Introduction to Biology - International Christian University
Foundation in Biology in English, Winter Term 2019


Textbook: Campbell Biology 11th Edition
(or any other university level introductory text)

Professor for this course: Prof. Robert W. Ridge BA BSc(Hons) PhD

Bovine Pulmonary Artery Endothelial Cells (BPAE Line)

BPAE cells are positive for angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), an enzyme that is intricately involved in the maintenance of blood pressure and volume. Due to this fact, BPAE cells are often utilized in hypertension research as well as studies of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.



It cannot be emphasised enough how important reading is for the study of any academic subject.
The lectures you attend are merely guides to what is important to study.
Your obligation is to study independently the textbooks and other recommended reading matter, preferably by taking notes.
Gradually you will become an independent thinker who will seek out the relevant information for the pathway you choose.


The course does not attempt to cover basic information about all kinds of topics in biology, but instead is centred on three basic areas of biology.

1. “Whole earth” point-of-view, i.e. the biosphere.
How climate and topology influence the distribution of plants, and therefore other forms of life. This section will also cover basic concepts in ecology.

2. Cell biology. The cell as a dynamic entity. Emphasis will be on underlying concepts such as signal-receptor systems, protein configurational change, energy exchange.

3. The diversity of life. A presentation of all living organisms showing how biological scientists have separated organisms into groups in relation to their evolution. Organisms do not exist by themselves but interact and sometimes cooperate with other organisms, a concept called symbiosis. Examples will be shown.

If there is time there will be two extra classes, viz: the role of nutrients, the diversity of biological topics.

The course is intended for students who have studied biology at high school, but those who have not are encouraged to attend.

Note that there is some similarity to this course with the Introduction to Biology course in Spring term. However the pace will be faster and familiarity of many biological terms will be assumed. The cell biology section will be much more intense.

UPDATES ! Any updates to the course will be shown here during the term.


Dec 4th class will introduce the course.

Dec 6th and 11th BIOMES and Ecology.

Dec 13th Kangaroos. A DVD about a mob of one particular type of kangaroo and their ecological niche.

Dec 18th et seq. (6+ classes) : The cell. 1. Overview. 2. DNA, RNA, the Central Dogma, protein modification. 3. Energy: mitochondria and chloroplasts. 4. Cytoskeleton, cell movement, cell division

Jan 22nd (approx) et seq. Prokaryotes, Protista, Fungi, Plants, Animals.

Feb 19th (approx) Elements essential for life with a focus on nitrogen and nitrogen fixation.

Feb 21st (approx) The various sub-disciplines of biology.


LECTURE SLIDES --- The slides of some lectures will become available as the course progresses.


ASSIGNMENTS --- Assignment topics will be shown here as the course progresses.

REPORT BOX   This is the place where you drop off your report.
A report box has not yet been assigned for Foundation in Biology; to be announced later.


Notes on assignments:
There are three assignments.
Use only four sides of A4 paper for each assignment, preferably both sides of two sheets of paper.
Use a separate sheet for the title page.
Reference your sources and list them on a separate sheet.
Do not copy/paste from the internet or other source.
Use illustrations/figures as appropriate.
Before writing, review the "Guide to writing an assignment" (also see below).
For those of you who would like to have an A4 version of the checklist, here it is : checklist.pdf.

The guide is simply a guide, an example; how your eventual report is made is completely up to you.
The guide shows section numbering; you can certainly number sections if you wish, it is up to you. It is meant to be a mental guide for planning your report.
The content of the report including figures should be about 4xA4 sides of paper (ie 2 sheets of paper using both sides).
My aim is to minimise the amount of work for you for each assignment so that you are not overworked, given that you have other courses to study.

Attendance is a priority. Grading will be based on attendance (50%) and three assignments (50%).


Dynamic weather map.
For a live view of wind, waves, currents etc.


Please look at these links on the movies/animations page