This course covers specialized and somewhat advanced topics in the fields of cellular biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, and genetics. It does not cover organismal biology or taxonomy. The course is carefully planned to provide the background that biology students will need for advanced biology classes. Non-biology majors will also find this course useful as it explains many of the concepts and techniques currently discussed in the popular press.
This course is built around six key concepts that provide unifying explanations for how and why structures are formed and processes occur throughout your study of biology. Because it is not possible to cover the breadth of modern molecular biology in one semester, an understanding of these key concepts will provide a basis for extension of your knowledge to biological systems beyond the specifics covered in this course. One of the major goals of the course therefore is for you to not only learn the definitions of the concepts but also learn to recognize when they are operating the process being studied.