S2005 - Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology I - 2001  Last Updated 07/15/03 03:15 PM

This course is equivalent to C2005. S2005 was not offered in 2002 or 2003 and there are no plans to offer it again.

Instructor: Dr. Deborah Mowshowitz, 744 Fairchild Extension, 854-4497, dbm2@columbia.edu
Questions about the course? e-mail the instructor at dbm2@columbia.edu

Advice for Students | Basic Texts | Schedule & Reading List | Recitations | Exams & Grading |

Course Description:

Biology S2005/S2401 is the first term of an introductory biology course for science majors and premedical students who have completed a year of college chemistry. Bio S2005 consists of lectures plus a required daily recitation. The lectures in Bio S2401 are identical, but recitation is optional.  Bio S2005 is 4 pts; S2401 is 3 pts. Students who do not plan to attend recitation regularly should register for S2401.

A year of college chemistry is a prerequisite for this course. Students who do not have chemistry or who are not science majors/premeds should consult the instructor before registering. Bio S2005/F2401 is the first half of a two semester sequence S2005-S2006 (equivalent to C2005-C2006) or S2401-S2402 (equivalent to F2401-F2402). The entire sequence covers the fundamental principles of modern biology. The first term covers biochemistry, genetics and evolution; the second term covers cell biology, developmental biology and physiology.

S2005 meets Mon.- Thurs. (except for 5/28) and on Fridays 6/1 & 6/22 (see schedule). On most days, recitation is 9:30 - 10:30 (in 627 Mudd); lecture is 10:45 - 12:30 (in 627 Mudd). Attendance at recitation is required. On quiz days, recitation will end early so that lecture can begin at 10 and there will be plenty of time for the quiz. You should plan to stay until 1 pm on quiz days. (Contact Dr. M. if there are any scheduling problems.)

The schedule for S2401 is the same, but recitation is not required. Students registered for S2401 who wish to attend recitation on a voluntary basis may do so, but the details of the scheduling are not yet worked out. We may arrange the recitations so that there are some times reserved exclusively for S2005 students. The details will depend on the relative number of students registered for S2401 and S2005, and will be announced the first week of class.

Please read this syllabus carefully - it contains lots of useful information.

Basic Texts: (Note: The first two texts will be used for both terms; there is a separate problem book for each term). The texts were ordered through Labyrinth Bookstore on 112th St; they may also be available in the Columbia Bookstore. The problem book is available from the Village Copier on 115th St. 

1. Becker, Kleinsmith & Hardin, The World of the Cell, 4th edition, Benjamin Cummings, 2000. This term we will cover most of chapters 1-3, 5-6, 13-14, & 16-21 (which correspond to chapters 1-3, 5-6, 11-12, & 14-19 in the 3rd edition). This book is very strong on biochemistry but weak on genetics and has no evolution at all. (The 3rd edition is not as up to date, but will be okay if you already have a copy.)

2. Purves, Orians, & Heller, Life, The Science of Biology, 6th ed., Sinauer/ Freeman, 2001 (5th ed., 1998, is okay too.) This book supplies the topics missing in Becker -- basic genetics and evolution for this term; physiology and development for next term. This term we will cover most of chapters 1-3, 6-7, 9-13, 17 & 18, 21, 24, and some of 14. (this corresponds to chapters 1-3, 6-7, 9-13, 16 & 17, 20, 23 & some of 14 in the 5th edition.) If you have any other recent comprehensive college biology text, such as Campbell, or Keeton & Gould (or the 4th edition of Purves), then you do not need to buy the new Purves et al -- any current college bio (or genetics) text will cover the same material. (See the additional books listed below for a list of recent genetics texts.) 

3. Mowshowitz, Problems in Biochemistry , Genetics and Molecular Biology, 15th edition, 2000. (Older editions are similar, but there were major revisions since the 13th edition, so we recommend that you get the latest edition.) This book contains study questions and problems from old exams; it also contains brief answers to most questions. Answers to the starred questions (which have no answers in the book) are posted on the web. This book is not in the bookstore; it is available from the Village Copier on 115th St. 

