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Chapter 015/21/2013
Chapter 025/22/2013
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Syllabus - BIOL 3200: Cell Biology (Summer 2013)


BIOL 3200: Cell Biology

Course Syllabus

Summer 2013

Individuals with disabilities who need to request accommodations should contact the Disability Services Coordinator, Administration Building room # 23, 678-466-5445, disabilityservices@mail.clayton.edu.

Number and title: BIOL 3200, Cell Biology

Credit hours: 3.0 semester credit hours

Catalog description: An exploration of life's basic unit. Students will examine the cell from both structural and functional viewpoints. The fundamentals of cellular chemistry, life cycles, and regulation will be discussed. Seminal experiments in cell biology will be examined, and current studies in primary research journals will be addressed. Students will gain an understanding of how contemporary methods of laboratory experimentation are being used to unravel the mysteries of life's irreducible unit.

Course prerequisites: BIOL 1108, BIOL1108L, CHEM 2412 (May be taken concurrently), CHEM 2412L (May be taken concurrently)

Notebook Computer Requirement:

Each CSU student is required to have ready access throughout the semester to a notebook computer that meets faculty-approved hardware and software requirements for the student's academic program. Students will sign a statement attesting to such access.  For further information on CSU's Official Notebook Computer Policy, please go to http://itpchoice.clayton.edu/policy.htm.

Computer Skill Prerequisites:

  • Able to use the WindowsTM operating system.
  • Able to use a the Microsoft WordTM word processing program.
  • Able to send and receive e-mail using the OutlookTM or Outlook ExpressTM program.
  • Able to use a Web browser.

In-class Use of Student Notebook Computers:

Student notebook computers may be used in this class. Various in-class assignments may require students to use their computers.  In addition, computers will be required to access course materials and to communicate with your instructor.  Plan on bringing your laptop to class or arrange with another student prior to the meeting time of the class to share computers.

Student Learning Outcomes:

BIOL3200 supports outcomes 1, 4, 5, and 7 of the biology major:

  • Outcome 1.  Knowledge of the basic principles of major fields of biology.
  • Outcome 4.  Ability to communicate orally and in writing in a clear concise manner.
  • Outcome 5.  Ability to collect, evaluate, and interpret scientific data, and employ critical thinking skills to solve problems in biological science and supporting fields.
  • Outcome 7.  Appreciation for the impact of biological and physical science on the environment and society

Course objectives:

  • To investigate the organelles that compose eukaryotic animal cells and understand how these organelles function individually and cumulatively to contribute to the overall function of the cell.
  • To understand the molecular interactions that occur within cells and contribute to the overall function of the cell.
  • To investigate cell-cell communication and cell-environment communication.

Instructor Information:

Dr. Paul Guy Melvin
Office: NBS 150
Phone: (678) 466-4789
Internet address: faculty.clayton.edu/pmelvin
Summer Office Hours: Click here.

Textbook information:

Required text: The World of the Cell, 8th Edition. Becker, Kleinsmith, Hardin, and Bertoni.  Pearson/Benjamin Cummings, 2012.

Recommended text: http://publications.nigms.nih.gov/insidethecell/pdf/inside_the_cell.pdf 




Exam 1


Exam 2


Exam 3


Exam 4/Final


Group Presentation






*The total points you earn on your quizzes and assignments will be used to determine the percentage of the total point values of all quizzes and assignments you earned.  This percentage will be scaled to 50 points when calculating your final exam grade. 


Your final grade will be determined as a percentage total points earned and assigned as follows:


Percentage range










Below 60%

Mid-term Progress Report

The mid-term grade in this course will be issued prior to June 21, 2013, and it will be based on 2 examinations and on any assignments given.  To calculate your grade, you should use the following formula:  (the number of points you earned) / (total number of possible points).  Based on this grade, students may choose to withdraw from the course and receive a grade of 'W'.   Students pursuing this option must fill out an official withdrawal form, available in the Office of the Registrar or from the Registrar's webpage, on or before the mid-term, which occurs on Friday, June 21, 2013.  If the withdrawal is submitted after June 21, 2013, the grade will be a 'WF', which is equivalent to an F in the calculation of a student's GPA.

Tentative course schedule:  






Class Intro, History of Cell Bio



Preview of the Cell, Chemistry of the Cell, Macromolecules



Organelles - (Reading assignment with Study Guide)





Jun 4

Exam 1



Membranes I (Reading assignment with Study Guide) - Membranes II

7 and 8


Glycolysis and Fermentation



Aerobic Respiration


Jun 18

Exam 2



Endomembrane System



Last Day to Drop w/o Academic Penalty: Friday, June 22



Endomembrane System



Signal Transduction I


Jul 2

Exam 3


Jul 4




Signal Transduction II



Cell Cycle Control

19 (pp 582-594)


Catch-up day (photosynthesis or cytoskeleton)


Jul 16

Exam 4/Final


Jul 18



Jul 23



This lecture schedule and lecture testing is tentative and may change. Tests may be given the week before or the week after the week listed here--or during the week predicted. Specific test dates will be announced one week in advance in class.

Classroom regulations and policies:

Students must abide by policies in the Clayton State University Student Handbook, and the Basic Undergraduate Student Responsibilities.

