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Let's Learn the Fundamental Principles of Living Things
This Certificate in Introduction to Biology Online Course will help you understand the structure and function of the human body at the level of your tiniest living components—your cells. You'll also learn about DNA—what it is, what it does, and even a little bit about how forensic scientists use it to solve crimes. The knowledge you'll gain from this course is essential to understanding the fundamental causes of human disease, and will prepare you for more advanced courses in human anatomy and physiology.
We'll begin the course by focusing on the structure and function of your cells. You'll get to know how your cells are organized, then you'll explore how they obtain the materials and energy your body needs. After you've mastered cells, we'll examine DNA and figure out how it sends messages that have a major impact on your physical appearance, general health, and even your personality traits. You'll look at how your cells divide for growth and sexual reproduction, and how you can pass some of your traits on to your children. As a grand finale, you'll bring together many of the elements you've learned to understand cancer—what causes it, how it progresses, and how it can be treated.
As you explore each topic, you'll have lots of opportunities to deepen your understanding and relate what you're learning to your own life. When things get complicated, you'll have the guidance you need, so you won't get overwhelmed by the details. By the end of the course, you'll have a better appreciation of the fundamental characteristics of living things as well as a solid foundation in the biology of human beings and the biological and medical sciences.
Are you interested in learning more about living things, or perhaps beginning to train for a career in the healthcare or medical professions?
Course Fast Facts:
- Only 6 weeks to complete this course
- Approximately only 2 to 4 hours per week of study is required
- This course is delivered 100% on-line and is accessible 24/7 from any computer or smartphone
- Instructors lead each course and you will be able to interact with them and ask questions
- You can study from home or at work, at your own pace, in your own time
- You can download printer friendly course material or save for viewing off line
How to study online course?
Upon enrolment an automated welcome email will be sent to you (please check your junk email inbox if not received as this is an automated email), in order for you to access your online course, which is Available 24/7 on any computer or smart mobile device. New courses start every month to ensure that we have the correct ratio of students to tutors available, please ensure you select a starting date when you go through our shopping cart, at checkout. The course is easy to follow and understand.
Through well-crafted lessons, expert online instruction and interaction with your tutor, participants in these courses gain valuable knowledge at their convenience. They have the flexibility to study at their own pace combined with enough structure and support to complete the course. And they can access the classroom 24/7 from anywhere with an Internet connection.
New sessions of each course run every month. They last six weeks, with two new lessons being released weekly (for a total of 12). The courses are entirely Web-based with comprehensive lessons, quizzes, and assignments. A dedicated professional instructor facilitates every course; pacing learners, answering questions, giving feedback, and facilitating discussions.
Recognition & Accreditation
All students who complete the course receive a certificate of completion with a passing score (for the online assessment) and will be issued a certificate via email.
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There are 12 units of study
What Is Life?
In your first lesson, you'll get an introduction to the smallest living part of you: the cell. You'll discover the properties of life that you and your cells both have, and you'll see how cells combine to form the tissues and organs that make up your body. I'll also introduce the non-living components that make up cells, including molecules and atoms. Then you'll see how scientists sum up the most important facts about cells in cell theory. By the end of this lesson, you'll know why cells are the smallest units of life, and you'll understand how they make up all living things, including your body.
A Tour of Your Cells
In this lesson, you'll take an in-depth look at your cells and how they function. You'll consider why all life on Earth is based on cells. We'll take a look at the structures found in eukaryotic cells—the type of cells shared by you, other animals, plants, mushrooms, and seaweed—and we'll explore how each structure contributes to the life of the cell as a whole. By the end of this lesson, you'll have a better understanding of how your cells work.
What Makes Matter?
In Lesson 3, you'll discover the fundamental units of matter that make up the structure of all organisms and the Earth we live on. You'll explore the structure of atoms and learn about the attractions that form between atoms to create molecules. You'll also take a peek at the unique nature of the water molecules that cover 70% of the Earth's surface and flow within every living thing. By the end of this lesson, you'll have a gained a foundation in simple chemistry that will help you better understand symbols like H2O and CO2. You'll also have a basis for understanding more complicated molecules like carbohydrates, proteins, and DNA.
