Lower Division MCB Courses

Please note: Syllabi change from semester to semester and therefore, please only use them as a guide and not a definitive list of topics covered by a course in future semesters.

Biology 1A: General Biology Lecture (3 units) 
Prerequisites: A grade of C- or better in Chemistry 1A and Chemistry 1AL or a 4 or 5 score on the Chem AP test; Chem 3A or 112A recommended. 
General introduction to cell structure and function, molecular and organism genetics, animal development, form and function. Intended for biological sciences majors, but open to all qualified students. (F, SP, SU)

**Biology 1A/1AL Enrollment Information can be found at http://mcb.berkeley.edu/courses/bio1a/enroll/. If you have any enrollment questions, please contact Erol Kepkep, the Biology 1A/1AL Enrollment Coordinator, at bio1a-enrollment@berkeley.edu.

Biology 1AL: General Biology Laboratory (2 units)   
Prerequisites: Must be taken concurrently with Biology 1A. (F, SP, SU)

MCB 15: Current Topics in the Biological Sciences (2 units; Syllabus)
Course may be repeated for credit as topic varies. Two hours of lecture and one hour of discussion per week. Prerequisites: Suitable for freshmen who plan to major in a biological science. Students in this course will critically examine modern methods of biological investigations and their social implications. Relevant literature will be used to present basic biological concepts that address the cultural, technological and health aspects of current topics in the biological sciences. Designing and evaluating scientific questions will be stressed. (Sp) Matsui

MCB C31: Big Ideas in Cell Biology (3 units)  
Students will receive no credit for Molecular and Cell Biology C31/Letters and Science C30X after taking Biology 1A, 1B, Molecular and Cell Biology 31, or 41. Two hours of lecture and one hour of discussion per week. An introduction for students who do not intend to major in biology but who wish to satisfy their breadth requirement in Biological Sciences. Some major concepts of modern biology, ranging from the role of DNA and the way cells communicate, to interactions of cells and creatures with their environment, will be discussed without jargon and with attention to their relevance in contemporary life and culture. Also listed as Letters and Science C30X. (not currently offered)

MCB 32: Introduction to Human Physiology (3 units; Syllabus)
Prerequisites: One year high school or college chemistry. A comprehensive introduction to human cell biology. The course will concentrate on basic mechanisms underlying human life processes, including cells and membranes; nerve and muscle function; cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, and gastrointestinal physiology; metabolism, endocrinology, and reproduction. (F) Ball

MCB 32L: Introduction to Human Physiology Laboratory (2 unit; Syllabus)
Prerequisites: 32 or may be taken concurrently. Experiments and demonstrations are designed to amplify and reinforce information presented in 32. Exercises include investigations into the structure and function of muscle, nerve, cardiovascular, renal, respiratory, endocrine, and blood systems. (F) Ball

MCB 38: Stem Cell Biology, Ethics and Societal Impact (3 unit; Syllabus
Innovations in bioengineering and use of stem cells will significantly impact our ability to combat human disease, genetic disorders and physiological dysfunction. An understanding of human stem cell biology will be critical to make informed decisions on our health and public policy. (Sp) Firestone and Ball

MCB 41: Genetics and Society (3 units)
Students will receive no credit after taking Letters and Science 18.
Prerequisites: Primarily for students not specializing in biology. Basic communication of inheritance; gene mapping; gene expression and genetic disease in animals and humans; social inheritance of genetics. Offered alternate years. (not currently offered)

MCB C44: Biology for Voters (3 units; Also listed as L&S C30Y)
This is a Discovery Course for non-Biology majors designed to introduce lower-division college students to biology through the lens of the contemporary problems facing people, the planet and the species of the planet. Modern genetic contributions will be presented on such issues as genetic engineering of plants and animals, the emergence of new pathogens, the role of genetic variation among individuals, and the extent to which DNA is and isn't destiny. Each week will close with the presentation and discussion of a defining biological challenge facing the world. (not currently offered)

