7.01 Knowledge Noodle - Fall 1997
The Knowledge Noodle, originally developed by Christina Onufryk
(BS'95), outlines the core units of the course and the
concepts that are important to understand for each unit. The Noodle is
reccomended for use in class preparation by tutors and by students
when reviewing a unit or when studying for an exam.
Teaching Introductory Biology in the Experimental Study Group at MIT is
different from teaching these subjects in the regular curriculum. Because
we teach freshmen in small groups, we can replace the usual series of lectures
by discussions of the reading assignments and of the problem set questions.
As a result, our reading assignments are long. We find this discussion format
an excellent and compelling way to teach.
When teaching Introductory (Molecular) Biology to freshmen in the Experimental
Study Group at MIT, we read selected articles which serve to authenticate the need to understand Molecular Biology
in order to deal with cutting edge biology research.
We also use as hard-cover text "Biology" by Purves, 5th edition. We find
it useful that students read both the Hypertext and a relevant section of
Purves to get somewhat different perspectives. While the Hypertext has more
in-depth material, reading the Purves text is also useful for its contents
and particularly for its illustrations.
Core Units in 7.01
Readings: Hypertext-Large Molecules
Purves, Chapter 3: Large Molecules
The reading assignment is the first two chapters of the Hypertext and Purves p19-61.
Enzyme Structure and Kinetics
Reading: Hypertext- Enzyme Biochemistry, and
- What do proteins do? How do proteins work?
- What determines how well a protein works?
- What does a protein look like and how does its structure determine its ability to carry out a particular job?
Purves, Chapter 6: Energy, Enzymes and Catalysis.
Central Metabolic Biochemistry
Reading:Chapter 7: Pathways That Release Energy in Cells
Refer also to Chapter 5: Membranes for more information
and Chapter 8: Photosynthesis for more information
And don't forget the Hypertext- Photosynthesis
Reading: Hypertext- Mendelian Genetics
Purves, Chapter 9: Chromosomes and Cell Division, and
Chapter 10:Mendelian Genetics and Beyond
The Central Dogma of Biology
Readings: Hypertext- The Central Dogma;
Purves, Chapter 11: Nucleic Acids as Genetic Material.
Bacterial Genetics and Regulation
Readings: Hypertext- Prokaryotic Genetics and Regulation
Purves, Chapter 12: Molecular Genetics of Prokaryotes
Recombinant DNA Technology
Readings: Hypertext- Recombinant DNA
Purves, Chapter 14: Recombinant DNA Technology
Eukaryotic Cells - Structure, Function, and Communication
Readings: Hypertext Cell Biology
- Why and how do membranes organize the inside of a cell?
- If all the types of cells in the body contain the same DNA, why
do they look so different?
- Is there any rhyme or reason to gene expression?
- What allows a cell to keep tabs on all the different proteins that are being produced within it?
- Cells and their interiors are so compartmentalized! Cells are separated
from one another by membranes, and the interiors of eukaryotic cells are
further compartmentalized by organelles. How do cells communicate with one another?
- How do groups of cells coordinate their activities?
Purves, Chapter 12 and 13: Gene Expression in Eukaryotes;Chapter 4: Organization of the Cell ;
Chapter 36: Animal Hormones
Population Genetics and Evolution
Reading: Purves, Chapter 47: The mechanisms of Evolution
- What if enough mutations collect over time
and are passed on from generation to generation? What are microevolution
- How do whole populations change in a particular direction over time?
The Immune System
We will be watching some videotaped lectures on the basic concepts of Immunology, distributed via satellite by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
These topics are supplemented by problem sets, exams, wet labs, and simulated labs on the Macintosh.