Supplementary Texts:
The two textbooks cover most of the material in the lectures, but you will probably want to consult more advanced texts occasionally for details on specific topics. Almost any standard biochemistry or genetics text will do the job. A few of the best recent ones are listed below. All the recommended texts (and the textbooks) should on reserve in the biology library, 601 Fairchild. All the additional texts listed are good, but many former students have recommended especially: Biochemistry by Stryer and The Molecular Biology of the Cell by Alberts et al.

There will be many handouts in this class to help you follow what is going on in lecture and make note taking easier. Extra copies of all materials handed out in class will be available in the cubby boxes on the 7th floor of Fairchild Extension (aka Mudd) next to room 744.

Study Questions and Practice Exams:
The questions in the problem book are intended to help you focus your studying on the important issues and to help you test your understanding. The answers to the starred questions are primarily intended to help you test yourself, so the answers are not in the book -- they are posted on the web. An additional problem set (usually the same as last year's test) will be posted on the web before each test to serve as a practice test. You are urged to discuss the questions with your fellow students. The questions from the problem book will be discussed in recitation along with any other questions you may have.

You are expected to do the problems in the book as we go along. You don't need to do every single one, but you should do most of the un-starred ones and enough of the starred ones to feel on top of the subject. You will get the most out of the problems if you go over the lecture material first, and then try to do the problems (or at least the un-starred ones) before you come to recitation. You are not expected to know all the answers before the recitation starts, but you are expected to have worked on the problems and to have questions of your own. Summer session goes by very quickly, so do your best not to get behind.

Recitation sessions will be held almost every day before class. If you are registered for S2005 (as opposed to S2401) you are required to attend recitation at least three times a week. Arrangements for students in S2401 who wish to voluntarily attend recitation will be announced after class starts.

There will be four weekly exams worth 100 points each and a final worth 150-200 points. The exam questions will be similar to the study questions. The weekly exams will be cumulative but will stress material covered since the last exam. The final will cover everything. Your grade will depend on your best 3 weekly exams and the final. You may take all four weekly exams, or just 3. You must take at least three and you must take the final because there will be NO make-ups.

How much to read:
The readings that are listed on the schedule are intended as a guide and NOT as an assignment, so be selective. It usually pays to read one of the two texts (Becker or Purves) before you come to class so you will be familiar with the terminology and the basic ideas. Specific pages are listed (to match the lecture topics as closely as possible) but you may find it more helpful to read whole chapters in order, especially if you have a weak background in biology. In general, Becker is better for the biochemistry part of the course and Purves is better for the genetics and evolution. After the lecture, you should (re)read whatever you feel is necessary to understand the lectures, answer the study questions and satisfy your curiosity. Virtually all the information you should need is in the basic texts, but you may want to consult one of the supplementary texts now and then. If you want to look up a specific topic in one of the supplementary texts, use the index in the book - don't read whole chapters. Wholesale reading of the supplementary texts is NOT recommended (it takes too much time and the books are cluttered with unnecessary details). Remember, you do not need to buy any of the supplementary texts -- they are all on reserve in the Biology Library, 601 Fairchild.

A lot of experimental methods will be discussed in this class. Both texts, especially Becker, describe many of these methods in detail, but not always in the sections assigned for that lecture. To find out where a particular method is described in the texts, consult the indexes or the "Guide to Techniques and Methods" on pp. xiii-xv in Becker.

Recommended Supplementary Texts (optional): (This list needs updating; all of the books are good but many are now available in more recent editions.)

To bolster a weak chemical background:

Baker and Allen, Matter, Energy and Life, any edition, Addison-Wesley. Very simple and to the point. Well worth it if your chemistry is rusty.

To supplement the biochemistry in the basic texts:

Lehninger, Bioenergetics, 1st or 2nd ed., Benjamin. All about ATP -- nice and simple.

