Biology

Biology Course Descriptions


BIO 102 (4 credits)
Fundamentals of Biology

Emphasizes important biological concepts and principles common to all living organisms. Topics include the cell, energetics, genetics, physiology, evolution, and ecology. Integrates laboratory and classroom work. Fulfills lab science requirement for non-science majors. Cannot take BIO 102 and BIO 103 for credit.

BIO 103 (4 credits)
Principles of Biology

Provides a survey of important biological concepts and principles to all living organisms. Topics include prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, energetic comparative physiology, evolution and ecology, Integrates laboratory and classroom work. This course is limited to science majors, biology minors, and biology-secondary education majors.

BIO 104 (4 credits)
Zoology

Investigative survey of life processes common in animals. Gas exchange, internal transport, nervous and endocrine control, reproduction, and homeostatic mechanisms are major topics included. Integrates laboratory and classroom work. Prerequisite: BIO 103 or permission of the instructor.

BIO 107 (3 credits)
Human Anatomy and Physiology

Homeostatic mechanisms of the human body with emphasis on structure and function are studied. Gross and microscopic structures are correlated with function of cells, tissues, organs and systems of the body. Major topics include: skeletal, muscular and nervous systems. Three hours of lecture per week. Co-requisite: BIO 117.

BIO 108 (3 credits)
Human Anatomy and Physiology II

Emphasis is on structure and function of endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, lymphatic, digestive, urinary and reproductive systems. Gross and microscopic structures are correlated with functions of cells, tissues, organs and systems of the body. Three hours of lecture per week. Co-requisite: BIO 118.

BIO 109 (3 credits)
Human Biology

An introductory course with emphasis on human physiology and the role humans play in biosphere. Application of biological principles to practical human concerns are covered in one semester. Integrates laboratory and classroom work.

BIO 115 (3 credits)
Human Form and Function

A one semester survey of human anatomy and physiology. Discusses all the major organ systems with an emphasis on structure and function. Required for biochemistry, forensic science, and biology-secondary education students. Available as an elective for biology majors.

BIO 116 (1 credit)
Human Form and Function Laboratory

Laboratory course accompanying BIO 115 Human Form and Function. Includes both gross and microscopic examination of cells, tissues and organs with a hands-on approach to further develop, reinforce and apply lecture concepts. Required for forensic and biochemistry majors.

BIO 117 (1 credit)
Human Anatomy & Physiology I Lab

Experimental approach to the study of human anatomy and physiology is used to reinforce lecture concepts. The exercises present the core elements of the subject matter in a hands-on manner. The labs are presented in the same time period the material is being discussed in lecture. One two-hour lab per week. Co-requisite: BIO 107.

BIO 118 (1 credit)
Human Anatomy & Physiology II Lab

Experimental approach to the study of human anatomy and physiology is used to reinforce lecture concepts. The exercises present the core elements of the subject matter in a hands-on manner. The labs are presented in the same time period the material is being discussed in lecture. One two-hour lab per week. Co-requisite: BIO 108.

BIO 203 (3 credits)
Biosphere

The course Biosphere studies humans and their interactions with their environment. Topics include ecological principles (the nature of nature), energy and natural resources issues, pollution problems, and threats to the Biodiversity of the planet. Specific consideration will be given to humanity’s ability to alter and change nature form historical and current perspectives; and how we can learn to live in harmony with nature. Fulfills lab science in liberal arts core.

BIO 205 (4 credits)
Botany

Plant anatomy and vital physiological processes are examined. Water regulation, metabolism, growth and reproduction are covered, along with a polygenetic survey of the major plant groups. The importance of plants in the scheme of global ecology is considered. Integrates laboratory and classroom work.

BIO 208 (3 credits)
Neuroscience for Rehabilitation

Examine structure and functioning of the human nervous system through an integrated analysis of neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and neuropsychology. Emphasizes clinically relevant neuroscience concepts, focusing on application to patient rehabilitation and therapeutic approaches. Prerequisite: BIO 107/117, 108/118 (or co-requisites) or BIO 103, 104.

BIO 211 (4 credits)
Kinesiology

Study of interaction between muscular and skeletal systems to produce human movement. Student reviews the anatomy and physiology of muscular system and learns the biomechanical influence it has on skeletal system in order to affect joint movement. A study of normal gait and upright posture is also included. Three hours lecture and two hours lab weekly. Prerequisite: BIO 107/117 with a “C” or better.

BIO 216 (3 credits)
Nutrition

Overview of nutritional requirements of individuals in the healthful state as well as modification of those requirements during illness. Three hours of lecture per semester week. Does not fulfill the lab science core requirement.

