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Biology Courses

104. Biology: Concepts and Method
Study of topics selected to introduce students to basic concepts in biology and to the scientific method.

150. Biological Inquiry
Students in BIO 150 will advance their knowledge of biology (from the ecosystem level to the molecular level), learn and practice skills essential to biological inquiry, and integrate scientific ways of knowing into their development as liberally educated, engaged citizens. Individually and in teams, students will work with research organisms commonly used In the discipline, read the primary literature, and develop their observational, analytical and quantitative (especially statistical) skills. Students will also develop oral and written communication skills through informal discussions, oral presentations, and written reports of their experimental work, which will benefit from the peer-review process.

151. Biological Development
Students in BIO 151 will be introduced to the multi-dimensional nature of structure, function, and timing of development and evolution in plants and animals. Building upon skills from BIO 150, students will study the development of model organisms typically used in research. They will continue to develop the observational, analytical, and presentation skills necessary to be active participants in a scientific community. In addition, they will continue their development as liberally educated, engaged citizens.

212. Introduction to Genetics and Molecular Biology
Study of heredity and the roles of DNA and other macromolecules in the function of cells and organisms. This course will focus on inheritance at biochemical, organismal, and population levels. Prerequisite: BIO 151 or permission of instructor. The laboratory portion of this course includes classic genetic crosses using model organisms (e.g., fruit flies), molecular techniques to analyze DNA, and bioinformatic analysis of DNA sequences. Students will also analyze their own mitochondrial DNA to get information on their genetic lineage and design experiments to analyze mutant yeast strains and to study gene regulation in bacteria. Lab reports and research posters will be used to assess students' understanding of the laboratory exercises.

214. Cellular Biology
Study of biochemical, metabolic, structural and functional aspects of cells and cellular systems. The lab consists of modules introducing quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques, open-ended research projects to test student-generated hypotheses, and written and/or oral scientific presentations.

241. Introduction to Biostatistics
General introduction to statistical procedures in the biological sciences. Topics include describing and displaying data, descriptive statistics, sampling distributions, experimental design, hypothesis testing, categorical data analysis, ANOVA, and linear regression analysis. Students will use the statistical software package JMP to analyze data from studies in ecology, evolutionary biology, medicine, and genetics.

250. Introduction to Research
Projects designed to introduce students to research and to critical reading of original research.

280. Selected topics in Biology
Selected topics in Biology at the introductory or intermediate level. Courses with this designation are typically newly designed and are being explored for possible adoption as a regular addition to the curriculum.

310. Seminar in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
This seminar is designed to refine and extend student fluency (both verbal and written) in evolutionary and ecological topics and techniques through the dissection and discussion of research papers.

311. Seminar in Genetics/Genomics
Designed to refine and extend student fluency (both verbal and written) in current genetics and genomics topics and techniques through the critical reading and analysis of primary research articles.

313. Plants & Ecosystems
Designed for students interested in plants and the environment. Study of the structure and function of vascular plants, with an emphasis on flowering plants. Also, an introduction to major ecological principles, especially species-species interactions, community ecology, and ecosystem ecology. Special emphasis on how plants benefit humans and on sustainability.

322. Biology of the Vertebrates
This course explores the biology, natural history and diversity of vertebrates, and the evolution of form and function within this group.

323. Biology of the Vertebrates (with lab)
Identical to BIO 322 with a lab component that focuses on developing and conducting an original research project centered on vertebrate biology. Over the course of the semester, students will gain experience in preparing a primary literature review, producing a grant proposal, learn sound experimental design and data analysis, conduct an original research project, and prepare results for written and oral presentation.

324. Microbiology
Study of the biology of microorganisms, with emphasis on bacteria and viruses. Laboratory work includes techniques for handling, culturing and identifying bacteria, identification of unknown bacterial species and development of epidemiological models for the spread of infectious diseases.

331. Developmental Biology
Study of the biological mechanisms driving organismal development, the process by which complex organisms are formed from single cells. Includes a description of early embryonic development from fertilization through formation of the nervous system.

332. Developmental Biology (with lab)
Identical to BIO 331 but has a laboratory component that focuses on a research project in which students explore the recent literature and practice the laboratory techniques used in this field.

333. Nutrition
An integrated overview of nutrition to include the physiology of digestion and absorption, basic nutrients and their utilization, vitamins and minerals, additives, healthy diets and lifestyle, cultural and social influences on diet, weight control and lifecycle nutrition.

342. Human Physiology
Study of the concepts of physiology with emphasis on negative feedback mechanisms responsible for homeostasis in humans. In lab, physiological phenomena such as nerve conduction velocity, muscle properties, electrocardiograms, pulmonary function tests, and urinalysis are recorded and analyzed from live animals and human subjects. Case studies also are integrated into the laboratory experience.

344. Mammalian Histology
Microscopic study of the cellular structure of tissues and organs. In lab, students examine prepared microscope slides while consulting their text-atlas before reviewing digital images of histological material. Learning in this course is greatly enhanced by student-organized group study outside the regularly schedule class meetings and lab sessions.

351. Research Methods & Communication, Neurobiology
Projects designed to engage students in original neurobiological research, in critical reading of published research, and in oral and written communication of research findings, leading to possible conference presentation and publication.

352. Research in Evolutionary Biology
Projects designed to engage students in research methods in evolutionary biology, in critical reading of the primary literature, and in oral and written communication of original research.

360. Current Topics In Biology Seminar
An in-depth examination of selected topics, considered from biological, historical, philosophical and sociopolitical perspectives. Possible topics include: human embryonic stem cell research, AIDS, the environment, eugenics and human genetics, human experimentation, teaching evolution, emerging viruses, psychotropic drugs, world population, international public health, and biological warfare.

