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Introduction to General Biology
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from the Virtual Biology Classroom


Page last updated 1/2016
​More Biology Resources​

  • What is biology? Why is the study of biology important?
  • What are viruses? Are they alive or not? Support your answer. 
  • List and describe the prokaryotes we met in lecture.
  • Are prokaryotes good or bad? Support your answer.
  • List and describe some of the eukaryotes we met in lecture. 
  • Living things adapt and evolve (change). Describe some of the examples of change that we covered in lecture. 
  • Describe what is extraordinary about how argonaut octopi breed. 
  • What major threat are Tasmanian devils currently facing? 


Printing:The best way to print out the PowerPoint Show is to download the PDF version. Select Print, and, when the Print screen comes up, go to Print Handling options. Under Page Scaling, select "Multiple pages per sheet", Under Pages per sheet, select "2". That uses up less paper, placing two slides on each page.

Pictured above: A female argonaut (a type of shelled octopus) can reach a size of 2 meters. Males are only a few centimeters big! So how do argonaut couples "get it on"?!? 
Answer: Detachable penis.
- DR. OLIVER SACKS:  During our first class meeting we briefly met Dr. Oliver Sacks on the Radiolab podcast "Yellow Fluff",  when we listened to an excerpt about his Periodic Table fascination. I just learned that Dr. Sacks very recently died, August 30, 2015. He saw his life as a privilege and adventure. Good-bye to a very cool guy! We'll miss you Dr. Sacks!

- CANCER: Cell division out of control. Dr. Sacks died of a melanoma cancer in his eye that had metastasized. What does "metastasize" mean?

RADIOLAB: Dr. Sacks was a regular guest on Radiolab. Radiolab has covered cancer in many of its episodes, some of which we will cover this semester.
- TASMANIAN DEVILS: Radiolab episode, Devil Tumors covers the seemingly impossible ... 
contagious tumors in Tasmanian Devils. Whaaaat? We'll listen to an excerpt (start time 6:19) of this podcast later this semester.

Introduction to Biology Lecture Materials

These are the Introduction to Biology Lecture materials of the Virtual General Biology Classroom. & the Virtual Biology Classroom for Health Careers. The resources below have been developed for and are used in an actual college microbiology course.

Virtual Biology Classroom
These Biology Lecture materials include:
  • learning objectives
  • PowerPoint lecture 
  • homework 
  • additional readings 
  • practice test & review questions
  • Biology Crazy Train! (check it out!)

Monarch Butterfly That Recently Emerged From Chrysalis.
Below: Monarch butterfly recently emerged from chrysalis. 
Monarch butterfly in crysalis, nearly ready to emerge.

" What am I, Life? A thing of watery salt
Held in cohesion by unresting cells,
Which work they know not why, which never halt,
Myself unwitting where their Master dwells.
I do not bid them, yet they toil, they spin  
A world which uses me as I use them"

 John Masefield 
(1878 – 1967))

Above: Monarch caterpillar playing dead.
Below: Monarch chrysalis same day butterfly emerged. 
Monarch Catepillar Playing Dead
Please check your Homework & Reading Schedule Handout to see which exercises are assigned for your particular class. 

Please check your Homework & Reading Schedule Handout to see which readings are assigned for your particular class. 


BIOLOGY CRAZY TRAIN ... (of thought. All aboard! ): 
These are various science-related things I've learned and thought about about recently. Look this information over, and we'll take some time to discuss it this semester. 

< : "THIS SPECIES OF OCTOPUS HAS A DETACHABLE PENIS!", from IFLScience...Cue King Missile's 1992 song "Detachable Penis".