Minnesota State Colleges & Universities (MnSCU)

A group for faculty from around the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system. Feel free to join this group and participate in reviewing Open Textbooks and Open Educational Resources.
42 members | 59 affiliated resources

Biology

Developmental Biology

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In this course, the student will learn about the field of developmental biology from its origins to the present day. The course will take a look at historical experiments as well as modern techniques and the mechanisms of development. The student will follow a variety of metazoan organisms from their start at fertilization through the stages of their development and on to entire organismal and post-embryonic development, learning along the way about the molecular and genetic regulations involved in these processes. (Biology 310)

Material Type: Full Course

Evolutionary Biology

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This course will look at the various mechanisms of evolution, how these mechanisms work, and how change is measured. The course will begin by reviewing the evolutionary concepts of selection and speciation. The student will then learn to measure evolutionary change and look at the history of life according to the fossil record and a discussion of the broad range of life forms as they are currently classified. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to: define evolution and describe different types of selection; provide examples of microevolutionary forces and describe how they impact the genetics of populations; describe the Hardy-Weinberg principle and solve problems related to Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium; provide examples of games used in evolutionary game theory; connect biological phenomena to game theory; develop simple phylogenies from molecular or morphological data; identify important evolutionary events that have occurred throughout geologic time; characterize and provide examples of major plant and animal phyla. (Biology 312)

Material Type: Full Course

Molecular Biology

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After a historical introduction to molecular biology, this course describes the basic types of DNA and RNA structure and the molecular interactions that shape them. It describes how DNA is packaged within the cellular nucleus as chromosomes. It also describes the core processes of molecular biology: replication of DNA, transcription of DNA into messenger RNA, and translation of messenger RNA into a protein. These are followed by modifications of these basic processes: regulation of gene expression, DNA mutation and repair, and DNA recombination and transposition. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: discuss the experimental findings that lead to the discovery of inheritance laws; discuss the experimental findings that lead to the identification of DNA as the hereditary material; compare and contrast the structure and function of mRNA, rRNA, tRNA, and DNA; identify the characteristics of catalyzed reactions; compare and contrast enzyme and ribozyme catalyzed reactions; discuss the structure of the chromosome and the consequence of histone modifications in eukaryotes; discuss the stages of transcription, differential splicing, and RNA turnover; predict the translation product of an mRNA using the genetic code; compare and contrast transcription and translation in prokaryotes and eukaryotes; identify codon bias and variations of the standard genetic code; compare and contrast the regulation of prokaryotic and eukaryotic gene expression; predict the activation of an operon and tissue specific gene expression based on the availability of regulators; compare and contrast mutations based on their effect on the gene product; discuss DNA repair mechanisms; discuss DNA recombination, transposition, and the consequence of exon shuffling; design custom-made recombinant DNA using PCR, restriction enzymes, and site-directed mutagenesis; compare and contrast the uses of model organisms; discuss the uses of model organisms in specific molecular biology applications. (Biology 311)

Material Type: Full Course

Cell Biology

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This course will present the student with a detailed overview of a cell's main components and functions. The course is roughly organized into four major areas: the cell membrane, cell nucleus, cell cycle, and cell interior. The student will approach most of these topics straightforwardly, from a molecular and structural point of view. Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to: explain what a eukaryotic cell is, identify the components of the cell, and describe how a cell functions; explain how cell membranes are formed; identify the general mechanisms of transport across cell membranes; list the different ways in which cells communicate with one another--specifically, via signaling pathways; define what the extracellular matrix is composed of in different cells and how the extracellular matrix is involved in forming structures in specific tissues; list the components of the cell's cytoskeleton and explain how the cytoskeleton is formed and how it directs cell movements; explain the fundamentals of gene expression and describe how gene expression is regulated at the protein level; define and explain the major cellular events involved in mitosis and cytokinesis; identify the major cellular events that occur during meiosis; describe the eukaryotic cell cycle and identify the events that need to occur during each phase of the cell cycle; identify all of the major organelles in eukaryotic cells and their respective major functions. (Biology 301)

Material Type: Full Course

The Basics of General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry

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This is a free textbook offered by Saylor Foundation. The Basics of General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry by David W. Ball, John W. Hill, and Rhonda J. Scott is a new textbook offering for the one-semester GOB Chemistry course. The authors designed this book from the ground up to meet the needs of a one-semester course. It is 20 chapters in length and approximately 350-400 pages; just the right breadth and depth for instructors to teach and students to grasp. In addition, The Basics of General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry is written not by one chemist, but THREE chemistry professors with specific, complimentary research and teaching areas. David W. Ball’s specialty is physical chemistry, John W. Hill’s is organic chemistry, and finally, Rhonda J. Scott’s background is in enzyme and peptide chemistry. These three authors have the expertise to identify and present only the most important material for students to learn in the GOB Chemistry course.

