the natural sciences. Offered Spring semester in alternate years. Group III

BI 289
This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of descriptive and inferential statistical analysis for students in the biological and health sciences. Topics covered will include data measurement, frequency distribution and graphic presentation, probability, hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, chi square tests and correlation and regression. Additional topics will include relative risk, odds ratio, rates of fatality, rates of morbidity and life tables. The course will have particular focus on the design of experiments, probability theory and alternative methods of analysis. Data are drawn from labs, the lay and research literature. The course includes a weekly one-hour lab.
**Fulfills the Pine Manor College quantitative reasoning requirement. Fall or Spring. Prerequisite: MA 102 or equivalent. Group III

BI 330
Microbiology and Human Infectious Disease (5 credits)
Lectures and laboratory provide basic knowledge of the handling and understanding of microorganisms, including their characteristics, activities, distribution, and effects on the human body. Includes study of specific pathogenic organisms and diseases, as well as the body’s natural defense mechanisms and methods of disease prevention and treatment. Fall. Prerequisite: BI 101 or permission. Group III

BI 360
Introduction to Epidemiology
This course introduces the basic principles and methods of epidemiology and the basic skills needed to interpret the epidemiological literature of medicine and public health. The course includes both lecture and seminar instructions; in the seminars, class discussion of cases illustrate the principles covered in the lectures. Offered Spring semester in alternate years. Prerequisite: BI 289. Group III

BI 375
Principles of Genetics and Molecular Biology
This course continues the study of genetic concepts begun in Bi101 and 102. It will focus on classical genetics and molecular genetics in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems. Topics will include transmission genetics, the cellular basis of heredity, linkage analysis, DNA structure and replication, the control of gene expression including epigenetics and RNA interference, and current applications of molecular biological techniques. Reading and analysis of the primary literature will be included in the course.Fall.  Prerequisite: BI 102, BI 206 or equivalent or permission. Group: III

BI 380
Pathophysiology: The Biological Basis of Disease
This upper-level course focuses on the disease process and on the structural and functional change inherent in the pathology of specific human diseases. Offered Spring semester in alternate years. Prerequisites: BI 205 and BI 206 or permission. Group III

BI 490
Senior Seminar in Biology
The capstone of the major in Biology, the seminar explores a variety of current research topics, such as advances in the ultrastructure of cells, molecular biology of the cell, the current status of the immunoglobins, human pathophysiology, the biology of antiviral agents, the biololgy of cancer, and hormones and women’s health. Topics vary to include areas of student interest and new research. Spring. Prerequisite: Senior status

BI 495
Senior Internship in Biology (6 credits)
For 6 course credits, each student works 16 hours per week at a site chosen with regard to career intentions and the content of the Biology Program. Students keep a journal to examine experiences and their relationship to the program. Interns meet weekly to discuss common problems, experiences, and individual perceptions. Additional written assignments complement the discussions. Fall. Prerequisite: Senior status

BI 496
Senior Internship in Biology II
Extends and expands a Senior Internship, taking newly learned experience and implementing it at another site. Students work 16 hours per week at their site, keep a journal, meet weekly with their faculty sponsor, do relevant scholarly reading, and write a final paper integrating their internship, their readings, and classroom experience. Spring. Prerequisites: BI 495 and permission of the B.A.program director.

Marine Studies Consortium

The following Consortium courses are available to PMC students with sophomore status or higher. Courses are taught at the institutions participating in the Consortium. For locations and times, contact the PMC Registrar. Enrollment in these courses is limited to four students each semester. Students choosing to withdraw from a Marine Studies Consortium course must do so by the third class meeting of that course. Students interested in the Consortium courses must consult with Dr. Elizabeth Gardner for permission to register.

