Biosciences in the 21st Century
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BioS 010:  Bioscience in the 21st Century
Fall 2013
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:10-11:00 am

Instructor | Objectives | Format | Resources | Requirements | Accommodations | Schedule | Contacts

ALL Students enrolled in BioS 90 courses, “Understanding the Human Genome”, "Aging in the 21st century”, Health in the 21st century”, “Emerging Infectious Diseases”, and “Bioinformatics in the 21st century”, as well as students in BioS 10 (Bioscience in the 21st century) will attend BioS 10 lectures on MWF at the regularly scheduled class time. 

Faculty Coordinator and Instructor:

Prof. Vassie Ware, Ph.D.
B-222 Iacocca Hall
Department of Biological Sciences

Course Objectives:

A major goal of this course is to communicate to students seeking training in a biologically-based discipline the importance of a systems-driven, multidisciplinary approach in bioscience. Several contemporary bioscience-related issues (e.g., neuroscience-related topics, aging, infectious diseases, cancer, stem cell biology, advances in genome-based medicine, bioinformatics, environmental biology, microbiology, interfaces between organic chemistry and biology, advances in engineered biomedical systems, social/bioethical considerations) will be discussed by faculty from different disciplines in order to highlight cross-disciplinary perspectives on fundamental problems and potential solutions in bioscience. This course is now an established tool in the curriculum for shaping an intellectual approach to bioscience that routinely values interconnections among disciplines and reduces/eliminates the tendency to compartmentalize learning “by subject.” 
A second goal of this course is to provide scientific literacy for non-majors and the public.  Students who are not formally registered for the course are encouraged to attend lectures based on their interests.  Course materials including the syllabus and all lectures are available on the web with full access for the entire Lehigh community and interested members of the public.


Lectures will be presented on MWF at the regularly scheduled class time for both BioS10 and BioS90 students. 

BioS90 students will ALSO meet each week with their primary faculty instructor (Professors Gregory Lang, Michael Kuchka, Linda Lowe-Krentz, Jeffrey Sands, and Brian Chen) for a discussion session.  
BioS10 students will NOT meet weekly outside of the regular lecture period.  There will be additional “out of classroom” assignments that may include participation in choices of departmental seminars, writing/reading assignments, field experiences, etc. These assignments will be evaluated by Professor Ware and our graduate teaching assistant, Carly Garrison (cmg213).

Class assignments for the lecture and course reading materials will be available only for official course registrants through Course Site ( Course Site is accessible using your Lehigh ID and password. 

Course Resources:  

No texts are required for the lecture portion of the course.  All lectures are videotaped and most additional lecture resources will be available through the Bios 10 course web site.  Reading assignments may be required by some lecturers and will be posted on the Bios 10 course web site.  Access to required or suggested reading materials will be available for official course registrants only through the BioS10 Course Site.  Bios 90 instructors maintain separate course sites ONLY for specific assignments associated with their discussion sections. 

BioS 10 students should consult the BioS 10 site for videos, lecture schedule, and other lecture-related materials; and the BioS 10 Coursesite for lecture-related study materials, BioS 10 assignments, and announcements (

All BioS 90 students should consult the BioS 10 site for videos, lecture schedule, and other lecture-related materials; the BioS 10 Coursesite for lecture-related study materials and announcements ; and their BioS 90 site for specific assignments related to their discussion section. 

Course Requirements

Your regular attendance is important.  While all course materials and lectures are accessible on the web, there will be opportunities to participate in discussions with faculty lecturers and/or to have questions answered.  Active participation in discussions is only possible if you are present in class.  Additionally, opportunities to earn extra course points may be presented to class participants on occasion.

Lecturers in this course are Lehigh faculty as well as members from outside the Lehigh community.  It is expected that all course participants will extend typical courtesies to lecturers and class participants for the entire class period. 

This is a 4-credit course; as such, 75% of the course grade will be based on your performance on exams based on the lecture content (3 credits’ worth).  For both BioS10 students, the remaining 25% of the course grade will be based on “other assignments” (see below for BioS10).  For BioS 90 students, the remaining 25% of the course grade will be based on the requirements from your discussion session determined by your faculty instructor (BioS90 – Lang, Kuchka, Lowe-Krentz, Sands, or Chen). 

Four (4) multiple-choice exams are scheduled (see schedule and below), collectively worth 75% of the final course grade.  Please note that changes in the exam schedule may be required if a lecture(s) needs to be re-scheduled.

EXAM schedule: 

Exam 1 Monday, September 23, 2013
Exam 2 Friday, October 18, 2013
Exam 3 Monday, November 11, 2013
Exam 4 Scheduled during final exam period by the Registrar.