MCB 50: The Immune System and Disease. (3 units; Syllabus)
Students will receive no credit for 50 after taking MCB 102 or MCB C100A/Chem C130.
Prerequisites: High school chemistry or Chemistry 1A and high school biology or Biology 1A. Course will discuss how the immune system resolves, prevents, or causes disease. A general overview of the immune system will be covered in the first five weeks followed by five weeks discussing infectious diseases including anthrax, mad cow, herpes, malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV. In addition, other lectures will focus on current immunology topics including vaccines, autoimmunity, allergy, transplantation, and cancer. (Sp) Beatty

MCB 55: Plagues and Pandemics (3 units; Syllabus)
Students will receive no credit for 55 after taking 100, C100A, 100B, 102, 103, C103, 150, Chemistry C130, Plant and Microbial Biology C103, and Public Health C102.
Discussion of how infectious agents cause disease and impact society at large. We will examine historical and current examples of plagues and pandemics and consider the question of what we should do to ameliorate the impact of infectious disease in the future. The course is intended for non-majors and will begin by briefly providing necessary background in microbiology and immunology. The primary focus in each subsequent week, however, will be on discussing a particular infectious disease. The course will be broad in scope covering biological, historical, ethical and social implications of each disease. (F, Su) Beatty

MCB 63L: Introduction to Neuroanatomy Lab (2 units)
Prerequisites: MCELLBI 63 (may be taken concurrently) or equivalent. This lab course is an introduction to mammalian neuroanatomy for non-MCB majors. We will do dissections, explore physical anatomical models, and observe microscopic structures within preserved brain slices from a variety of mammalian species. The hands-on exploration of anatomy is key to understanding how the different functional regions of the nervous system are interconnected. Besides gaining a better understanding of anatomy, you will gain important scientific skills such as conducting parts of a neurological exam, fluorescent and light microscopy, reading MRI scans and conducting fine dissections. The course will culminate with a group project using the online Allen Brain Atlas to investigate a novel scientific question. (not currently offered)

MCB 88: Immunotherapy of Cancer: Success and Failure (2 units)
Prerequisites: Foundations of Data Science: COMPSCI C8, DATASCI C8, INFO C8 or STAT C8. We will work with a variety of datasets that describe a molecular view of cells and how they divide. We will learn about the processes that cause cells to become specialized (differentiate) and to give rise to cancer (transform). We will analyze data on genetic mutations in cancer that distinguish tumor cells from normal cells. We will learn how mutations are detected by the immune system and the basis of cancer immunotherapy. Finally we will analyze data on clinical trials of cancer immunotherapy to define the correlates of success in curing the disease. The students are expected to gain an understanding of data that reveals the basics of cell physiology and cancer, how immunotherapies of cancer work and their current limitations. (not currently offered)

MCB C75: Introduction to the Biotechnology Field and Industry: Impact, History, Therapeutics R&D, Entrepreneurship and Careers (2 units; Also listed as UGBA C95B)
This course offers an introduction to the field of biotechnology and will cover the history of the field, its impact on medicine and society, key methodologies, important therapeutic areas, and the range of career options available in the biopharmaceutical industry. In addition to lectures on innovation and entrepreneurship, students will hear from lecturers with expertise ranging from molecular biology to clinical trial design and interpretation. Several case studies of historically impactful scientists, entrepreneurs, and biotherapeutic companies will be presented. Students will work in teams to create and develop novel biotechnology company ideas to present in class. Intended for students interested in the Biology+Business program. (Sp)

MCB C96: Studying the Biological Sciences. (1 unit; Also listed as INTEGBI C96 and PLANTBI C96)
Two hours of lecture per week. Must be taken on a passed/not passed basis.
Prerequisites: Consent of instructor. Freshmen will be introduced to the "culture" of the biological sciences, along with an in-depth orientation to the academic life and the culture of the university as they relate to majoring in biology. Students will learn concepts, skills, and information that they can use in their major course, and as future science professionals. Restricted to freshmen in the biology scholars program. Also listed as Plant and Microbial Biology C96 and Integrative Biology C96. (F) Matsui


