7.012 Introduction to Biology

Fall 2004

Electron micrograph showing transcription of ribosomal RNA genes.
Electron micrograph showing transcription of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes in the developing egg cell of the spotted newt. Fibers extending in clusters are molecules of rRNA used in the construction of cell's ribosomes. The long filaments indicated by green arrow are DNA molecules coated with proteins. RNA molecules get longer as transcription proceeds to completion as indicated by the red arrow. (Courtesy of Oak Ridge National Laboratory , U.S. Department of Energy. Used with permission.)

Course Highlights

This course features a complete set of video lectures by Professor Eric Lander, Director of the Broad Institute at MIT and a principal leader of the Human Genome Project and Professor Robert A. Weinberg, winner of the 1997 National Medal of Science.

Education development efforts for these introductory biology courses are one of many activities conducted by the HHMI Education Group at MIT. This group focuses on curriculum development work for creating teaching tools in undergraduate biology courses.

Course Description

The MIT Biology Department core courses, 7.012, 7.013, and 7.014, all cover the same core material, which includes the fundamental principles of biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, and cell biology. Biological function at the molecular level is particularly emphasized and covers the structure and regulation of genes, as well as, the structure and synthesis of proteins, how these molecules are integrated into cells, and how these cells are integrated into multicellular systems and organisms. In addition, each version of the subject has its own distinctive material.

7.012 focuses on the exploration of current research in cell biology, immunology, neurobiology, genomics, and molecular medicine.


The study materials, problem sets, and quiz materials used during Fall 2004 for 7.012 include contributions from past instructors, teaching assistants, and other members of the MIT Biology Department affiliated with course #7.012. Since the following works have evolved over a period of many years, no single source can be attributed.

Special Features

*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.

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Prof. Eric Lander
Prof. Robert Weinberg
Dr. Claudette Gardel

Guest Lecturer:
Prof. Andrew Chess



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