Cell Biology

Study cell biology by distance education. Learning the physiology and anatomy of living cells, tissues, the nucleus, cytoplasm, and more.

Course Code: BSC110
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Study Cell Biology 

Cells are the basic unit of life. Cellular knowledge is  essential to understanding how life works for higher animals and plants.In this course, you'll learn the differences between animal and plant cells, how more complex eukaryotic cells, how DNA works, protein structure and function, and more.

 

Understanding the basics of cellular structure and division is essential for human health studies, animal care, and animal studies. Working with your assigned academic, you'll learn how to apply course theory to the science in your everyday life.

This is a foundation course for those wishing to have a career in health sciences, biology and biochemistry. Upon completion of this course students should have a sound understanding of cell structure and processes. There are no prerequisites for this course.


Student Comment:

"I am studying a Bachelor of Health Science next year at university. I gained far more knowledge from this course than I expected." J.McEwan


What is a Cell?

"The word cell is derived from the Latin “cella” which means “small room”. Cells are the units from which all living organisms are built. Some organisms (e.g. bacteria) have only one cell in the entire organism. Others are multicellular. A human body can contain an estimated 100,000 billion cells.

Each cell is a self-contained and partially self-sufficient compartment designed to carry out a limited series of functions. While the structure and function of cells is extremely variable, their basic structure is similar. All cells are bound by an outer membrane and contain cytoplasm and DNA."

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Cells and Their Structure
    • What is a cell, history of cell biology; prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells; cell shape and size; cell structure; the nucleus; the nucleolus; euchromatin and heterochromatin; the animal cell; the plant cell; human cells.
  2. Cell Chemistry
    • Cell chemical composition; carbohydrates; lipids; nucleic acids; proteins; enzymes; cell membranes; golgi apparatus.
  3. DNA, Chromosomes and Genes
    • What is DNA, Chromosomes, Genes; DNA replication; telomeres and telomerase; genetics; case study in genetic inheritance; phenotype and genotype; gene mutations.
  4. Cell Division: Meiosis and Mitosis
    • Mitosis and meiosis overview; mitosis; meiosis.
  5. Cell Membranes
    • Membranes; structure of cell membranes; movement of molecules through cell membranes; endocytosis; osmosis and filtration; hydrostatic pressure; active transport; electro-chemical gradient; nutrient and waste exchange in animal cells; mediated and non-mediated transport.
  6. Protein Structure and Function
    • Protein structure; fibrous proteins; globular proteins; protein organisation; primary to quaternary structure; protein function.
  7. Protein Synthesis
    • Overview; the function of ribonucleic acid in protein synthesis; transcription and translation; initiation; elongation; termination.
  8. Food, Energy, Catalysis and Biosynthesis
    • Sources of energy; metabolism within the cell; catabolic metabolism; anabolic metabolism; ATP movement; Kreb's cycle; production and storage of energy; energy production pathways from different foods; biosynthesis of cell molecules; mitochrondria; chloroplasts.
  9. Intracellular Compartments, Transport and Cell Communication
    • Cell communication; endocrine signalling; paracrine signalling; autocrine signalling; cytoskeleton; actin filaments; intermediate filaments; microtubules.
  10. The Cell Cycle and Tissue Formation
    • The cell cycle; phases of the cell cycle; cell cycle regulation; cell death; cells to bodies; stem cells; animal tissues including muscle, connective, epithelial, nerve; blood.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Review basic cell structure and discuss the scope and nature of cell biology.
  • Describe the chemical components and processes of cells.
  • Describe the storage of genetic information within cells and how this information is passed on to the next generation.
  • Describe key concepts in molecular biology.
  • Discuss membrane structure and transport across cell membranes.
  • Discuss protein structure and function.
  • Describe and discuss protein synthesis.
  • Describe the significant processes involved in transfer and storage of energy in a cell.
  • Describe the significant processes that occur in cell communication and intracellular transport
  • Describe the life cycle of cells and how they combine to create different types of tissues.

What are the Different Types of Cells?

Cell Theory

The following are the key points of Cell Theory:

1. All known living organisms are composed of one or more cells.

2. All cells are derived from previously existing parent cells.

3. Cells contain genetic information that controls the cell’s functions.

4. Genetic information is duplicated and transmitted from parent cells into any new cells.

 

PROKARYOTIC AND EUKARYOTIC CELLS

There are two main types of cells:

Prokaryotes

Prokaryotes or prokaryotic cells do not have a nucleus, or membranes surrounding their organelles. Their DNA is not organised into chromosomes, but is a single molecule, most often circular. Prokaryotes include bacteria and other organisms known as archae.

Eukaryotes

Eukaryotes or eukaryotic cells have membranes surrounding the nucleus and organelles. This effectively divides the cell into distinct compartments that perform distinct functions. Their DNA is organised into linear chromosomes. The cells that make up the human body, other animals and also plants are eukaryotic.

 

CELL SIZE ans SHAPE

The size of a cell can vary considerably. Some of the smallest recorded living things are single cell organisms with cell sizes as small as 250 nm (nanometre), while a nerve cell in a giraffe may stretch to several meters. The importance of cell size matters due to simple geometry. Basically a cell must transport materials in and out through a membrane.

  • The larger the cell, the smaller the surface area to volume ratio.
  • The smaller the cell, the larger the surface area to volume ratio.

When a cell reaches a certain size, the surface area will not be able to keep up with the needs of the cell and growth will cease.

So how does nature compensate for cells which need to be large such as the giraffe’s nerve cell? There a few different ways to achieve this, the first is to change the shape. Not all cells are spherical in shape, a nerve cell is very long and very thin. This increases the surface area to volume ratio dramatically. Another other way of sustaining a large cell is by including food within the cell. This is common in cells that are going to divide, giving rise to multicellular organisms. As a cell grows it divides into two, then four so on, giving a much larger surface area to ratio.

 

Why You Need This Course?


All living things are made up of cells: animals, plants, and even you!  When you understand cell biology, you have a whole new perspective for understanding life. This can be critical for anyone working with living things, from a gardener right through to a health care professional. It can also help you understand your own self in a whole new way.

If you haven't studied cell biology before, this course could be an eye opener; and at the same time a foundation upon which you can build  knowledge and work opportunities that go way beyond just pure science.
   

 

ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association.

Principal of ACS Distance Education, John Mason, is fellow of the CIH.

Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.


How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
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If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

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We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

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We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
More information is here

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Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
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Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Nicola Stewart

BA(Hons); Dip.Pub; CIM Dip.Marketing; PGCE; Dip.Holistic Aromatherapy; Dip.Reflexology; Dip.Orton-Gillingham Multisensory Language Education; Masters in Education & Professional Studies/Research, PhD (underway)

Nicola worked in publishing before changing direction to teach Anatomy, Physiology and various complementary therapies in the UK’s post-compulsory sector for 16 years. She is the published author of 10 books, plus a range of magazine articles and has also ghost-written across a number of genres. When she is not working for ACS, she provides specialist literacy tuition for children with dyslexia.

Gaynor Hartley

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Megan Cox

Megan has completed a Bachelor of Science (Environmental Conservation) with Honours from Writtle University College, as well as a Master of Science Degree in Countryside Management from Manchester Metropolitan University.

Her experience includes working as a Botanist, Ecologist, Head Gardener, Market Gardener and a Farming and Conservation Officer.

She has worked in various roles in Horticulture, Agriculture and Ecology since 2005. Megan has worked for the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Centre for Environment and Rural Affairs among other organisations in the UK, as well as in Australia and Cambodia.

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