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This comprehensive course contains 47 sections with 289 self-grading lessons, including final assessments. The first section is available to try for free.
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The opening unit introduces students to the sciences, including the scientific method and the fundamental concepts of chemistry and physics that provide a framework within which learners comprehend biological processes.
This is the final assessment for The Study of Life. (Available when you subscribe.)
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2.1 Atoms, Isotopes, Ions, and Molecules: The Building Blocks2.2 Water2.3 CarbonFinal Assessment
3.1 Synthesis of Biological Macromolecules3.2 Carbohydrates3.3 Lipids3.4 Proteins3.5 Nucleic AcidsFinal Assessment
In Unit 2, students will gain solid understanding of the structures, functions, and processes of the most basic unit of life: the cell.
4.1 Studying Cells4.2 Prokaryotic Cells4.3 Eukaryotic Cells4.4 The Endomembrane System and Proteins4.5 The Cytoskeleton4.6 Connections between Cells and Cellular ActivitiesFinal Assessment
5.1 Components and Structure5.2 Passive Transport5.3 Active Transport5.4 Bulk TransportFinal Assessment
6.1 Energy and Metabolism6.2 Potential, Kinetic, Free, and Activation Energy6.3 The Laws of Thermodynamics6.4 ATP: Adenosine Triphosphate6.5 EnzymesFinal Assessment
7.1 Energy in Living Systems7.2 Glycolysis7.3 Oxidation of Pyruvate and the Citric Acid Cycle7.4 Oxidative Phosphorylation7.5 Metabolism without Oxygen7.6 Connections of Carbohydrate, Protein, and Lipid Metabolic Pathways7.7 Regulation of Cellular RespirationFinal Assessment
8.1 Overview of Photosynthesis8.2 The Light-Dependent Reactions of Photosynthesis8.3 Using Light Energy to Make Organic MoleculesFinal Assessment
9.1 Signaling Molecules and Cellular Receptors9.2 Propagation of the Signal9.3 Response to the Signal9.4 Signaling in Single-Celled OrganismsFinal Assessment
10.1 Cell Division10.2 The Cell Cycle10.3 Control of the Cell Cycle10.4 Cancer and the Cell Cycle10.5 Prokaryotic Cell DivisionFinal Assessment
The comprehensive genetics unit takes learners from the earliest experiments that revealed the basis of genetics through the intricacies of DNA to current applications in the emerging studies of biotechnology and genomics.
11.1 The Process of Meiosis11.2 Sexual ReproductionFinal Assessment
12.1 Mendel’s Experiments and the Laws of Probability12.2 Characteristics and Traits12.3 Laws of InheritanceFinal Assessment
13.1 Chromosomal Theory and Genetic Linkage13.2 Chromosomal Basis of Inherited DisordersFinal Assessment
14.1 Historical Basis of Modern Understanding14.2 DNA Structure and Sequencing14.3 Basics of DNA Replication14.4 DNA Replication in Prokaryotes14.5 DNA Replication in Eukaryotes14.6 DNA RepairFinal Assessment
15.1 The Genetic Code15.2 Prokaryotic Transcription15.3 Eukaryotic Transcription15.4 RNA Processing in Eukaryotes15.5 Ribosomes and Protein Synthesis
16.1 Regulation of Gene Expression16.2 Prokaryotic Gene Regulation16.3 Eukaryotic Epigenetic Gene Regulation16.4 Eukaryotic Transcription Gene Regulation16.5 Eukaryotic Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation16.6 Eukaryotic Translational and Post-translational Gene Regulation16.7 Cancer and Gene RegulationFinal Assessment
17.1 Biotechnology17.2 Mapping Genomes17.3 Whole-Genome Sequencing17.4 Applying Genomics17.5 Genomics and ProteomicsFinal Assessment
The core concepts of evolution are discussed in Unit 4 with examples illustrating evolutionary processes. Additionally, the evolutionary basis of biology reappears throughout the course in general discussion and is reinforced through special call-out features highlighting specific evolution-based topics.
18.1 Understanding Evolution18.2 Formation of New Species18.3 Reconnection and Speciation RatesFinal Assessment
19.1 Population Evolution19.2 Population Genetics19.3 Adaptive EvolutionFinal Assessment
20.1 Organizing Life on Earth20.2 Determining Evolutionary Relationships20.3 Perspectives on the Phylogenetic TreeFinal Assessment
The diversity of life is explored with detailed study of various organisms and discussion of emerging phylogenetic relationships. This unit moves from viruses to living organisms like bacteria, discusses the organisms formerly grouped as protists, and devotes multiple chapters to plant and animal life.
