Discovering Life (NS 201)

2023 Fall
Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Natural Sciences(NS)
Selim Çetiner,
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Formal lecture
Interactive,Learner centered
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The objective of this course to give students a broad and comprehensive background in biology, and thus to prepare them for entry into biology-oriented programs in the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences. The course includes an introduction to cell biology, genetics, structure and function of microbes, animals and plants. Growth and development of animals and plants will be covered in more detail. Evolution of plant and animal diseases as well as the biotechnological applications will be introduced. The course provides a solid basis for more advanced studies in all areas modern biology.


This is an introductory undergraduate course which surveys most areas of cellular biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics and immunology. This course is highly recommended for students planning to study molecular biology, genetics and bioengineering.


  • Understand the evolutionary principles controlling biological phenomenon,
  • Formulate Hypotheses and design experiments to test this hypothesis
  • Know the structure of cells
  • Understand the significance of the polymerase chain reaction
  • Understand how DNA sequencing is performed
  • Identify the various parts of a gene and calculate the sequence of protein, given a gene sequence
  • Describe the processes of DNA replication, RNA transcription and protein translation and identify the enzymes that catalyze these biological reactions
  • Think of all biological phenomenon as chemical reactions
  • Understand the principles of the central dogma of molecular biology
  • Differentiate between the different fields of bioinformatics, genetics, biochemistry and molecular biology


1. Understand the world, their country, their society, as well as themselves and have awareness of ethical problems, social rights, values and responsibility to the self and to others. 5

2. Understand different disciplines from natural and social sciences to mathematics and art, and develop interdisciplinary approaches in thinking and practice. 5

3. Think critically, follow innovations and developments in science and technology, demonstrate personal and organizational entrepreneurship and engage in life-long learning in various subjects; have the ability to continue to educate him/herself. 5

4. Communicate effectively in Turkish and English by oral, written, graphical and technological means. 5

5. Take individual and team responsibility, function effectively and respectively as an individual and a member or a leader of a team; and have the skills to work effectively in multi-disciplinary teams. 5

1. Possess sufficient knowledge of mathematics, science and program-specific engineering topics; use theoretical and applied knowledge of these areas in complex engineering problems. 3

2. Identify, define, formulate and solve complex engineering problems; choose and apply suitable analysis and modeling methods for this purpose. 1

3. Develop, choose and use modern techniques and tools that are needed for analysis and solution of complex problems faced in engineering applications; possess knowledge of standards used in engineering applications; use information technologies effectively. 1

4. Have the ability to design a complex system, process, instrument or a product under realistic constraints and conditions, with the goal of fulfilling specified needs; apply modern design techniques for this purpose. 4

5. Design and conduct experiments, collect data, analyze and interpret the results to investigate complex engineering problems or program-specific research areas. 3

6. Possess knowledge of business practices such as project management, risk management and change management; awareness on innovation; knowledge of sustainable development. 2

7. Possess knowledge of impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, health and societal context; knowledge of contemporary issues; awareness on legal outcomes of engineering solutions; knowledge of behavior according to ethical principles, understanding of professional and ethical responsibility. 3

8. Have the ability to write effective reports and comprehend written reports, prepare design and production reports, make effective presentations, and give and receive clear and intelligible instructions. 4

1. Comprehend key concepts in biology and physiology, with emphasis on molecular genetics, biochemistry and molecular and cell biology as well as advanced mathematics and statistics. 5

2. Develop conceptual background for interfacing of biology with engineering for a professional awareness of contemporary biological research questions and the experimental and theoretical methods used to address them. 5

1. Applying fundamental and advanced knowledge of natural sciences as well as engineering principles to develop and design new materials and establish the relation between internal structure and physical properties using experimental, computational and theoretical tools. 3

2. Merging the existing knowledge on physical properties, design limits and fabrication methods in materials selection for a particular application or to resolve material performance related problems. 2

3. Predicting and understanding the behavior of a material under use in a specific environment knowing the internal structure or vice versa. 2


  Percentage (%)
Final 60
Midterm 40



Life The Science of Biology 11th Ed. Sadava, Hillis, Heller, Hacker ISBN 9781319010164

Note this book will also be used for NS216


Reading and homework on:
1. Principles of Genetics
2. Polymerase chain reaction
3. RNA splicing
4. Transcription and Translation
5. How to read a gene sequence