7.014 Introductory Biology

Spring 2005

The global biosphere.

The global biosphere. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index measures the amount and health of plants on land, while chlorophyll measurements indicate the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean. (Image courtesy of the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE.)

Course Highlights

This course features a complete set of video lectures by Professor Graham Walker, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) professor and director of the HHMI Education group at MIT, and Professor Sallie W. Chisholm, Lee and Geraldine Martin Professor of Environmental Studies and co-director of the MIT Earth Systems Initiative.

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.

7.014 focuses on the application of these fundamental principles, toward an understanding of microorganisms as geochemical agents responsible for the evolution and renewal of the biosphere and of their role in human health and disease.


The study materials, problem sets, and quiz materials used during Spring 2005 for 7.014 include contributions from past instructors, teaching assistants, and other members of the MIT Biology Department affiliated with course 7.014. Since the following works have evolved over a period of many years, no single source can be attributed.

Special Features

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Prof. Penny Chisholm
Prof. Graham Walker
Dr. Julia Khodor
Dr. Michelle Mischke

Course Meeting Times

3 sessions / week
1 hour /session

2 sessions / week
1 hour / session