21.1 Viral Evolution, Morphology, and Classification21.2 Virus Infections and Hosts21.3 Prevention and Treatment of Viral Infections21.4 Other Acellular Entities: Prions and ViroidsFinal Assessment
22.1 Prokaryotic Diversity22.2 Structure of Prokaryotes: Bacteria and Archaea22.3 Prokaryotic Metabolism22.4 Bacterial Diseases in Humans22.5 Beneficial ProkaryotesFinal Assessment
23.1 Eukaryotic Origins23.2 Characteristics of Protists23.3 Groups of Protists23.4 Ecology of ProtistsFinal Assessment
24.1 Characteristics of Fungi24.2 Classifications of Fungi24.3 Ecology of Fungi24.4 Fungal Parasites and Pathogens24.5 Importance of Fungi in Human LifeFinal Assessment
25.1 Early Plant Life25.2 Green Algae: Precursors of Land Plants25.3 Bryophytes25.4 Seedless Vascular PlantsFinal Assessment
26.1 Evolution of Seed Plants26.2 Gymnosperms26.3 Angiosperms26.4 The Role of Seed PlantsFinal Assessment
27.1 Features of the Animal Kingdom27.2 Features Used to Classify Animals27.3 Animal Phylogeny27.4 The Evolutionary History of the Animal KingdomFinal Assessment
28.1 Phylum Porifera28.2 Phylum Cnidaria28.3 Superphylum Lophotrochozoa: Flatworms, Rotifers, and Nemerteans28.4 Superphylum Lophotrochozoa: Molluscs and Annelids28.5 Superphylum Ecdysozoa: Nematodes and Tardigrades28.6 Superphylum Ecdysozoa: Arthropods28.7 Superphylum DeuterostomiaFinal Assessment
29.1 Chordates29.2 Fishes29.3 Amphibians29.4 Reptiles29.5 Birds29.6 Mammals29.7 The Evolution of PrimatesFinal Assessment
Unit 6 thoroughly covers the fundamental knowledge of plant life essential to an introductory biology course.
30.1 The Plant Body30.2 Stems30.3 Roots30.4 Leaves30.5 Transport of Water and Solutes in Plants30.6 Plant Sensory Systems and ResponsesFinal Assessment
31.1 Nutritional Requirements of Plants31.2 The Soil31.3 Nutritional Adaptations of PlantsFinal Assessment
32.1 Reproductive Development and Structure32.2 Pollination and Fertilization32.3 Asexual ReproductionFinal Assessment
An introduction to the form and function of the animal body is followed by lessons on specific body systems and processes. This unit touches on the biology of all organisms while maintaining an engaging focus on human anatomy and physiology that helps students connect to the topics.
33.1 Animal Form and Function33.2 Animal Primary Tissues33.3 HomeostasisFinal Assessment
34.1 Digestive Systems34.2 Nutrition and Energy Production34.3 Digestive System Processes34.4 Digestive System RegulationFinal Assessment
35.1 Neurons and Glial Cells35.2 How Neurons Communicate35.3 The Central Nervous System35.4 The Peripheral Nervous System35.5 Nervous System DisordersFinal Assessment
36.1 Sensory Processes36.2 Somatosensation36.3 Taste and Smell36.4 Hearing and Vestibular Sensation36.5 VisionFinal Assessment
37.1 Types of Hormones37.2 How Hormones Work37.3 Regulation of Body Processes37.4 Regulation of Hormone Production37.5 Endocrine GlandsFinal Assessment
38.1 Types of Skeletal Systems38.2 Bone38.3 Joints and Skeletal Movement38.4 Muscle Contraction and LocomotionFinal Assessment
39.1 Systems of Gas Exchange39.2 Gas Exchange across Respiratory Surfaces39.3 Breathing39.4 Transport of Gases in Human Bodily FluidsFinal Assessment
40.1 Overview of the Circulatory System40.2 Components of the Blood40.3 Mammalian Heart and Blood Vessels40.4 Blood Flow and Blood Pressure RegulationFinal Assessment
41.1 Osmoregulation and Osmotic Balance41.2 The Kidneys and Osmoregulatory Organs41.3 Excretion Systems41.4 Nitrogenous Wastes41.5 Hormonal Control of Osmoregulatory FunctionsFinal Assessment
42.1 Innate Immune Response42.2 Adaptive Immune Response42.3 Antibodies42.4 Disruptions in the Immune SystemFinal Assessment
43.1 Reproduction Methods43.2 Fertilization43.3 Human Reproductive Anatomy and Gametogenesis43.4 Hormonal Control of Human Reproduction43.5 Human Pregnancy and Birth43.6 Fertilization and Early Embryonic Development43.7 Organogenesis and Vertebrate FormationFinal Assessment
Ecological concepts are broadly covered in this unit, with features highlighting localized, real-world issues of conservation and biodiversity.
44.1 The Scope of Ecology44.2 Biogeography44.3 Terrestrial Biomes44.4 Aquatic Biomes44.5 Climate and the Effects of Global Climate ChangeFinal Assessment
45.1 Population Demography45.2 Life Histories and Natural Selection45.3 Environmental Limits to Population Growth45.4 Population Dynamics and Regulation45.5 Human Population Growth45.6 Community Ecology45.7 Behavioral Biology: Proximate and Ultimate Causes of BehaviorFinal Assessment
46.1 Ecology of Ecosystems46.2 Energy Flow through Ecosystems46.3 Biogeochemical CyclesFinal Assessment
47.1 The Biodiversity Crisis47.2 The Importance of Biodiversity to Human Life47.3 Threats to Biodiversity47.4 Preserving BiodiversityFinal Assessment
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