What Students Should Know Leaving BIOL 2030
   
 
Technical Concepts  
 
Fundamental knowledge of the principles governing basic experimental techniques, basic experimental design and analysis, and trouble-shooting. All of the principles below are found within higher-level biology laboratories and are covered in BIOL 2030.
 
a.
Principles of isolating, manipulating, and transforming DNA to create and screen for recombinant DNA molecules.
   
 
b.
Principles of DNA sequencing, informatics and RFLP analysis, proper design of PCR-based experiments, prediction and analysis of data (essentially: bioinformatics)
   
 
c.

Principles of electrophoresis (DNA and protein)

 
d.

Principles of chromatography

 
e.
Principles of spectrophotometry
 
f.
Principles of peptide mapping and biochemical analysis of proteins and their isolation protocols
   
 
Basic Science Skills
   
These are skills ALL science students should know before entering advanced labs.
 
a.

Fundamental math skills for biology and chemistry : these skills include making solutions (e.g. making molar solutions, pH'ing solutions, making dilutions, determining dilution factors, etc.). As an example, you should be able to solve the following problem without help: make 250ml of 0.5M NaCl if given the formula weight and then explain how to dilute it 1:10 in 10ml.

   
   
 
b.

Simple statistics: students should have a knowledge of how to calculate average, standard deviation, and linear regression; introduction to chi-squared, t-tests and analysis of variances (ANOVA's).

   
 
c.
 

Observational and Analytical skills: collecting data and analyzing what is collected, data interpretation and extrapolation, problem-solving, designing your own experiments. Students should be able, for example, to predict how a protein in a denaturing gel would run if SDS was not added to the sample before it was loaded and be able to design an experiment to prove their prediction is correct.

   
   
     
 
Basic Writing Skills
 

Students should be able to write journal-type reports (abstract, intro, materials and methods, results, discussion) rather than fill-in-the-blank lab reports typical of chemistry. Students are graded on cohesion, presentation, writing-level, etc. in addition to content and need to be able to use word processing and spreadsheet programs. All upper level labs require strong report writing ability so this is a necessity.

     
 
Basic Lab Techniques
    On their own, students should be able to pour, load and run a gel, make dilutions and measurements, use a spectrophotometer, perform computer assisted data analysis, perform literature searches, and solve simple bioinformatics problems.
     
     
  What Students Should Know Leaving BIOL 2040
  In general, Biology 2040 is a survey course of eukaryotes and what strategies they have evolved to survive in their specific habitats.
     
 
Basic Concepts
 
a.

An appreciation for the variability and abundance of organisms with which we share this planet. Life forms range from simple to complex, yet they all need to somehow perform the basic functions which life requires (respiration, digestion, reproduction, waste removal, etc.). 

   
 
b.

Survey of organisms that represent four of the five major Kingdoms (Protists, Fungi, Plants, and Animals). We review the evolution of organisms beginning with the Protists and discuss how time and the factors of evolution worked to form the higher kingdoms (such as plants and animals). 

   
 
c.
Emphasis is placed on showing examples of systems used to perform the basic functions of life, such as the evolution of the kidney, development of a  closed versus open circulatory system, complete vs. incomplete digestion.
   
 
d.
During exams students are not only asked about the material they have memorized. Students are asked to take the knowledge they have gained rom the course and form new conclusions, compare and contrast life strategies of organisms, as well as postulate on possible reasons for an evolutionary trend. Some of these answers have obvious correct answers, others are more open ended (which is more like real science anyway). 
   
   
 
c.
Much of the information in this course is provided for students in BIOL 2020.  The real importance of the course comes in experiencing these organisms first hand. This allows the concepts in BIOL 2020 to become clearer and allows the student to begin to appreciate abundance and diversity of life!
   
     
 
Technical Concepts
 
a.

Basic use of the compound and dissecting microscopes: Use of light intensity and the diaphragm to increase contrast; Use of the ocular micrometer; Interocular distance and use of the diopter for improved vision; Preparation of specimens for view in the microscope; How to approach/find a specimen under the microscope.

   
 
b.

Basic dissection skills: Use of the tools of dissection to study the anatomy of an organism; Patience and care in performing a good dissection.

 
 
c.
Basic skills involved in observation and study of organisms (keeping a good lab notebook, drawing specimens, etc.). These skills are not always directly taught, each student will find the techniques that work best for them.