Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology

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Course Description


Cell and Molecular Biology

From the laboratory to the real world, cell and molecular biology has a far-ranging impact upon everything from the environment to health and medical issues. Cell and molecular biology enables researchers to study the minute world of microbes and cells.

This course will provide  a full overview of the world of cell and microbiology. We will first provide the basic components comprised within all living things before moving onto to how organisms' internal systems work and how they coexist and contend with external elements.

Further on in the course, we touch upon more complex subjects such as: DNA and RNA; protein structures; and movement along cellular pathways. And, alas we delve into some of the deeper molecular biological issues, including those of pathogens; formation of cancerous cells; and, one of today's hot topics--the facts behind the controversial issue of stem cell research.

Despite the small size of researchers' subjects, cell and molecular biology continues to be an area generating sizable interest. Not only are the applications of cell and molecular biology vastly infinite, its basic fundamental principles are critical to daily life.  We believe you will gain many valuable nuggets of information from this course  and using its basic teachings to better understand the world around you. 

Course Requirements

This course will not require you to have previous experience in any particular area but you should have a high school reading level. No books will be required.

Course Topics


Lesson One. Understanding Cell and Molecular Biology and its History

A.   Cell and Molecular Biology: Definitions

B.   Cell and Molecular Biology: Applications

C.   Cell and Molecular Biology: History

D.   Cell and Molecular Biology: Summation

Lesson Two. Cellular Functioning & Composition

A.   What is a Cell?

B.   Cell Theory

C.   Properties of Cells

D.   Cell Membrane

E.   Procaryotic versus Eucaryotic

F.    Cellular Reproduction 

Lesson Three. Chemical Foundations

A.   Chemical Foundations: Introduction

B.   Chemical Reactions: Types

C.   Enzymes

D.   Enzymatic Structures

Lesson Four. DNA Properties

A.   DNA and the Flow of Molecular Structure

B.   DNA Major Areas of Study

C.   DNA Functioning

D.   DNA and RNA

E.   More on RNA

F.    Transcription and Translation

G.   Summary


Lesson Five. Protein Structure and Function

A.   Proteins: Defined

B.   Amino Acids

C.   Protein Structure

D.   Proteins’ Reversible Behaviors

E.   Regularities in Protein Pathways

Lesson Six. Regulation of Protein Levels and Activity

A.   Cellular Processes

B.   Structure and Function

C.   Enzyme Regulation

D.   Genetic Control

E.   Repressors and Activators

F.    Gene Activity Levels

G.   Positive Control of Protein Synthesis

H.   Significance of Protein Synthesis Controls


Lesson Seven. Cellular Membrane Structure and Function

A.   Membrane: Introduction

B.   Membrane: Functions

C.   Membrane: Structure

D.   Conclusion

Lesson Eight. Basic Molecular Genetic Mechanisms

A.   Science of Genetics

B.   Inheritance

C.   Transgenics

D.   Forward and Reverse Genetics

E.   Genomic Analysis

F.    Linkage Analysis

G.   Quantitative Genetics

Lesson Nine. Cell Birth, Lineage and Death

    1. Introduction: Cell Cycle
    2. Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes
    3. Mitosis and Meiosis
    4. Summary