BI 215
New England Coastal Marine Ecology (5 credits)
This course introduces the basic principles and methods of oceanography and marine biology in intensive, two-week classroom and field courses. Field work includes trips to salt marshes, sandy beaches, and rocky intertidal habitats, visits to the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University, the New England Aquarium, the Kendall Whaling Museum in the Gulf of Maine, and a day aboard a research vessel, where students collect and analyze water and plankton samples. Students pay entry fees where appropriate. Summer. Group: III

BI 292
Introduction to Marine Mammals
This course explores the biology and natural history of marine mammals in the North Atlantic, including whales, dolphins and seals. Topics include evolution, behavior, field identification, the history of whaling, and contemporary whaling issues. Demonstration laboratory work focuses on a small marine animal. One field trip on Massachusetts Bay is required. Fall. Prerequisites: BI 101and BI 103 or permission. Group: III

BI 294
Marine Biology
This lecture/lab course surveys the basic biology, behavior, and life history of marine biota, and reviews the physical aspects of various marine habitats from polar to tropical latitudes. The course focuses on the evolution of adaptive responses to the oceanic environment and the roles of the physical environment and species interactions in structuring marine communities. Laboratory activities include field trips and examination of specimens. Fall. Prerequisites: BI 101, BI 103, CH 110, or permission. Group: III

BI 391
Biology of Whales
This upper-level course examines the biology and conservation of cetaceans, whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Topics include physiology, population biology and life history analysis, molecular genetics, morphology, distributional ecology, and social behavior. Early lectures focus on the biology of cetaceans and how they are adapted to the marine environment. Later lectures use case studies to review how biological principles can be applied to the conservation of a wide range of cetacean species. Spring. Prerequisites: BI 101, BI103, and two upper-level biology courses. Group: III

BI 392
Biology of Fishes
This upper-level survey course covers the evolution, systematics, anatomy, physiology, and behavior of freshwater, marine, and anadromous fishes from temperate to tropical environments. The course also examines the diversity of fish interactions in aquatic communities: predator/prey relationships, host/symbiont interactions, and the various roles of fishes as herbivores. Study of inter- and intra-specific predatory-prey relationships among fish populations in aquatic communities integrates principles of ecology. Spring. Prerequisites: One year of general biology (BI101/103) and two upper-level biology courses. Group: III

BI 393
Water Resources Policy and Management
This course is a comprehensive introduction to the economics and ecology of water supply and water pollution control. Topics include watershed management, groundwater and wetlands protection, wastewater treatment, and coastal zone management. The inherent difficulty in applying static laws and regulations to a dynamic natural resource such as water is a recurring theme in the course. Fall. Prerequisites: BI 101, BI 103 plus two courses in biology or chemistry. Group: III

BI 394
Coastal Zone Management
This course presents a survey of the coastal environment, its physical characteristics, natural system economic uses, and development pressures. Lectures examine strategies formulated in the United States for land and water management in the coastal zone. The roles of federal, state, and local government, environmental groups, and resource users are also explored. Finally, by comparing coastal zone management problems in the United States with those elsewhere in the world, students gain a global perspective. Spring. Prerequisites: BI 101, BI 103 plus two courses in biology or chemistry. Group: III

BI 395
Wetlands: Ecology, Hydrology, Restoration
This course examines the vital role of wetlands in the hydrology and ecology of global landscapes. The function of inland and coastal marshes, swamps, and bogs, and their role in water and nutrient cycles will be examined. We will also survey the biodiversity of wetlands habitats, from microbes to vertebrates. The biological links between wetlands and human activities, such as agriculture, coastal development, and fisheries will be considered, as well as the legal framework for the protection and restoration of endangered wetlands. Fall. Prerequisites: One year of an introductory science (geology, chemistry, biology, physics or engineering, or economics); and two semesters of upper–level (elective) science courses. Group: III

HI 391
Maritime History of New England
The sea has shaped New England. This course surveys the sea’s legacy, from the earliest Indian fishery to the shipbuilding and commerce of today. Course themes include historical, political, and economic developments, with particular attention to insights gleaned from shipwrecks, time capsules of discrete moments from New England’s past. Classes include museum visits, a field session at a marine archeology site, and guest lectures on current research projects. Spring. Prerequisite: One course each in American History and in the Social Sciences, or permission. Group: II