Biology 3134 Section 02: Cell and Molecular Biology Spring 2016


Lecture: M, W, F 8:10 am - 9:20 am in Room 144 Biology Building
Instructor: Dr. Leos Kral (office: Rm. 145A Biology Building)
email address
Note: Best way to contact me is by email. The least efficient way to communicate with me is to leave a phone message and expect me to call you back.
Office Hrs: Monday: 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Tuesday: 9:00 am to 11:00 am
Wednesday: 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Text: Essential Cell Biology fourth edition
          by Alberts, Bray, Johnson, Lewis, Raff, Roberts, and Walter
Web Site:
This web site contains links to this syllabus and the CourseDen site which contains the course slides, a course calendar, study guides, and grade book.

Note: Should any changes be made to this syllabus during the semester (such as changes in due dates, exam dates, or topics), these will be posted on the CourseDen site calendar, announcement and/or discussion area. It is your responsibility to log in at least once every other day. Also, be sure to keep up with the study guides. There may be material skipped in lecture for which you will be held responsible. Readings for this material will be assigned in the study guides.

Grading: Four hourly exams will be given during assigned class times during the semester and one final exam will be given during finals week. The final exam will not be comprehensive and will only cover the last portion of the course. Note, however, that the material is cumulative and understanding of previously covered concepts is essential to comprehension of subsequent materials. Exams will be made up of mostly multiple choice and some true/false type questions. Students are expected to take all exams. All exams will only be given at the scheduled times on the scheduled days. Missed exams will be assigned a score of 0 points. It is recognized that emergency situations can occur where missing an exam is unavoidable. What constitutes an emergency situation is at the discretion of the instructor. Therefore, check with the instructor ahead of time to see if your situation qualifies (oversleeping does not qualify). With proper documentation of the instructor approved emergency situation, a makeup exam can be taken. This option only pertains to any of the first four exams. The final exam can only be made up if the student qualifies for a grade of I (incomplete) under the university guidelines.

Each hourly exam (including the final exam) is worth 100 points.

Your final grade in this course will be calculated from the average of all 5 exam scores according to the following formula:

%grade = %average of 5 exams = (Exam1 + Exam2 + Exam3 + Exam4 + Final Exam)/5

Cheating will not be tolerated. Any student caught cheating will receive a grade of 0 points on that exam and that exam grade will not be dropped from the calculation of the course average. An F grade for the course may also be assigned at the instructor's discretion. 

There will be no extra credit assignments so donít ask.

This course can not be converted to honors credit.

Please Note: Grades are assigned on the basis of what you know as evaluated by exams. If you have personal issues which prevent you from coming to class or studying, and subsequently, you do poorly on the exams, you are not entitled to a higher grade than your exam scores warrant due to hardship. If you can not devote the necessary time to this course, you should reduce your course load. It is better to do well over a longer period of time rather than badly in a shorter period of time.

Students must have a grade of C or better in both BIOL 2107 and BIOL 2108 to be admitted into this course. Over the years it has become obvious that students who did poorly in the introductory class almost always fail this course. Therefore, if you did not pass BIOL 2107 and/or BIOL 2108 with a grade of C or better, drop this course and repeat the introductory course or courses in which you did poorly. Also note that CHEM 1211 and CHEM 1212 are pre-requisites of this course. You will not be dropped from this course if you passed CHEM 1211 and are currently in CHEM 1212. However, you are assuming the risk that your performance may be compromised by the lack of this pre-requisite knowledge.

Exam Schedule: Exam 1: Monday, February 1
Exam 2: Friday, February 19
Exam 3: Wednesday, March 9
Exam 4: Monday, April 4
Final Exam (Exam 5):  Monday, April 25 at 8:10 am
Note: Exams may be moved to a later date but not to an earlier date (check CourseDen Calendar frequently)
Grading Scale: Percentage of all possible points:

A = 90% - 100%
B = 80% - 89%
C = 70% - 79%
D = 60% - 69%
F = less than 60%.

Attendance: Mandatory. Absences will result in lower exam grades.
Objectives: To impart a thorough understanding of the molecular structure and function of living cells.
Lecture Topics: Sequential topic listing. Specific reading assignments are posted on the course web site.
  1. Introduction (Chapter1)
  2. Chemical Components of Cells (Chapter 2)
  3. Energy, Catalysis and Biosynthesis (Chapter 3)
  4. Protein Structure and Function (Chapter 4)
  5. DNA and Chromosomes (Chapter 5)
  6. DNA Replication and Repair (Chapter 6)
  7. Transcription and Processing of RNA (Chapter 7)
  8. Translation (Chapter 7)
  9. Control of Gene Expression (Chapter 8)
  10. Membrane Structure (Chapter 11)
  11. Membrane Transport (Chapter 12)
  12. How Cells Obtain Energy from Food (Chapter 13)
  13. Energy Generation in Mitochondria and Chloroplasts (Chapter 14) 
  14. Intracellular Compartments and Transport (Chapter 15)
  15. Cell Communication (Chapter 16)
  16. Cytoskeleton (Chapter 17 and portion of Chapter 20)
  17. Cell Cycle Control (Chapter 18)
  18. Fate of Nucleus During Cell Division (in Chapter 19)
  19. How Genes and Genomes Evolve (Chapter 9)
How to Approach this Course:
  1. Come to class and pay attention. Listen for what is being emphasized.

  2. Read the text book. While the textbook should be viewed as a detailed set of notes, the lecture is important to guide you through those "notes". There will be some sections where more detail will be presented in lecture than is presented in the text. This additional material will be available on the web.

  3. Don't just memorize but strive to understand. As much as possible ask yourself questions such as "why does this work ", "how does this work", "what are the relationships between x and y", etc. Visualize processes understanding their location, purpose and mode of action. Basically, just keep in mind that "knowing" something means "understanding and comprehending". It does not mean memorizing a bunch of words.

  4. Ask questions. If something is not clear, ask. Utilize office hours, ask during, and/or outside of class (but not before class), utilize the web based discussion area, or send me email (

  5. Utilize the study guide posted for each topic being discussed in class. Utilize the on-line resources to view processes and for self testing. Form study groups to explore the material.

  6. Spend time studying and keep up. For best effect you should study at least 2 to 3 hours for each  class period within a day of the class period. Studying for a few hours or even all night just before an exam is not sufficient to do well, or perhaps, even to pass the course.


Etiquette Rules for Lecture and Labs:

  1. Do not carry on a conversation while lecturing is in progress. This is both rude and disruptive to others.

  2. Do not eat during class - the rustling of wrappers is disruptive to others.

  3. Come to class and lab on time.

  4. Turn off or silence your cell phones. Do not text, facebook, email, or perform non course related functions during class on your cell phone, laptop, or tablet.

  5. Do not bring children to class.


  • All official communications from the University and from this instructor will be sent to your MyUWG email address. It is expected that you will access your university email on a daily basis. If I need to communicate with you personally about this course, I will do so by sending you email to your MyUWG account. Furthermore, assignments and general communications with the class will be posted on CourseDen. It is expected that you will access CourseDen on a daily basis. Failure to read my emails or communications on CourseDen will not be an excuse if a lack of response or action from you results in a lower grade in this course.

    Periodically, announcements containing important information regarding lecture and/or lab will be sent to the entire class.  Thus, it is your responsibility to check CourseDen for messages at least once every 24 hours.