Biology (BIO 100)
Can we find life elsewhere in the Universe? This is one of the big questions at the forefront of scientific endeavor. It compels us to explore our celestial neighborhood, searching for signs of life in the Solar System and Earth-like planets beyond. In The Living World, you will learn about the search for life as you master concepts in general biology, including key aspects of: biodiversity; evolution; cellular biology; molecular biology; ecology; and human anatomy and physiology.
What you’ll learn
- Evolution: The diversity of life changed and diversified over time by processes of mutation, selection, and isolation.
- Structure and Function: Basic units of structure establish the function of all living things.
- Information Flow, Exchange, and Storage: The macro and microscopic features of organisms result from the expression of genetic information in context.
- Pathways of Energy and Matter: Biological systems are built and maintained by chemical transformation pathways that are governed by the laws of thermodynamics.
- Biological Systems: Living systems are interconnected and interacting.
- Nature of Science: Science proceeds by developing and testing explanations for patterns observed in nature.
What to expect in class
The Living World is an innovative course with a format different from most online courses. It is built around interactive activities with rich adaptive feedback. These are not videos or simple readings and quizzes. Usually they are problem-solving activities through which you will be introduced to key concepts, and master them, in a question-driven 'learn-by-doing' approach. Often they will be designed around game-like simulations that you can manipulate, or virtual field trips that you can explore. In some ways, these activities can feel like a serious game! That's not an accident: That's in fact how the pursuit of science feels to professional scientists.
Exams and grading
- 752 - Biology Bootcamp
- 1000 - World Biodiversity Expedition
- 1055 - Journey to the Galapagos
- 484 - Time Traveler’s Guide to Life on Earth
- 850 - Into the Cell
- 1483 - Searching for Signatures
- 1422 - Blue Planet
- 954 - A Mission Beyond