Let's get cellular.
To life, to life, biology! In this course, we lift our soda bottles to biology, the study of life.
In this course, you'll learn how life rolls. Chances are, you've heard of cells, genetics, and evolution. After all, you can't watch the news or any show on Hulu without about stem cells, DNA evidence, or the controversy over evolution. But can you tell us how plants manage to get energy from the sun, how a blond-haired kid can be born to a brown-haired family, and why exactly carbs are not the evil enemy the media has made them out to be, but the one molecule essential to human survival? Sounds like we could help you out there.
Get ready to get the details on all that stuff you think you already know. This course is all about understanding the processes behind life as we know it. You know the Circle of Life? Well, it turns out that's not just a catchy tune that Disney made up, but a real thing. We'll start at the "bottom" of the biological pyramid with molecules and cells, work through genetics and evolution, and emerge victorious at the top of the pyramid with plants, animals, and ecology.
P.S. Biology is a two-semester course. You're looking at Semester A, but you can check out Semester B here.
- Microsoft Office, Google Docs, or another word processing program
- A scanner (or access to one)
- A camera (a camera phone is sufficient)
- All other work can be done via the Shmoop website.
Knowledge of basic pre-algebra concepts
Course BreakdownPurchase units individually
Unit 1. Introduction to Biology
In this introductory unit, we'll answer the big questions of life. No really. We'll ask the question: what is life. You'll also get comfortable with other big issues of biology, including the scientific method and biological organization.
Unit 2. The Chemistry of Life
What better way to get acquainted with biology than through...chemistry? That's right. In this unit, we'll go straight down to the bottom of the biological pyramid by learning some foundational concepts for our study of biology, including atomic bonding, the properties of water, and macromolecules.
Unit 3. Cells
Movin' on up the biological pyramid, we come to the smallest unit of life: the cell. This unit covers the properties and components of eukaryotes and prokaryotes, enzymes, osmosis and diffusion, and everyone's favorite cellular process: mitosis.
Unit 4. Biochemical Pathways
Ever wondered how that Snickers bar is broken down by your cells? Well, you're in luck, because this unit covers the basics of cellular respiration, the process by which your cells get energy from food. You'll get the deets on aerobic and anaerobic respiration and find out about plants' superpowers: photosynthesis.
Unit 5. Mendelian Genetics
Peas changed the world. True story. In this unit, we'll find out how Gregor Mendel discovered genes, and indirectly founded the field of genetics, through observing peas. You'll get cozy with DNA, meiosis, Punnett squares, genetic disorders (well, not too cozy), and other genetics issues.