  1. No cellular telephones or communication devices are to be used during class.  Each time a student's device makes an audible sound, the student will lose 1 point.  If it happens during an exam, the student will lose 2 points.   If the instructor’s phone makes an audible sound, each student will gain 1 point during lecture or 2 points during an exam. 
  2. No talking while the instructor or another student is talking.  Be respectful  Students repeatedly violating this policy will be asked to leave the classroom for being disruptive.
  3. Computers are for note-taking, research, or other class related activities only.  Students using them for surfing the internet, checking email, playing games, etc will be asked to turn them off.  On subsequent offenses, the student may be asked to leave the classroom for being disruptive.
  4. Visitors are not permitted without the instructor’s permission.  Children are not allowed in the classroom at anytime.
  5. Assignments are due at the beginning of class.  You may turn in late assignments for half credit.  An assignment is considered late if it is not turned in when I collect them, even if you are not present in class when I ask for them.
  6. Quizzes will usually be given at the beginning of class.  Students who are late must remain outside of the classroom until the quiz is finished and will receive a grade of zero.  A quiz may be based on your attendance on a particular day.  Quizzes, including attendance quizzes, may be unannounced.  There are no make-up quizzes. 
  7. Exams start at the beginning of class.  The instructor may permit a student to begin late if the excuse is reasonable.  Students who are more than 10 minutes late will not be allowed to begin the exam. There are no make-up exams.  Late students will have to turn in their exam when the last “on-time” student finishes.  Late students will not receive extra time on their exam.
  8. Attendance is expected.  You are responsible for obtaining any missed information from other students.  This includes information concerning quiz dates, exam dates, etc.  Students who do not attend regularly generally do not do well in the course.  There are no "excused absences" in this class.
  9. Each student is granted an absence from one exam during the course of the semester.  This is a “no questions asked” situation.  Illness, travel, court, doctor’s appointment, oversleeping, etc. are all valid.  It is up to you how you use it.  Missing more than one exam will result in a grade of zero for the missed work.  If you have not missed any exams, your lowest exam grade will be dropped.  There are no make-up exams.  Your final exam grade will be doubled to make-up for your missed exam.
  10. ALL STUDENTS MUST TAKE THE FINAL EXAM, REGARDLESS OF YOUR SCORES ON YOUR PREVIOUS EXAMS.  The final exam grade cannot be dropped as your lowest.
  11. No form of academic dishonesty will be tolerated in this course.  The most common forms are cheating and plagiarism, but any type of activity that is considered dishonest by reasonable standards will constitute academic dishonesty.  The minimum penalty is a grade of zero on the work involved.  The maximum penalty is expulsion from the university.  Be aware that students found in violation of the university’s academic dishonesty code have lost scholarships, athletic eligibility, and/or their U.S. student visa (if an international student).  All forms of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Office of Student Affairs for investigation.  Judicial procedures are described at http://adminservices.clayton.edu/judicial/.
  12. No form of disruptive behavior will be tolerated in this class.  While a variety of behaviors can be disruptive in a classroom setting, more serious examples include belligerent, abusive, profane, and/or threatening behavior.  A student who fails to respond to reasonable faculty direction regarding classroom behavior and/or is found to be repeatedly disruptive while participating in classroom activities may be dismissed from class.  A student who is dismissed is entitled to due process and will be afforded such rights as soon as possible following dismissal.  If found in violation, a student may be administratively withdrawn and may receive a grade of WF.  For more information, please refer to: http://as.clayton.edu/DisruptiveClassroomBehavior.htm

Common examples of disruptive behavior include, but are not limited to:

    1. Monopolizing classroom discussions
    2. Failing to respect the rights of other students to express their viewpoints
    3. Talking when the instructors or other students are speaking
    4. Constant questions or interruptions which interfere with the instructor’s presentation
    5. Overt inattentiveness (e.g. sleeping or surfing the internet)
    6. Creating excessive noise
    7. Entering the class late or leaving the class early
    8. Use of cell phones or pagers in class
    9. Inordinate or inappropriate demands for time or attention
    10. Poor personal hygiene (e.g. noticeably offensive body odor)
    11. Refusal to comply with faculty direction

Students exhibiting these types of behaviors can expect a warning from the instructor or dismissal for the lesson in which the behavior occurs. Failure to correct such behaviors can result in dismissal from the course.

    More extreme examples of disruptive behavior include, but are not limited to:

a.       Use of profanity or pejorative language

b.      Intoxication

c.       Verbal abuse of instructor or other students (e.g. taunting, badgering, intimidation)

d.      Harassment of instructor or other students

e.       Threats to harm oneself or others

f.       Physical violence


Students exhibiting these more extreme examples of disruptive behavior may be dismissed from the lesson or the entire course.

Students dismissed from a lesson will leave the classroom immediately or may be subject to additional penalties. Dismissed students are responsible for any course material or assignments missed.

Students dismissed from a course have the right to appeal the dismissal to the department head responsible for the course. Appeals beyond the department head may also be pursued. If no appeal is made or the appeal is unsuccessful, the student will receive a grade o WF (withdrawal – failing) regardless of the current grade in the course.

Conditions attributed to physical or psychological disabilities are not considered as a legitimate excuse for disruptive behavior.

The description of disruptive behavior and listings of examples of disruptive behavior are taken from the Web sites of James Madison University, the University of Delaware and Virginia Tech.

Changes or additions to this syllabus, including reading, exam schedule, grading, and course policies can be made at the discretion of the instructor at any time.