Lesson Ten. Cell Cycle and Checkpoints in Cell Cycle Regulation

A.   Cellular Activities and Checkpoints: Introduction

B.   Stages of Interphase

C.   Transcriptional and Posttranscriptional Controls

D.   RNA Splicing

E.   RNA Editing

F.    Negative Translational Control Mechanisms

G.   Conclusion

Lesson Eleven. Signaling at the Cell’s Surface

A.   Cell Signals: Introduction

B.   Signal Methodologies

C.   Receptors for Cell Signals

D.   Receptor: Types

E.   Agonists versus Antagonists

F.    Binding and Activation

G.   Constitutive Activity

H.   Notch Signaling

Lesson Twelve. Signaling Pathways that Control Gene Activity

A.   Signaling Pathways: Overview

B.   Misregulation of Signaling Pathways

C.   Writ Signaling Pathway

D.   Writ Signaling Pathway and the Conservation of Stem Cell Reservoirs

E.   Protein-Kinases: Functioning

F.    Protein-Kinases: Basic Facts

Lesson Thirteen. Transport of Ions and Small Molecules across Cell Membranes

A.   Cell Membrane: Structure

B.   Membrane Transport Mechanisms

C.   Molecular Movements in and out of Cells: Types

D.   Diffusion: Differences

E.   Carbs, Proteins & Lipids

Lesson Fourteen. Protein Solubility

A.   Protein discussion Continuation

B.   Compartmentalization

C.   Protein Structure Behavior

D.   Protein Travels

E.   Intracellular Vesicular Traffic

F.    Conclusion

Lesson Fifteen. Epithelium

A.   Epithelium: Introduction

B.   Epithelium: Composition

C.   Epithelium: Structure

D.   Epithelium: Types

E.   Epithelium: Tissue Functions 

Lesson Sixteen. Cancer

A.   Cancer: What is it?

B.   Cancer: Global Impact

C.   Cancer: Types

D.   Origins of Cancer

E.   Genes and Mutations

F.    Origins and Mutations

Lesson Seventeen. Cancer Part Two

A.   Cancerous Cells: Abnormal Genes

B.   Normal and Cancer Cell: Characteristics

C.   Cancer Cells and Grades

D.   Differentiation

E.   Cancer: Studies and Methodologies

F.    Cancer: In Treatment


Lesson Eighteen. Pathogens

A.   Pathogens: Definition

B.   Host and Guest

C.   Spread of Pathogens

D.   Microbial Pathogens: Types

Lesson Nineteen. Bioinformatics

A.   It’s a New Day

B.   Microbiology and Technology

C.   Bioinformatics: Overview

D.   Beyond the Human Genome Project

E.   Conclusion

Lesson Twenty. Stem Cells

    1. Stem Cells: Understanding and Purpose
    2. Stem Cells: History
    3. Stem Cells: Significance
    4. Stem Cells: Common Traits
    5. Stem Cells: Researchers’ Lingering Questions
    6. Stem Cells: Types
    7. Stem Cells: Research Controversy

Course Materials

All course material will be provided in the lessons and netlinks. There are no required materials to purchase before taking the class

Grading Policy

Each lesson will include a lesson review quiz along with one or two assignments. Students will successfully complete this course with 70% or better

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Know cell and molecular biology history.
  • Know cellular functioning and composition.
  • Describe the chemical foundations of cell biology.
  • Know the DNA properties of cell biology.
  • Describe protein structure and function.
  • Describe cellular membrane structure and function.
  • Describe basic molecular genetic mechanisms.
  • Know the Cell Cycle
  • Describe the signaling pathways that control gene activity.
  • Know the transport of ions and small molecules across cell membranes.
  • Define protein solubility.
  • Describe the Epithelium.
  • Describe the cell microbiology processes of cancer.
  • Describe pathogens, bioinformatics, and stem cell research, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Assessment Guide

Assessment Points
An Introduction5
Lesson 1 Assignment20
Quiz for Lesson 1 : Understanding Cell and Molecular Biology and its History8
Lesson 2 Assignment25
Quiz for Lesson 2 : Cellular Functioning & Composition10
Lesson 3 Assignment20
Quiz for Lesson 3 : Chemical Foundations10
Lesson 4 Assignment20
Quiz for Lesson 4 : DNA Properties9
Lesson 5 Assignment20
Quiz for Lesson 5 : Protein Structure and Function9
Lesson 6 Assignment25
Quiz for Lesson 6 : Regulation of Protein Levels and Activity8
Lesson 7 Assignment20
Quiz for Lesson 7 :Cellular Membrane Structure and Function9
Lesson 8 Assignment25
Quiz for Lesson 8 : Basic Molecular Genetic Mechanisms9
Lesson 9 Assignment30
Quiz for Lesson 9 : Cell Birth, Lineage and Death10
Lesson 10 Assignment20
Quiz for Lesson 10 :Cell Cycle and Checkpoints in Cell Cycle Regulation10
Lesson 11 Assignment25
Quiz for Lesson 11 : Signaling at the Cell Surface10
Lesson 12 Assignment25
Quiz for Lesson 12 : Signaling Pathways that Control Gene Activity9
Lesson 13 Assignment20
Quiz for Lesson 13 : Transport of Ions and Small Molecules across Cell Membranes10
Lesson 14 Assignment20
Quiz for Lesson 14 : Protein Solubility9
Lesson 15 Assignment30
Quiz for Lesson 15 : Epitheliums10
Lesson 16 Assignment30
Quiz for Lesson 16 : Cancer10
Lesson 17 Assignment20
Quiz for Lesson 17 : Cancer Part Two10
Lesson 18 Assignment30
Quiz for Lesson 18 : Pathogens9
Lesson 19 Assignment20
Quiz for Lesson 19 : Bioinformatics8
Lesson 20 Assignment25
Quiz for Lesson 20 : Stem Cell Research10
The Final Exam79
Total Points:741

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