BIO 217 (3 credits)
Principles of Sports Nutrition

An overview of the field of nutrition with emphasis on nutritional requirements, practices, and conditions specific to people engaged in athletic activities. Course intended for students enrolled in the athletic training program and designed to meet competencies published by the National Athletic Trainers Association. Prerequisites: BIO 107/117 and 108/118, or permission of the instructor.

BIO 220 (4 credits)
Clinical Microbiology

Study of the morphological and physiological nature of microorganisms and their relationship to humans in both the normal and diseased states. Emphasis on bacteriological techniques such as cultivation, staining, identification, and other techniques important in a clinical setting. Integrates laboratory and classroom work.

BIO 221        (4 credits)
General Microbiology

An integrated laboratory and classroom course which looks at both the morphological as well as the physiological nature of microorganisms and their relationship to both the normal and the diseased state in humans. Bacteriological techniques such as staining, identification and cultivation are emphasized. Prerequisites include any one of the following: BIO 103, 104, 107/117, or permission of instructor.

BIO 230 (3 credits)
Sustainability Principles and Practices

As the opening course to the minor in community and environmental sustainability, students will be introduced to the theory, principles, and practices of sustainability. Approaching sustainability from a systems prospective, students will explore its interdisciplinary nature, including the environmental, social, economic, and cultural components of sustainability as they relate to creating sustainable communities. This course does not fulfill the lab science requirement of the general education core.

BIO 232 (3 credits)
Sustainable Communities: Santo Domingo

Explores awareness, advocacy, and stewardship of communities through cultural, economic, and environmental sustainability projects. (Note: This course involves international travel, a course fee, and service learning activities.) This course fulfills the Human Diversity requirement.

BIO 303 (3 credits)
Genetics

Introduction to Mendelian and Molecular genetics, chromosome transmission during cell division, non-Mendelian Inheritance, variation in chromosome structure and number, DNA structure and replication, genetic linkage and mapping, genetic transfer, gene transcription and translation, gene mutation and repair, DNA technologies, evaluation and cancer. Prerequisites; BIO 103 or instructor permission. Co-requisite: BIO 309.

BIO 304 (3 credits)
Cell Biology

This course covers major aspects of eukaryotic animal cell biology, with an emphasis on understanding the molecular processes that occur at the subcellular level. Topics include a review of basic cellular composition and fundamentals of metabolism, followed by more complex topics including regulation of eukaryotic gene expression, protein processing and transport, cytoskeleton structure and function, cell signaling, cell cycle regulation, cell death, stem cell biology and cancer. Includes a strong focus on experimental techniques and approaches that are used in modern cell and molecular biology research. Three hours of lecture per semester week. Prerequisites; BNIO 103; CHE 105, 202. Co-requisite: BIO 311.

BIO 309 (1 credit)
Genetics Laboratory

Study of meiosis and mitosis, monohybrid and dihybrid Mendelian inheritance using plants and Drosophila, alcohol tolerance in Drosophila, DNA extraction, amplification and electrophoreses separation, DNA fingerprinting and Bacterial transformation experiments. Co-requisite: BIO 303.

BIO 311 (1 credit)
Cell Biology Laboratory

This course provides an introduction to the laboratory methods and techniques employed in the study of mammalian cells in culture. Students experiment with in vitro cell culture techniques including cell quantitation, growth curve analysis, microscopy (phase contrast and fluorescence), cellular differentiation and gene expression analysis through participation in class projects that span the semester. These projects are designed to provide an experiential course-based research experience that highlights the types of experiments and techniques that are performed in the first of cell and molecular biology. Three hours of laboratory per semester week. Co-requisite: BIO 304.

BIO 315 (3 credits)
Forensic Medicine

Provides an understanding of the basic scientific, ethical and legal principles that are relevant to the practice of forensic medicine. Students will be exposed to post-mortem examination including issues related to dealing with bereaved relatives of a deceased person or victim of crime. An understanding of basic human anatomy and physiology is expected. Graphic photos and/or attendance at a forensic autopsy will be included. Prerequisites: BIO 115 and 116.

BIO 320 (4 credits)
Ecology

This 4-credit lecture/laboratory course examines the ecological and evolutionary basis of natural systems from a hierarchical perspective. The major topics covered include: population and community ecology, interactions in communities, and ecosystem functions. Prerequisites: BIO 103, 104 or permission of the instructor.

BIO 325 (3 credits)
Environmental Law & Policy

Development of sound public policy on environmental quality and sustainability depend greatly upon effective communication of biological and chemical principles and research to policy and lawmakers. This course is intended to provide students interested in environmental biology and chemistry with an overview of the current state of environmental law and policy, the processes involved in environmental law and policy development, and highlight emerging issues, which will demand collaboration of biologists, chemists and policymakers for resolution. Does not fulfill lab science requirement.

