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Biology 121 Course Outcomes

Competencies for Biology 121 - Anatomy and Function I - Mark Eberle

Relate metric measurements for length, volume, weight and temperature to traditional units.

Define homeostasis and negative feedback. Know terms for body regions, serous membranes, and body planes. CELLS

  • Identify cell organelles in illustrations, and state their functions.
  • Define active transport, phagocytosis and osmosis.
  • Describe the stages of mitosis: prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase.


  • List the four main types of tissues: epithelium, connective tissue, nerve tissue, muscle tissue. Relate epithelium's constant mitosis to its vulnerability to radiation. Know that muscle and nerve tissues are amitotic in adults, which makes recovery from stroke and heart attack difficult. Know that most cancers arise from epithelia and connective tissue because these tissues continue to divide in adulthood.


  • List the functions of skin, including production of Vitamin D. Know the function of Vitamin D in facilitating calcium uptake.
  • Describe the layers of the epidermis, its waterproofing by keratin, and its constant turnover of cells. Describe how the epidermis' surface is dead, and how shed keratinocytes feed house dust mites. Describe melanin production by melanocytes, and relate it to prevention of skin cancer.
  • Describe the structure and function of the dermis, including collagen and elastin fibers. Understand what causes skin wrinkles.
  • Identify and describe the functions of sebaceous glands, eccrine glands and apocrine glands. Describe how hair grows.
  • Classify burns by degree, and explain the pathology of severe burns.
  • Explain the meaning of "oma", "sarcoma" and "carcinoma". Describe the three types of skin cancer.


  • Describe the volume and components of blood.
  • Understand the role of blood albumin, and how lack of it results in edema and ascites.
  • Describe the role and life cycle of erythrocytes, including disposal bilirubin. Explain the function of hemoglobin and its vulnerability to carbon monoxide. Explain jaundice.
  • Describe the different types of anemia's. Explain how erythrocytes are measured by hematocrit or RBC count.
  • Recognize and explain the functions of neutrophils and lymphocytes. Define leucopoenia, leukocytosis and leukemia.
  • Describe the steps of homeostasis, including the roles of platelets, prothrombin and fibrinogen, calcium and Vitamin K. Explain how heparin and coumadin interfere with coagulation. Describe hemophilia, thromboembolism, and phlebitis.
  • Explain blood type markers, permissible transfusion combinations and transfusion reactions.
  • Describe hemolytic disease of the newborn. Explain how rhogam prevents it.


  • Describe the anatomy of the heart and its valves. Explain the differences between the right and left sides of the heart. Trace the flow of blood through the heart and its systemic and pulmonary circuits.
  • Describe atrial systole, ventricular systole and diastole.
  • Relate heart sounds to valve action. Interpret murmurs according to their timing in the heart cycle.
  • Describe the heart's conduction system and what it accomplishes.
  • Interpret normal electrocardiogram tracings.
  • Identify the coronary arteries. Describe myocardial infarction and ventricular fibrillation. Explain treatments for heart attack. Describe congestive heart failure.


  • Describe arteries, capillaries, veins. Explain aneurysms and varicose veins.
  • Know how to measure blood pressure. Explain the causes of hypertension.
  • Define circulatory shock, its signs and its causes.


  • Describe the anatomy and function of lymph vessels and lymph nodes.
  • Define edema, lymphadenitis and lymphoma.
  • Describe the location and function of the spleen and thymus gland.
  • Describe how the following protect against infection: skin, acid barriers, mucus, normal flora, fever, inflammation, neutrophils, macrophages, B lymphocytes and antibodies, Killer T lymphocytes and cell-mediated immunity. Explain the differences between passive and active immunity.
  • Explain the role of Helper T lymphocytes. Describe the pathology of AIDS.
  • Explain the pathology of allergy, asthma and anaphylactic shock. Define autoimmune disease, and give examples.


  • Describe the anatomy of the respiratory system.
  • Describe speech production. Define Valsalva's maneuver.
  • Explain surface tension, the role of surfactant in alveoli, and respiratory distress syndrome.
  • Describe inspiration and expiration and their control by the Inspiratory Center in the medulla. Relate origin of phrenic nerves to hangman's fractures.
  • Describe the importance of carbon dioxide levels to breathing rate.
  • Explain the pleural vacuum. Describe pneumothorax.


  • Identify major bones by their Latin names.
  • Describe the functions of bones, including hematopoiesis.
  • Describe ossification.
  • Describe long bone structure, including epiphysis plates. Explain the pathology of gigantism, acromegaly, pituitary dwarfism, and achondroplasia.
  • Explain bone remodeling by osteoblasts and osteoclasts Explain bone's dependence on gravity and weight-bearing exercise.
  • Know the risk factors for osteoporosis and how to prevent it. Explain pathologic fractures and kyphosis.
  • Describe bursae.
  • Describe the knee joint and its major ligaments. Explain the pathology of knee injuries.


  • Know the Latin names and actions of major skeletal muscles.
  • Compare and contrast smooth, cardiac and skeletal muscles.
  • Describe skeletal muscle structure and the sliding filament mechanisms including the roles of calcium and ATP. Explain striations. Explain rigor mortis.
  • Summarize the difference between aerobic and anaerobic pathways.
  • Describe what happens in neuromuscular junctions, including the roles of acetylcholine and acetyl cholinesterase. Explain the effect of pesticides and nerve gas on neuromuscular junctions.
  • Define motor units and muscle tone.
  • Compare slow, intermediate and fast muscle fibers. Relate them to light and dark meat in poultry.
  • Define isotonic and isometric contraction.
  • Summarize the pathology of fibromyalgia, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, amylotrophic lateral sclerosis and cerebral palsy