The 4th exam will NOT be rescheduled to accommodate student schedules except within University guidelines if multiple final exams are scheduled on a single day.  The 4th exam will NOT be rescheduled to accommodate holiday travel schedules and holiday break plans.

NO cell phone or electronic device may be used during any exam period.

For EXAM 4, 50% of the test will be based on lecture content from previous exams (1-3), based on previous exam questions.  This format will encourage you to re-visit content from previous exams to be assured of your competency in these areas.  The remaining 50% of the exam will be based on new material from lectures given after EXAM 3.

Exams will be based on lecture content, assigned readings (if any), and assigned videos.  Exams 1-3 will not be cumulative throughout the semester.  Fifty percent of EXAM 4 will be cumulative, as stated above.
In general, grading will be based on the following scale:  90-100% (A range); 80-89% (B range); 70-79% (C range); 60-69% (D range); below 60% (failing). 

Other BioS10 assignments (worth total of 25% - based on a total of 100 points)This section is relevant for students enrolled in BioS10 only.  BioS 90 students are not responsible for assignments listed here (your 25% is determined by your BioS90 faculty leader).

  1. (Worth a total of 40 points). Several topics with relevant literature or videos will be posted on Coursesite for class discussion.  All students are required to participate in the FIRST discussion topic (worth 20 points) and will then have the choice from among other topics to participate in TWO additional discussions (worth 10 points each) online over the course of the semester by posting relevant commentary.  Detailed instructions will be provided on Coursesite.
  2. (Worth a total of 40 points). TWO seminars outside of class must be attended over the course of the semester.  Numerous seminar possibilities will be available (for example, Biological Sciences seminar series , Health, Medicine,& Society Fall 2013 Speaker Series, Chemistry seminar series, iBioseminar series [], Bioengineering seminars, Physics seminar series, ).  Seminar attendance/viewing documentation will include the submission of a relevant unanswered question based on the seminar attended/viewed.  Note that ONLY one of the required seminars may be from the iBioseminars series, if necessary, and must be a different seminar from any presented in the lecture portion of the course.  Additional details will be available on Coursesite.
  3. (Worth 20 points). Students may select a bioscience topic of individual interest for which they report and discuss a scientific advance in this area (in a written report of no more than ~2-3 pages, typed, double-spaced).  This assignment is due no later than the last day of class (Friday, December 6, 2013). 

MAKE-UP EXAMINATION POLICY:  Make-up exam privileges will only be considered in the case of excused absences, requiring written documentation from medical or administrative personnel.  There are no exceptions to this requirement. 

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY:  All members of the Lehigh community have a responsibility to uphold the value of academic integrity in their intellectual pursuits.  We have a responsibility to maintain intellectual honesty and to value intellectual property.  Details of expectations in the Lehigh community are available at  It is expected that students will abide by these standards in all course endeavors (e.g., exams, writing assignments, online discussion assignments). Violations of academic integrity standards will not be tolerated and will be handled according to guidelines in the University Conduct System.


If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting accommodations, please contact Professor Ware and the Office of Academic Support Services, University Center 212 (610-758-4152) as early as possible in the semester.  You must have documentation from the Academic Support Services Office before accommodations can be granted.

Course lecture and exam schedule:  see schedule


Professor Ware  
B222 Iacocca Hall, Office hours by appointment 
Telephone: 610-758-3690 (voice mail is available)

Department of Biological Sciences Office:
B217 Iacocca Hall,
Telephone: 610-758-3680 or 610-758-3681.

For technical assistance with videos, CourseSite or course website:
Mrs. Maria Brace, Biological Sciences Business Manager
Telephone: 610-758-6235


Professor Chen
Computer Science & Engineering
Packard Lab, Office hours by appointment
Telephone: 610-758-4085 (voice mail is available)

Professor Kuchka
Biological Sciences
B224 Iacocca Hall, Office hours by appointment
Telephone: 610-758-3687 (voice mail is available)

Professor Lang
Biological Sciences
D213, Iacocca Hall, Office hours by appointment
Telephone: 610-758-6359 (voice mail is available)

Professor Lowe-Krentz  
Biological Sciences
D217 Iacocca Hall, Office hours by appointment
Telephone: 610-758-5084 (voice mail is available)

Professor Sands
Biological Sciences
B216 Iacocca Hall, Office hours by appointment
Telephone: 610-758-4919 (voice mail is available)

Professor Ware  
Biological Sciences
B222 Iacocca Hall, Office hours by appointment
Telephone: 610-758-3690 (voice mail is available)




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