You Are What You Eat
In this lesson, you'll take a good look at the molecules that make up most of your body. You'll examine the structure of carbohydrates, lipids (fats and related molecules) and proteins, and learn exactly why your body needs all three of these types of molecules. By the end of this lesson, you'll have a better understanding of the value of carbohydrates, the difference between dangerous saturated fats and healthy unsaturated oils, and why you should choose lean protein to get your essential amino acids.
To Protect and Serve: The Plasma Membrane
In Lesson 5, we'll explore the structure and function of one of the cell's most crucial parts: the plasma membrane. All life depends on this very important boundary between a cell and its environment! We'll start by examining the membrane's components and unique properties, which are perfectly suited to protecting the health and well-being of the cell. Then we'll take a look at the important jobs the membrane does for our cells, including screening materials, moving stuff in and out of the cell, and receiving messages. Finally, you'll see how materials cross the plasma membrane and why that's important to normal health. Along the way, you'll gain a better understanding of blood types, diabetes, and cystic fibrosis.
Getting the Job Done With Enzymes
In this lesson, you'll learn all about enzymes: what they are, what they do, and why they're important to cells and human health. You'll also get an introduction to chemical reactions and some fundamentals of human metabolism. By the end of this lesson, you'll know why you need vitamins and minerals in your diet. You'll also discover how humans can manipulate enzymes, targeting them in order to benefit or harm human health.
Getting Energized From Cellular Respiration
In this lesson, we'll explore one of the most important parts of your metabolism: cellular respiration. Cellular respiration is the process that your cells use to get the energy they need to survive. You'll learn the fundamental laws that govern all energy exchanges, whether your cells or man-made machines perform them. By the end of this lesson, you'll understand the most important events that occur during cellular respiration, and you'll have new insights into why you breathe and why you sweat.
DNA: The Molecule of Life
In Lesson 8, we'll look at the most important molecule of life: DNA. You'll see how the genetic blueprints in DNA determine all of your unique traits. We'll also explore DNA's structure, and you'll learn about its powerful chemical code. By the end of the lesson, you'll know what the letters A, T, G, and C mean to biologists, and you'll have a better understanding of the importance of stem cells in medical research.
How Do Cells Grow and Reproduce?
In Lesson 9, we'll explore how cells divide to make new cells for growth, repair, and sexual reproduction. You'll see how cells make exact copies of themselves during mitosis in order to grow or repair damage (such as a paper cut). We'll walk through the process of mitosis to show you how cells get exactly the right number and types of chromosomes. Then you'll see how a special kind of cell division called meiosis is necessary to sexual reproduction and the human life cycle.
Principles of Inheritance
In Lesson 10, you'll find out how parents pass traits to their offspring. We'll explore how the genetic information from both parents interacts to determine which traits appear in each generation. By the end of this lesson, you'll have a better understanding of why people in families look like each other and why we see such diversity in human traits like skin and eye color. You'll also know more about the inheritance of some genetic diseases.
In this lesson, we'll look at how biologists are delving into the mysteries of life by reading and manipulating the genetic code. We'll take a peek at some of the new DNA technology that's helping scientists test for and treat genetic diseases, engineer organisms, and solve crimes. We'll explore some of the issues this technology presents. By the end of this lesson, you'll have a better understanding of genetic testing, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and how DNA is used in forensic science.
In the final lesson of the course, we'll investigate how normal cells turn into cancer cells. We'll look at the changes that occur in cells as the disease progresses. We'll also explore how cancer treatments work, and you'll find out what lifestyle choices you can make to lower your cancer risks. By the end of this lesson, you'll have a better understanding of the biology behind cancer, as well as the risks, prevention strategies, and treatments for this disease.
Who is this course for?
Upon course completion, students will receive a certificate that will serve as proof of their study in this field.
Students must have basic literacy and numeracy skills.
Open entry. Previous schooling and academic achievements are not required for entry into this course.
Students will need access to a computer and the internet.
Minimum specifications for the computer are:
Microsoft Windows XP, or later
OSX/iOS 6 or later
Internet bandwidth of 1Mb or faster
Flash player or a browser with HTML5 video capabilities(Currently Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, Chrome, Safari)
Students will also need access the following applications:
Adobe Acrobat Reader
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