16 Biology

Allied Health Microbiology

Author: OpenStax

Description: The Microbiology OpenStax textbook has been modified to be a better fit for an Allied Health Microbiology class offered in a 10-week term (as opposed to a semester structure). Whole chapters have been removed, as well as individual sections within remaining chapters. Text portions with unwarranted detail have been modified to streamline the information being presented. In the chapters focusing on specific diseases, only select diseases have been highlighted, to reduce the overall amount of information being covered in the modified textbook. Any figures or tables accompanying the eliminated sections have been removed as well.

Biochemistry Free For All

Authors: Kevin Ahern, Indira Rajagopal, and Taralyn Tan

Description: We are happy to welcome you to our second Open Educational Resource (OER) textbook, Biochemistry Free For All. Biochemistry is a relatively young science, but its rate of growth has been truly impressive. The rapid pace of discoveries, which shows no sign of slowing, is reflected in the steady increase in the size of biochemistry textbooks. Growing faster than the size of biochemistry books have been the skyrocketing costs of higher education and the even faster rising costs of college textbooks. These unfortunate realities have created a situation where the costs of going to college are beyond the means of increasing numbers of students.

With this in mind, KGA and IR created, in 2012, a free, electronic book for introductory biochemistry, Biochemistry Free and Easy. That book was met with extraordinary enthusiasm, with over 175,000 downloads from around the world and adoption for use for several courses across the country. At OSU, we use the book for a basic course, taught over one quarter. In 2013, Oregon State University rolled out a new open textbook initiative, in partnership with OSU Libraries, OSU Press and Open Oregon State, with the mission of partnering with faculty to create open, online educational resources. Our proposal to create a biochemistry book that could be used for courses needing greater depth and breadth of coverage was chosen as one of the first projects of the Open Textbook initiative. As a result, we were able to draw on the technical expertise of several multimedia specialists for our interactive learning modules, and to hire a talented group of students to make figures, where suitable open source illustrations were not available. We also enlisted our third author, Dr. Taralyn Tan, a former student, who designed and oversaw the creation of the interactive modules.As an OER, this book is free for anyone to use, modify, adapt, etc. for free educational purposes. It may not be used for profit-making, or where any fee is required for its use. We are providing all of the figures in this book free of cost to anyone wishing to use them for free educational purposes.Helping students understand and enjoy biochemistry (without going broke) is our primary motivation for writing this book. We have aimed to provide a more thorough coverage of topics than in Biochemistry Free and Easy, but we do not aim to provide an encyclopedic biochemistry tome covering content that no instructor would fully cover in a single course. Neither do we aim to be the “go to” source for information on biochemistry. This is not a reference work. Consequently, we have focused on core concepts with key information. Descriptions are kept brief and to the point. Between us, we have over forty years of teaching biochemistry, and our experience is that more information does not translate to better learning. However, this does not mean that students will be shortchanged in using this book. We have used the Foundational Concepts defined by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) and the associated learning goals as our guide in choosing and organizing the information presented.For immediate access, this book may be downloaded as an iPad version or in PDF format.All formats of the book (and Powerpoint files), along with other biochemistry OER materials, are found at the Biochemistry Free and Easy site.


Description: Published by OpenStax College, Biology is designed for multi-semester biology courses for science majors. It is grounded on an evolutionary basis and includes features that highlight careers in the biological sciences and everyday applications of the concepts at hand. To meet the needs of today’s instructors and students, some content has been strategically condensed while maintaining the overall scope and coverage of traditional texts for this course. Instructors can customize the book, adapting it to the approach that works best in their classroom. Biology also includes an innovative art program that incorporates critical thinking and clicker questions to help students understand—and apply—key concepts.

Biology IBiology II

These texts were developed through Lumen Learning to provide a solid biological foundation for non-science students.

Includes: instructor resources, student resources, applications, and summaries.

Biology 2e

Biology 2e is an OpenStax biology textbook with all of the concepts covered in two terms of first year biology. It was written by biology professors from several American institutions and is faculty-reviewed.

Includes: instructor resources, slides, simulations, applications, summaries, exercises, and solutions.