Stryer, Biochemistry, any ed., W.H. Freeman & Co. A good general biochemistry text that includes problems and answers.

Lehninger's Biochemistry or Principles of Biochemistry. These books are similar to Stryer, but a little more complex.

Wood, Wilson, Benbow and Hood, Biochemistry: A Problems Approach, Benjamin, 1st or 2nd edition. Lots of problems and their answers.

To supplement the genetics in the basic texts:

Suzuki, Griffiths, Miller and Lewontin, An Introduction to Genetic Analysis, any ed., Freeman. A genetics text with thorough explanations and a problem solving emphasis. Older editions are good but lack sections on molecular genetics.

Stansfield, Schuam's Outline of Theory and Problems of Genetics, McGraw Hill, 2nd or 3rd edition. A good source of solved genetics problems.

There are many other good, current genetics books, such as the ones by Zubay, Rothwell, Fincham, Ayala, Hartl et al, Russel & Goodenough.

Additional Molecular Biology Books (These cover a lot of biochemistry, too.)

Alberts et. al., Molecular Biology of the Cell, any edition, Garland. More detailed than necessary but covers a lot of the topics in the course in manageable chunks. Highly recommended by many former students. There is a new, shorter version of Alberts called Essential Cell Biology; it may be worth a try or it may be too similar to Becker.

Lodish, et. al., Molecular Cell Biology, Scientific American Books, any ed. Similar to Alberts, et. al.

Hood, Wilson, and Wood, Molecular Biology of Eucaryotic Cells: A problems approach, Benjamin, 1975. Lots of nice problems and their answers.

Watson, J.D., et al, Molecular Biology of the Gene. 4th ed. (vol 1) Benjamin/ Cummings, 1987. (The 1st, 2nd, 3rd editions are good; they are simpler and a lot easier to read.) Just what the title says. Has some good biochemistry sections, too. These books are old, but have a nice overview.

There are other good cell & molecular biology books by Loewy et al, Karp, Kleinsmith, & Wolfe.

Miscellaneous Additional Readings:

Scientific American & the science section of the Tuesday NY Times. Almost every issue has at least one article on recent developments in molecular biology.

Heppner, Frank, Professor Farnsworth's Explanations in Biology, McGraw Hill. This is a very funny book that explains some of the more difficult concepts in biology and includes good advice on studying.

Below is the syllabus & reading list, etc., with the correct dates for summer 2001.  Pages listed below refer to the most recent editions of the texts -- Becker 4th edition and Purves 6th edition.  Note that the schedule for the last week of class is not yet finalized.

Schedules are also available for those with older editions of the texts. Note that the dates on some of these versions are from older years and must be adjusted.

For pp in Purves 5th edition & 
Becker 4th edition click here
For pp in Purves 5th edition & 
Becker 3rd edition click here
For pp in Purves 4th edition & 
Becker 3rd edition click here

Schedule of Lectures, Recommended Readings & Exams S2005 -- 2001

# Date Subject of Lecture Recommended Reading in Becker (B) 4th ed or Purves (P) 6th edition
1 Mon. 5/21 Introduction. If your background in biology is weak, you should read all of Chapter 4 in one of the texts B: Ch 1 & Ch 4, p. 78-86 &. 102-104
P: Ch 1 & Ch 4, p. 55-59
2 Tues. 5/22 What's in a Cell?
Classes of Biomolecules
Carbohydrates & Lipids
B: Ch 2 to p.31 & Ch. 3 p.63 to end
P: Ch 2 & Ch 3 p. 34-35, 43-46 & 49-51. 
3 Wed. 5/23 Amino Acids & Peptides B: Ch 3 p. 43-47
P: Ch 3 p. 36-38
4 Thur. 5/24 3D Protein Structure & how it is determined B: Ch 2 p. 32 - end & Ch 3 p. 47-55
P: Ch 3 p. 38-42
  Mon. 5/28 No class -- Memorial Day  
5 Tues. 5/29
Enzyme Function B: Ch 6 to p. 151
P: Ch 6 p. 102 - 108
6 Wed. 5/30 Pathways & Enzyme Regulation B: Ch 6 p. 151 - end
P: Ch 6 p. 108 - end
7 Thur. 5/31 Principles of energy transfer: the importance of ATP & free energy B: Ch 5 & Ch 13 to p. 380
P: Ch 6 to p. 102 & Ch 7 p. to p. 118 
8 Fri. 6/1
Glycolysis & fermentation;
the Krebs (TCA) cycle