Material Type: Textbook

Authors: David W. Ball, John W. Hill and Rhonda J. Scott

Biology Courses Open Education Project

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This Biology Courses website is a nationally funded project that is part of the UK Open Educational Resource Programme (Phase 3, 2011 – 2012) run by the JISC / HEA. Our project is called HALS OER – Health and Life Science Open Educational Resources and everything you see here is shared around the globe, openly and freely available to use.

Material Type: Lecture

Author: Dr Vivien Rolfe

Immunology

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Immunology is the study of our immune system, a highly sophisticated system that defends us against all disease-causing invaders by identifying and neutralizing such threats. As with any system in our body, when the immune system malfunctions, disease can result. In this course the student will take a look at what happens when an inappropriate immune response takes place. (Biology 407)

Material Type: Full Course

Botany

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In this course, you will learn the basics of plant biology. The student will begin with plant anatomy, learning the names and functions of all of the parts of a plant, then move on to plant physiology, where you will learn about photosynthesis, growth, and reproduction. Next, the student will study plant evolution according to the fossil record and examine the diversity of plant life in existence today and how that diversity impacts global ecology. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: identify and describe the functions of the different cells, tissues, and organs that make up a plant; describe the major life processes in plants (photosynthesis, respiration, transpiration, growth and development, and reproduction) at the tissue, organ, cellular, and molecular level; explain the history and evolution of plants on earth; discuss plant diversity and identify the major characteristics of plant phylogenetic divisions; explain how plants fit into the global ecological system and why they are essential for life on earth. (Biology 306)

Material Type: Full Course

Neurobiology

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This course is designed to provide an overview of neurobiology - the biology of our nervous system, from the spinal cord to the brain, and everything in between. After a general introduction and review of pertinent scientific concepts, the student will take a look at cellular signaling, neuron development and plasticity, and the larger systems of neurobiology, such as the sensory system, motor system, and the complex phenomena of memory and emotion. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: demonstrate an understanding of the basic biochemical concepts pertinent to cell biology; identify the basic structure of the nerve cell, the various functions of different components of the nerve cells, and different types of nerve cells; describe various different nervous systems; describe the structure and function of the nervous systems; explain how nerve cells propagate and transmit nervous impulses; describe select diseases caused by malfunctioning or nerve cell death in parts of the nervous system; explain how the nervous system responds to nerve damage or death and therapeutic measures; describe how the nervous system is formed in the embryo and identify the role of various genes and hormonal regulators in that development process; describe the structure and function of the brain and spinal cord; describe the structure and function of the somatic sensory system and the motor system. (Biology 303)

Material Type: Full Course

Human Physiology

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Physiology is the study of the processes of the body. This course is about the unconscious mechanics of living; the student will look at each organ system in detail and then discuss the ways in which the systems interact in order to maintain the body at an optimal state. Metabolism and homeostasis--or the maintenance of the body at a set, optimal level--will be the primary themes. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: describe the relationship between structure and function at the cellular level and relate dysfunctional states of health to problems at the cellular level when appropriate; given relevant physiological information, explain the physiological mechanisms involved; describe the concepts of homeostasis and feedback control in relationship to each organ system; use a vocabulary of physiological terms and demonstrate an ability to communicate efficiently in a medical environment; describe techniques currently in use that measure the function of organ systems. (Biology 304)

Material Type: Full Course

Human Anatomy

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This course will provide the student with an overview of the body from a systemic perspective. Each unit will focus on one system, or network of organs that work together to perform a particular function. At the end of this course, the student will review the ways in which the systems overlap, as well as discuss current body imaging techniques and learn how to correctly interpret the images in order to put our newly-gained anatomical knowledge to practical use. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: identify gross and microscopic anatomy and explain interactions of the major organ systems in the human body; perform and analyze experiments in human anatomy (virtual); use language necessary to appropriately describe human anatomy; explain and identify how structure and function complement each other; describe how anatomy relates to medical situations in healthy and diseased states. (Biology 302)

Material Type: Full Course