Biology for Majors IBiology for Majors II

These texts were created through Lumen Learning to provide an expansive overview of introductory biology for science students. The broad and specific approaches within these texts provides academic freedom for instructors and provides the necessary information for students.

Includes: applications, instructor resources, exercises, assignments, and solutions.


Biology Open Educational Resources

Cell Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Evolution and Ecology

This textbook has been successfully adopted. It should be noted that it was written in the context of Indian universities and has a dedicated section to Indian ecology; however, it is a high-quality resource that covers all of the necessary concepts.

Includes: exercises.

Chemical Biology & Biochemistry Laboratory Using Genetic Code Expansion Manual

Authors: Ryan Mehl, Kari van Zee, and Kelsey Kean

Description: Throughout this manual, you will find asides, entitled “Deep Thoughts,” on a variety of different topics. These are intended to guide you to develop a deeper understanding of your project and of the techniques you are using as well as to provide some things to consider when designing your experiment, analyzing your results, and carrying out various steps of this laboratory. These suggestions are by no means exhaustive but are intended to help you think critically about what you are doing and guide your design and thought process.

Concepts of Biology – First Canadian Edition

This textbook was designed as an introductory biology course for non-science students. It has been successfully adopted and it was written by professors of biology.

Includes: instructor resources, student resources, simulations, summaries, exercises, and solutions.

Environmental Biology

Description: Environmental Biology enables students to develop a nuanced understanding of today’s most pressing environmental issues. This text helps students grasp the scientific foundation of these issues so that they can better understand the world around them and their impact upon it. This open textbook covers the most salient environmental issues, from a biological perspective. The text is designed for an introductory-level college science course. Topics include the fundamentals of ecology, biodiversity, pollution, climate change, food production, and human population growth.

Foundations of Neuroscience

Author: Casey Henley

Description: Foundations of Neuroscience is aimed at undergraduate students new to the field of neuroscience. The first edition specifically targets students enrolled in Neurobiology at Michigan State University and primarily contains topics covered in that course. For example, only three sensory systems are discussed in this version of the text. Future editions will continue to expand the number of topics and concepts presented.

This OER is unique in its presentation of neuroscience content. The text is divided into short, easily digestible chapters that focus on one concept. Pairing the text with images, animations, and videos provides students with multiple ways of learning the content. The text is written with the undergraduate student that is new to neuroscience in mind. Neuroscience terminology is introduced in an easy-to-understand manner, and supporting content is clear and concise to minimize cognitive load not associated with understanding new material

Each chapter ends with an interactive quiz for student self-evaluation of the content. Quiz questions provide feedback, so students can self-check their understanding at the end of each concept and receive immediate feedback about their learning.

From Growing to Biology: Plants 1e

Author: Gokhan Hacisalihoglu

Description: Ready to find out how plants are grown and function? Take a fantastic voyage through plants. From Growing to Biology: Plants 1e brings the latest information for understanding of traditional and modern plant growing, form, and production. Topics covered in 30 chapters include concise and up-to-date ‘big picture’ infographics, student learning outcomes (SLOs), key vocabulary, assessment, as well as identification of 120 species, and more. Moreover, author Dr. G. Hacisalihoglu emphasizes on learning concepts, binding those concepts together with a visual approach to make learning faster and more memorable.
From Growing to Biology: Plants 1e is packed full of horticultural information that is ideal for both academia and industry growers. It is basic enough that if you are just getting started learning plants, you will be able to catch up. Always remember that practice makes permanent and keep going to take your learning plant bio to new levels.

HHMI’s BioInteractive

Human Biology

Author: Christine Miller

Description: This textbook is ideal for an introductory level Human Biology course. It is aligned with the British Columbia Adult Basic Education learning outcomes for Provincial Level Biology, which is the equivalent of Grade 12 Anatomy and Physiology. This textbook begins with an introduction to sciences and the scientific method, and then addresses the human body in increasing scale: from biological molecules, to cells and tissues, to organs and all eleven organ systems; with an overarching focus on health. The text employs clear writing, case studies for each chapter, interactive self-marking study activities, highlights of Indigenous knowledge and examples, pop-up glossary, and links to resources for extending learning.