 QUIZ #1 on LECTURES 1-5

B: Ch 13 p. 380 - end & Ch 14 p. 405-423
P: Ch 7 p. 118 - 125.
9 Mon. 6/4 Electron Transport, Oxidative phosphorylation & the mitochondrion B: Ch 14 -- the rest
P: Ch 7 p. 125 - end
10 Tues. 6/5 DNA as hereditary material; nucleic acid structure
& DNA hybridization
B: Ch 3 p. 55-63 & Ch 16 p. 488-501
P: Ch 3 p. 47-49; Ch 11 p. 198-205 & fig. 14.7 
11 Wed. 6/6 DNA synthesis & PCR
B: Ch 17 p. 535-554
P: Ch 11 p. 206-end
12 Thur. 6/7 Transcription & the central dogma


B: Ch 19 p. 634-651 & p. 665-666
P: Ch 12 to p. 223
13 Mon. 6/11 Translation & genetic code B:Ch 20 p. 670-682
P: Ch 12 p. 223-231
14 Tues. 6/12 Wrap up of translation, Mutation

Regulation of Protein Synthesis in Prokaryotes
B: Ch 20 p. 682-686
P: Ch 12 p. 233 - end

B: Ch 21 p. 701-711
P: Ch 13 p. 249-end
15 Wed. 6/13 Cell Division I: Mitosis & The Cell Cycle B: Ch 17 p. 533-535 & 554-564
P: Ch 9 p. 155-167
16 Thur. 6/14 Cell Div. II: Meiosis, Sex determination, Nondisjunction & Life Cycles;

QUIZ #3 on LECTURES 10-13 ( & wrap up of translation)
B: Ch 18 p. 589-602
P: Ch 9 p. 167-end

17 Mon. 6/18 Eukaryotic Genetics I: One gene at a time B: Ch 18 p. 602-604
P: Ch 10 p. 176-188(skip dihybrid crosses) & 192-196
Ch 18 p. 331-336
18 Tues. 6/19 Euk. Genetics II: More than one gene at a time; linkage & crossing over B: Ch 18 p. 604-610
P: Ch 10 - rest
19 Wed. 6/20 Bacterial & Viral Genetics B: Ch 18 p. 610-615 & Box 16A (p. 492-494)
P: Ch 13 to p. 249
20 Thur. 6/21
Recombinant DNA I: Restriction Enzymes, blots & RLFP's

QUIZ #4 on LECTURES 14-17
B: Ch 16 p. 502-507 & Box 16C (p. 512-513)

P: Ch 17 p. 311-314 & 328-end & Ch 18 p. 336-342

21 Mon. 6/25 Recombinant DNA II: Cloning, Libraries, etc B: Ch 18 p. 618-end
P: Ch 17-rest & Ch. 18 p. 346-end
22 Tues. 6/26 Eukaryotic Gene Structure & RNA processing

Darwinian evolution & population genetics

B: Ch 19 p. 655-665
P: Ch 14 p.265- 270 & Fig.14.12

P: Ch 21

23 Wed. 6/27 Molecular Evolution P: Ch 24
24 Thurs. 6/28 Study Day - Review Session  
25 Fri 6/29**
FINAL EXAM! Covers everything, but will stress lectures 18-23  

** Note that final is on 6/29 NOT 6/28.  Return to top