370. Field Biology
Introduction to the identification and natural history of arthropods, animals and selected groups of non-vascular “plants.” Lecture emphasis is on the identification of specimens using dichotomous keys and other print/web resources. During the laboratory time, students are typically in the field practicing the skills to identify organism by sight recognition.

372. Field Botany
Introduction to the vascular plants and plant communities of South Carolina, including ecology and natural history, use of dichotomous keys in identification, and field recognition of plants and plant communities.

374. Living Mammals of the World
Study of the anatomical, physiological, and demographic characteristics that make mammals important ecological actors in a variety of natural systems. Topics include the evolutionary origins of living mammals, review of the group's phylogeny, and contemporary problems of mammal conservation.

382. Ecology
Scientific study of the interactions that determine the distribution and abundance of living organisms. Ecological principles are discussed at the level of the organism, the population, the community, and the ecosystem. Students explore the current research literature in ecology and complete a team-designed research project and report.

383. Ecotoxicology
Ecotoxicology examines the effect of environmental contaminants on individuals, populations, communities, and ecosystems. The course examines how governments influence toxicological issues facing the nation and world today and in the future.

385. Marine Biology
The course explores the physical and biological components of marine ecosystems with an emphasis on the diversity of organisms and their ecological adaptations to the sea. The course also examines issues that significantly impact the environmental and ecological stability of ocean communities.

386. Freshwater Biology
The course explores the physical attributes and biological communities of freshwater ecosystems. It also examines how and why many freshwater systems may be overexploited and ill-used and the subsequent impact on our water resources. Lab includes travel to explore local/regional streams and lakes.

391. Animal Behavior
Students will explore the diverse science of animal behavior. Students will examine research studies and theories that attempt to answer the ultimate evolutionary causes of animal behavior, which unify the whole field of ethology. This exploration will extend to the internal mechanisms (such as genes and hormones) that influence the expression of behavior as animals respond to complex, environmental stimuli.

392. Animal Behavior (with lab)
Students will explore the diverse science of animal behavior. Students will examine research studies and theories that attempt to answer the ultimate evolutionary causes of animal behavior, which unify the whole field of ethology. This exploration will extend to the internal mechanisms (such as genes and hormones) that influence the expression of behavior as animals respond to complex, environmental stimuli. Students also will apply the methods of ethology in field and laboratory conditions and conduct research projects leading to possible conference presentation and publication.

399. Evolution
Introduction to the facts and theories of biological evolution. Topics include an historical overview, the evidence for evolution, adaptation and natural selection, the evolution of diversity, the fossil record, extinction, evo-devo, genomics, and evolutionary genetics.

421. Human Genetics
Study of the principles of genetics, using the human as the primary organism. New methods of studying genes in humans will be highlighted throughout the course. The course includes numerous case studies and students will read and discuss recent scientific literature.

423. Immunology
A concise but comprehensive and up-to-date introduction to immunology.

424. Immunology (with lab)
Identical to BIO 423 with a laboratory component through which students practice the research techniques used in this field.

433. Cellular Biochemistry
Study of the mechanisms of life on the cellular level. Topics may include cell metabolism, enzyme mechanisms and regulation, cell-cell communication, and errors of metabolism. Special attention will be focused on applications of biochemistry to health and disease.

436. Molecular Biology & Genomics
Study of the mechanisms of life on the molecular level. Topics include gene cloning, the study of the mechanisms of life on the molecular level, as well as the use of large computer databases of DNA sequence data to study those mechanisms. In the laboratory, students will use modern technologies including Western Blot, PCR, and DNA sequencing. The laboratory will also include bioinformatics tools to analyze DNA.

440. Comparative and Human Anatomy
A system-by-system approach to understanding vertebrate anatomy and evolution. Human anatomy is studied in detail and students explore the anatomy of representative vertebrates with a focus on evolutionary and developmental origins of structures. Laboratory and classroom activities include model construction, extensive dissection, and comparative morphology of extant species. Students also explore current research in this field.

445. Neurobiology
Study of the structure and function of the nervous system from subcellular to systems levels with emphasis on the experimental foundation of modern principles.

446. Neurobiology (with lab)
Identical to BIO 445 but has a laboratory component. The lab includes cellular and physiological studies using fly larvae as a model system, comparative anatomical studies using sheep brain as a model, and student generated hypothesis testing in the areas of sensation and perception, learning, and /or cognition. Students also explore complimentary research in this field, and assessments include written and oral presentations of their work.

450. Research
Original research in an area of student’s interest.

480. Advanced Topics in Biology
Courses with this designation consider topics of special interest, special need, or special content.

491. Human Disease
A survey of all of the broad disease categories: genetic and congenital abnormalities, inflammatory/autoimmune diseases, environmentally linked diseases, forensic pathology, infectious disease, and neoplasia/cancer. Discussion of case studies will be used to reinforce disease concepts.

493. Case Studies in Public Health
Using a case study format and self-directed learning, students in this course will consider important local, national, and international public health issues. Community or campus service projects may be incorporated.

495. Case Studies in Biomedicine
Study of the biology of human disease through patient-oriented problem solving and self-directed learning under the guidance of a mentoring physician. Discussions of readings on medically related topics (e.g., art of diagnosis, impact of technology on medicine, mortality and medicine) and a patient-interview exercise complement the case studies sessions.

497. Case Studies in Environmental Issues
The course challenges students to consider environmental issues that confront us locally, nationally and globally. A case study format will be used to provide students with a practical approach to environmental problems.

Honors Courses and In-Course Honors
The Department of Biology encourages its students to undertake honors work. For further information, the student is referred to the sections on Honors Courses and InCourse Honors in the Course Catalogue.