An Interactive Introduction to Organismal and Molecular Biology

Author: Andrea Bierema

Description: This “textbook” is interactive, meaning that although each chapter has text, they also have interactive HTML5 content, such as quizzes, simulations, interactive videos, and images with clickable hotspots. Students receive instant feedback when they complete the interactive content, and therefore, can learn and check their understanding all in one place. The first unit introduces students to the nature of science, including scientific controversies, and information literacy, including how to analyze literature and identify stakeholders. Unit 2 is organismal biology, including carbon cycling and population growth, and unit 3 is molecular biology with a focus on gene expression.

Khan Academy


Description: Microbiology covers the scope and sequence requirements for a single-semester microbiology course for non-majors. The book presents the core concepts of microbiology with a focus on applications for careers in allied health. The pedagogical features of the text make the material interesting and accessible while maintaining the career-application focus and scientific rigor inherent in the subject matter. Microbiology’s art program enhances students’ understanding of concepts through clear and effective illustrations, diagrams, and photographs. Microbiology is produced through a collaborative publishing agreement between OpenStax and the American Society for Microbiology Press. The book aligns with the curriculum guidelines of the American Society for Microbiology.

MIT OpenCourseWare

A Mixed Course-Based Research Approach to Human Physiology

Author: Karri Haen Whitmer

Description: The Biology 256 Laboratory course was designed to provide students with hands-on access to modern techniques in human physiological analyses using the course-based research pedagogical approach. In this course, students will learn how to perform literature searches; generate research questions and hypotheses; design experiments; collect, analyze, visualize and interpret data; and present scientific findings to others. The Biol 256L curriculum offers a high-impact human physiology experience that fosters the critical thinking skills required to be a successful citizen in a modern world filled with misinformation.

National Science Foundation

Neuroscience: Canadian 1st Edition Open Textbook

Author: Dr William Ju

Editors: Georgia Bains, Ingrid Barany, Maksym Shcherbina, and Summer Lee

Description: Neuroscience: Canadian 1st Edition Open Textbook is a comprehensive source that examines the nervous system, neurodegeneration, techniques in studying neuroscience and emerging topics in the field.

Neuroscience: Canadian 2nd Edition

Author: Dr William Ju

Editors: Georgia Bains, Ingrid Barany, Maksym Shcherbina, and Summer Lee

Description: Neuroscience: Canadian 2nd Edition Open Textbook is a comprehensive source that examines the nervous system, neurodegeneration, techniques in studying neuroscience and emerging topics in the field.

Ocean Portal

OER Commons: BIology

OpenStax (aka Connexions) Science and Technology

Open Textbooks Library: Biology

PhET: Biology

PLOS: Open for Discovery

A Primer for Computational Biology

Author: Shawn T. O’Neil

Description: A Primer for Computational Biology aims to provide life scientists and students the skills necessary for research in a data-rich world. The text covers accessing and using remote servers via the command-line, writing programs and pipelines for data analysis, and provides useful vocabulary for interdisciplinary work.

Quantitative Ecology: A New Unified Approach

Authors: Clarence Lehman, Shelby Loberg, and Adam Clark

Description: Quantitative Ecology introduces and discusses the principles of ecology from populations to ecosystems including human populations, disease, exotic organisms, habitat fragmentation, biodiversity and global dynamics. The book also reformulates and unifies ecological equations making them more accessible to the reader and easier to teach.

Species-Habitat Associations: Spatial data, predictive models, and ecological insights

Authors: Jason Matthiopoulos, John Fieberg, and Geert Aarts

Desciption: This book represents the first milestone of a live project. Future editions of this book will see chapters on model transferability, data integration, exemplar analyses of survey and telemetry data, dedicated R functions, links to population modelling, occupancy modelling, as well as non-linear and mechanistic modelling. A copy of the book, which we plan to continuously update (with new versions in the future) can also be accessed in gitbook format at: https://bookdown.org/jfieberg/SHABook/.

Yale Open Courses


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