Chapter 1

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Introduction to Cell & Molecular Biology,
BIOL-2120
• LABORATORY SESSIONS WILL MEET THIS WEEK
• RECITATION SECTIONS WILL NOT MEET THIS
WEEK (They begin next week)
Welcome to BIOL 2120: Introduction
to Cell & Molecular Biology
George Plopper, Ph.D.
Department of Biology
Course webpage:
http://www.rpi.edu/~ploppg/biol_2120/biol_
2120.html
Where does this class fit?
BIOL 2120
Bio
BCBP
Bioinf
Etc.
Sciences
Engineering
(incl. BMED)
Everything Else
“Electives”
Core Courses
BIOL 1010 (Sorry about that)
What does this mean?
• Taking this course represents a commitment
to a scientific track: welcome to “being a
biologist” (even if you are an engineering
major).
• From the syllabus: “You will be expected to
think in this course, not just memorize.”
Grade history, by percentage
60
% total
50
A
B
C
D
F
40
30
20
10
0
Year
Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational
Objectives
Bloom’s domains
• cognitive (about knowing)
• affective (about attitudes, feelings)
• psychomotor (about doing)
http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?
title=Bloom%27s_Taxonomy
Bloom’s Taxonomy
Cognitive domain- A hierarchy of six levels:
6. create: makes judgments about the value of materials
or methods; new knowledge
Graduation
5. evaluate: can pull together many disorganized
elements or parts so as to form a whole
4. analyze: can break down a communication into its
constituent parts, revealing the relationships among
them
This class
3. apply: all of levels 1 and 2, plus can take information of
an abstract nature and use it in concrete situations
2. understand: can recall, but can do a little more (e.g.
paraphrase, define, discuss to some extent)
1. remember: the recall of specific items
Highschool
Create
Evaluate
Analyze
Apply
Understand
Remember
Forms of help
• Course webpage:
http://www.rpi.edu/~ploppg/biol_2120/biol_21
20.html
– Read the advice from previous years’ students
– Resources: lecture outlines, Powerpoint files,
recitation materials
– Podcasts of lectures (from iTunes)
– iClicker problem solving in lecture
Forms of help
• Graduate TAs: More than lab managers
– Ask questions/discuss material during lab
sections
• [email protected] to contact the Head
TA with any non-lab questions or concerns.
• Office Hours: Reality check! Most exam
questions arise from these discussions (I
record them)
– Office Hrs begin next week
Office Hrs Times/Locations
Mon from 2:00-2:50pm: DCC 232
Tues from 3:00-3:50pm: DCC 232
Weds from 2:00-2:50pm: DCC 232
Thurs from 3:00-3:50pm: J-ROWL 1W01
Fri from 2:00-2:50pm: DCC 232
Forms of help
Recitation sections: Small Group Learning
• Led by former BIOL 2120 students who did very well and
volunteered to help you this semester
– What to expect:
•
•
•
•
Weekly quizzes (8 of them in the semester)
Informal discussion of lecture material
Relating lecture to real world examples: reading real research articles
Learn from experienced peers, at a student’s pace
– What NOT to expect:
• Perfect answers to every question you can come up with
• Years of teaching experience
• Endless entertainment
Remember, the UTAs are one year ahead of most of you; they
are not professors. Next year, you could be in their position.
Chapter 1
What Is a Cell?
George Plopper
Welcome to Biology 2120
Introduction to Cell & Molecular
Biology
Today’s Learning Outcomes:
At the end of today’s class, you should be able
to:
• Draw a eukaryotic cell with at three least
structural features other than the nucleus and
plasma membrane.
• List three properties of water that make it
essential for life to exist on Earth
• Explain, in writing, the differences between
monosaccharides, disaccharides, and
polysaccharides.
The Big Picture, Chapter 1
• Cells are NOT this:
Nearly all cells are invisible
to the naked eye
Cells are composed of
millions of molecules
Figure 01.01A: Examples of different cell types, including structures specific to each.
Panel A, an epithelial cell.
Figure 01.01B: Panel B, a muscle cell.
Figure 01.01C: Panel C, a nerve cell.
Figure 01.01D: Panel D, Fibroblast
Figure 01.01E: Panel E, A plant cell
Figure 01.01F: Panel F, a prokaryotic cell.
The Big Picture, Chapter 1
• Cells are NOT this:
Nearly all cells are invisible
to the naked eye
Cells are composed of
millions of molecules
Cells obey simple chemical
rules
WATER IS SPECIAL
Figure 01.06A: Five unusual traits of water. Panel A, water is a liquid at room
temperature. A. Hydrogen bonds form between partially charged atoms of opposite
polarity.
Figure 01.06B: Panel B, water is a polar molecule. B. CH4 and CO2 do not have partially
charged atoms and therefore do not form hydrogen bonds.
Figure 01.06C: Panel C, the liquid phase of water is more dense than its solid phase
(ice).
Figure 01.06D: Panel D, water has a very high specific heat and is a good termal
insulator
Figure 01.06E: Panel E, water has a high heat of vaporization
CARBON IS SPECIAL
Figure 01.08B: B. Model of a carbon atom bound to four other atoms.
Figure 01.09: The orientation of covalent bonds formed by carbon.
Table 01.T01: Common
functional groups found
in biological molecules.
Note that dashed lines (-)
indicate where these
groups bond with other
atoms/molecules.
Figure 01.10:
Common types of
lipids in cells.
Common
abbreviations of
organic structures
are shown.
iClicker time
How does the valence number of an atom
impact its function in living organisms?
A. It determines whether a molecule is
hydrophobic or not.
B. It determines whether a molecule is charged
or not.
C. It determines how many bonds it can form.
D. It determines the size of the atom.
E. It determines whether the molecule is alive
or not.
iClicker time
How does the valence number of an atom
impact its function in living organisms?
A. It determines whether a molecule is
hydrophobic or not.
B. It determines whether a molecule is charged
or not.
C. It determines how many bonds it can form.
D. It determines the size of the atom.
E. It determines whether the molecule is alive
or not.
SUGARS ARE VERY SPECIAL
Figure 01.11: Common monosaccharides in cells. The carbons are numbered by
convention with "primes" as shown.
Figure 01.12: Alpha and beta glycosidic bonds in common disaccharides.
Figure 01.13: Oligosaccharides and polysaccharides play many important roles in cells.
Today’s Learning Outcomes:
At the end of today’s class, you should be able
to:
• Draw a eukaryotic cell with at three least
structural features other than the nucleus and
plasma membrane.
• List three properties of water that make it
essential for life to exist on Earth
• Explain, in writing, the differences between
monosaccharides, disaccharides, and
polysaccharides.
For Next Lecture
• Download lecture outline from course web
page
• Read Chapter 2 in Principles of Cell Biology
• Learn how to draw the structure of ribose
• Download recitation Module 1, packet #1,
bring it with you to recitation section next
week. Let me know of any technical
difficulties.

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