Biology 1320

Take Biology 1320 for Your Stem Requirement

Zombie Outbreak: Biology of Disease

We can train you to protect yourself from zombies (and other disease outbreaks)! Learn how and why they happen, and get answers to these key questions:

  • Is it possible to reanimate dead tissue?
  • How do we know if it is an outbreak?
  • Are they mutants?
  • Are they toxic?
  • Are they contagious?
  • How can we stop the outbreak?

This course is a three-credit course designed to satisfy STEM requirements for non-science majors. The course will combine in-person and online lectures, online discussions and four scheduled on-campus small group labs.

Biology 1320

Zombie Apocalypse: Biology of Disease

Instructor: Stephanie Fischer Daugherty

Office: HPR 104
Office phone: 903-566-7013

Office Hours: Mondays 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Wednesdays 2:30-3:30 p.m. or by appointment

Scheduled meeting times: Hybrid course, mostly online lectures with four lab meetings.

Course Description

This course is intended for non-science majors. This course will use the model of zombie outbreaks to introduce students to fundamental biology concepts, including enzymes, cells, systems, pathogens and disease outbreaks, as relating to human disease. This course will be run as a hybrid course, with online lectures and scheduled smaller group (lab) meetings for experiential learning activities.

Course Objectives

  1. Students will learn how cellular metabolism, energy requirements, and enzyme activity govern living cells & organisms. (“Dead vs. Alive”)
  2. Students will learn the difference between correlation and causation in scientific research, and understand how researchers and physicians design scientific experiments to elucidate the difference between correlation & causation. (“What’s making zombies?”)
  3. Students will learn how genes control protein function, and how hereditary disease occurs and can be treated (“Are they mutant zombies?”)
  4. Students will learn how the environment plays a role in human health, and how stewardship of the environment protects human health (“Are they toxic zombies?”)
  5. Students will learn about pathogens and how we treat the diseases they cause. They will also learn about natural selection and antibiotic resistance (“Are they contagious zombies?”)
  6. Students will learn how the specific immune system works and how vaccines work to protect individuals and populations (“Fighting zombies!”)
  7. Students will study one human body system (the nervous system) and how an example disease affects its function and development (“Brains!”)
  8. Students will synthesize what they have learned through guided experiments in the laboratory into a lab experiment of their own design and present a poster on the outcome.

Course Textbook, Lab Manual & Other Resources: Online resources and links to research papers will be distributed via blackboard and/or dropbox.

Examinations & Coursework

  • A quiz will be given at the end of each course section (approximately every two weeks) during lecture hours, over lecture and lab material (30% of grade)
  • Discussion questions will be given during class or online sessions, and students will receive feedback on their answers as preparation for the exams. (5%)
  • A poster style lab report will be turned in for every guided laboratory experiment (25%)
  • Three exams will be given (not cumulative) during the semester in lecture hours, based on quizzes and including critical thinking questions based on discussion questions above (15%)
  • A final lab project will be completed in lab teams and presented in poster form at the final lab poster session (15%) (5% of this final grade will be awarded based on teamwork evaluations completed by team members and based on observation by the instructor).

If a student misses a class or exam due to a documented emergency, a make-up assignment or exam will be determined by consultation with the instructor. It a student misses a class or exam without contacting the instructor, no make up assignment or exam need be offered.

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