BIO 330 (2 credits)
Biotechnology

Introduces students to some of the basic and classical research techniques that are used in the biological sciences and familiarizes them with some of the equipment that is routinely used. Prerequisites: Bio 103, 104 or 115; CHE 104, 105, 201 or permission of the instructor.

BIO 401 (4 credits)
Vertebrate Physiology

Provides an in-depth look into how the body works. Course considers the molecular and physical principles guiding functions of the body. Focus is on understanding basic concepts and applying them to major vertebrate systems. Topics include: respiration, circulatory system, nervous system, urinary system, muscles and more. We will learn about how the body normally works by seeing how it functions after inadvertent experiments by nature-diseases. We will also consider how different species have adapted to their environments to solve the problems inherent to life on earth. Integrates laboratory and classroom work. Prerequisite: BIO 103.

BIO 405 (3 credits)
Pharmacology

Major concepts center around the physiological actions of drugs. Topics to be covered include the survey of major classes of drugs used in clinical therapeutics; prototype drugs developed for selected purposes; toxic interactions; and the physiological mechanism by which drugs produce their effects. Three hours of lecture per semester week. Prerequisites: 6 credits of biology or permission of instructor.

BIO 409 (3 credits)
Immunology

Introduction to fundamental concepts of immune response. Principles relating to clinical immunology are discussed in terms of underlying experimental studies. Immunologic reactions and ideas on the function of the immune system are explained. Three hours of lecture per semester week. Prerequisites: BIO 104, 304, and CHE 105, or permission of instructor.

BIO 410 (3 credits)
Pathophysiology

Effects of internal and external stressors on body functions are examined. Normal human physiological principles and homeostatic mechanisms are reviewed. Genetic and nutritional aspects are integrated into the discussion of disease. Three hours of lecture per semester week. Prerequisites: BIO 107/117, 108/118 or permission of instructor.

BIO 420 (16 credits)
Medical Laboratory Science Clinical I

This course is a structured educational experience in a hospital facility consisting of lectures, conferences, enrichment experiences, reading assignments, examinations, unknowns and clinical laboratory rotations through the following departments: blood bank, chemistry, coagulation, hematology, microbiology, serology, urinalysis, and histology. Lab operations such as ethics, medical terminology, professionalism, cultural diversity, ergonomics, leadership, safety, management education and phlebotomy are integrated throughout the course. (Note: course is taught off campus at an affiliate School of Medical terminology/Clinical Laboratory Science).

BIO 421 (16 credits)
Medical Laboratory Science Clinical II

This course is a structured educational experience in a hospital facility consisting of lectures, conferences, enrichment experiences, reading assignments, examinations, unknowns and clinical laboratory rotations through the following departments: blood bank, chemistry, coagulation, hematology, microbiology, serology, urinalysis, and histology. Lab operations such as ethics, medical terminology, professionalism, cultural diversity, ergonomic, leadership, safety, management education and phlebotomy are integrated throughout the course. As a capstone (including research component and public speaking component), students select a case study covering at least three lab departments and present to lab staff. Prerequisite: BIO 420 (Note: course is taught off campus at an affiliate School of Medical Terminology/Clinical Laboratory Science).

BIO 430 (4 credits)
Forensic Biology

This course will provide an overview of biology as it relates to forensics. Topics will include sources and analysis of biological evidence, serology, species identification, identification of biological fluids, blood group typing, DNA extraction, DNA amplification, and electrophoresis. Laboratory activities will reinforce the concepts taught in lecture and provide hands-on experience with techniques. Integrates laboratory and classroom work. Prerequisites: BIO 304/311, 303/309, CHE 202/211.

BIO 440 (3 credits)
Biodiversity

Biodiversity explores the origins, ecology, and richness of one of the earth’s natural capital, from the level of biological species through ecosystems. The value and uses of nature’s capital and their exploitation will be examined. The course reviews conservation strategies to maintain biodiversity for future generations. This course provides students with the scientific literacy necessary to make informed decisions about topics such as species conservation, and ecosystem management. Prerequisites: BIO 103 & 104.


Contact Information

Rosemarie C. Chinni, Ph.D.
Science & Mathematics Department Chair
and Director of the Forensic Science Program

     Bernardine Hall 234
     610.568.1492
     rosemarie.chinni@alvernia.edu


Student Perspective

"Forensic science goes beyond combining chemistry and biology; it requires critical thinking and a desire to challenge what the eyes see.  At Alvernia, my professors taught me the true value of research and how the results can change how we see the world around us.  In the 17 years I've been in school, I've never learned a more valuable lesson."

- Kelsey Schubert '16, PSU Graduate Student




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