Fall 2020

Molecules, Genes and Cells

Listed in: Biology, as BIOL-191

Formerly listed as: BIOL-19

Moodle site: Course (Guest Accessible)


Julie Emerson (Section 01)
Sally A. Kim (Section 01)
Alexandra E. Purdy (Section 01)


An introduction to the molecular and cellular processes common to life with an emphasis on control of energy and information flow. Central themes include metabolism, macromolecular function, and the genetic basis of cellular function. We examine how membranes work to establish the internal composition of cells; how the structure of proteins including enzymes affects protein function; how energy is captured, stored and utilized by cells; and how cells communicate, move and divide. We explore inheritance patterns and underlying molecular mechanisms of genetics, the central dogma of information transfer from DNA replication to protein synthesis, and recombinant DNA methods and medical applications. Laboratories include genetic analyses, enzyme reaction kinetics, membrane transport, and genomic analysis. Two hours of lecture, two hours of team-based learning, and three laboratory hours per week.

Requisite: Prior completion of, or concurrent registration in, CHEM 161 or CHEM 165. Limited to 96 students. Fall semester: Professors Purdy and Kim, Lab Coordinator Emerson. Spring semester: Professors Goutte and Wu Orr, Lab Coordinator Emerson. 

In Fall 2020, Biol-191 will be conducted entirely online. Lectures will be held asynchronously and/or synchronously and recorded. Discussion sections and laboratories will be held synchronously, but for students in need of other arrangements due to their time zone or other considerations, alternative group meetings times and/or asynchronous options will be made available. For students on campus, optional in-person gatherings of small groups will be facilitated to promote discussion of course material, while students preferring online modes of learning will be encouraged to gather through online platforms

Please note that the same textbook is used for both BIOL 181 and BIOL 191.

If Overenrolled: Priority by seniority


Lab Science Course, Online Only


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022