NEU C61 (Formerly known as MCB C61): Brain, Mind, and Behavior (3 unit) (Also listed as NEU 61 and PSYCH C61)
Students will receive no credit for Molecular and Cell Biology/Psychology C61 after taking Molecular and Cell Biology 61, N61, W61, Molecular and Cell Biology 104, C100A/Chemistry C130, Molecular and Cell Biology 110, 130A, 136, 160, C160/Neuroscience C160 or Integrative Biology 132. A deficient grade in Molecular and Cell Biology 61, N61, or W61 can be removed with Molecular and Cell Biology C61. Students cannot credit for both MCELLBI/PSYCH C61 AND Psych 110.
Introduction to human brain mechanisms of sensation, movement, perception, thinking, learning, memory, and emotion in terms of anatomy, physiology, and chemistry of the nervous system in health and disease. Intended for students in the humanities and social sciences and others not majoring in the biological sciences. Also listed as Psychology C61. (Sp) Adesnik

NEU C62 (Formerly known as MCB C62): Drugs and the Brain (3 units) (Also listed as L&S C30T)
Students will receive no credit for Molecular and Cell Biology C62/Letters and Science C30T after completing Molecular and Cell Biology C100A/Chemistry C130, 104, 110, 130, 136, 160 Integrative Biology 132.
The history, chemical nature, botanical origins, and effects on the human brain and behavior of drugs such as stimulants, depressants, psychedelics, analgesics, antidepressants, antipsychotics, steroids, and other psychoactive substances of both natural and synthetic origin. The necessary biological, chemical, and psychological background material for understanding the content of this course will be contained within the course itself. (F, Su) Presti

NEU 63 (Formerly known as MCB 63): Introduction to Functional Neuroanatomy. (3 units)   
Students will receive no credit for Molecular and Cell Biology 63 after completing Molecular and Cell Biology 104, C100A/Chemistry C130, Molecular and Cell Biology 110, 130A, 136, 160, 161, C160/Neuroscience C160 or Integrative Biology 132.
This course emphasizes beginning anatomy of the brain and spinal cord to individuals interested in understanding the dynamics of motor and sensory functions in the human body. Students in the Departments of Education, Psychology, and Integrative Biology, as well as students interested in medicine and the life sciences, are especially encouraged to attend. (Su)

NEU C64 (Formerly known as MCB C64): Exploring the Brain: Introduction to Neuroscience (3 units; Syllabus)
Students will receive no credit for 64 after taking C61, C100A, 102, 104, 110, 130A, 132, 136, C160, Chem C130 or NeuroSci C160.
Prerequisites: High school chemistry or Chemistry 1A; high school biology or Biology 1A.This course will introduce lower division undergraduates to the fundamentals of neuroscience. The first part of the course covers basic membrane properties, synapses, action potentials, chemical and electrical synaptic interactions, receptor potentials, and receptor proteins. The second part of the course covers networks in invertebrates, memory and learning behavior, modulation, vertebrate brain and spinal cord, retina, visual cortex architecture, hierarchy, development, and higher cortical centers. (Su)

NEU 65 (Formerly known as MCB 65): Neuroscience, Film, and Philosophy (3 units; Syllabus)
Advances in neuroscience are forcing us to confront anew questions concerning the nature of identity, reality, morality, and free will. Scientists can now implant artificial memories, augment natural brain capabilities, and read out intentions from the brain before they are acted upon. This class intends to shine a light on the brave new world enabled by modern neuroscience through three lenses: science, film, and philosophy. Topics to be covered include: the architecture of the brain, AI & the mind body problem, the neural construction of reality, action and free will, memory, the neural basis of morality, mechanisms for brain wiring, mental illness, and brain machine interfaces. (Sp) Tsao