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Personal Collection Detail View

Biology Classics

by Cathy Swift
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This is a collection of the MERLOT Biology Classics winners from 2002 onward.

Authorized users only:


DNA from the Beginning

Added 03/24/2011
From Gregor Mendel to the Human Genome Project, explore and understand the world of DNA, genes, and heredity, the basic building blocks of life on Earth. Key concepts are thoroughly explained through detailed descriptions and animations, image galleries, video interviews, biographies, relevant links, and interactive review problems. Cutting edge web design and ease of navigation also help to make this site the perfect resource for teachers, students, and anyone else with a desire to understand genetics.

Protein Explorer

Added 03/24/2011
The Protein Explorer has revolutionized the teaching of biology at a molecular level. This site welcomes students to explore molecules visually in ways that had previously been only abstract concepts. Students can view and manipulate 3-D images of biological molecules from any computer with Internet access, allowing them to study any time, any place, in small groups or independently.

Plants in Motion

Added 03/24/2011
Watch plants do amazing things. Learn some interesting facts while you are at it! Time lapse movies of plant growth from germination to flowering, including tropic responses, Nastic movement and circadian rhythms.

Water on the Web

Added 03/24/2011
This site provides an extensive list of materials, lessons, and data sets for examining a wide range of limnological questions. The student section offers handouts and directions for investigating freshwater systems. Real time data on various water quality parameters from Minnesota lakes is a central feature of the site. Data can be viewed as HTML or Excel files.


Added 03/24/2011
“Evolution” is the companion site to the eight-part PBS documentary on Evolution. The site contains multimedia previews of each of the shows in the series as well as interactive tutorials/exercises related to the theme of each show. The eight themes are Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, Great Transformations, Extinction!, The Evolutionary Arms Race, Why Sex, The Mind’s Big Bang, and What About God? In addition, the site contains an “Evolution Library” containing many different types of web-based materials that support the exploration of this topic. Three different paths can be followed: one on the scientific process, one on evolutionary theory and one on human evolution. This site was also reviewed by the Teacher Education Editorial Board and received the highest ratings possible.

Connecting Concepts: Natural Selection 3: Microevolution: Evolution in a Population

Added 03/24/2011
Students play the role of predators on moths on a tree trunk. Then, they play the role of biologist, analyzing the changing gene frequencies of the moth population and determining if the population evolved over three generations. Students will: 1) collect data by “eating” moths; 2) calculate gene frequencies for each phenotype over three generations; 3) interpret graphs of data their data to determine if microevolution occurred; and 4) explain how selection acts on populations.

The Biology Project: Cell Biology

Added 03/24/2011
The Biology Project takes the novel approach of first asking the students questions - if the student’s answer to a question is incorrect the student then gets a tutorial that uses text and graphics to explain the concept that was being assessed. The eight modules at this site cover a range of important biological subjects with good assessment questions and excellent tutorials.

The Virtual Transgenic Fly Lab

Added 03/24/2011
The virtual lab allows students to explore the techniques used to make transgenic flies. Transgenic organisms, which contain DNA that is inserted experimentally, are used to study many biological processes. In this lab, students create a transgenic fly to study circadian rhythms.

Biological animations and tutorials

Added 03/24/2011
This site has numerous animations covering the common topics of an introductory Biology course including: mitosis, meiosis, evolution of organelles, kidney, reflex arcs, stem cells, protein structure, lac operon, independent assortment, moss life cycle, HIV, The Meselson-Stahl Experiment, photosynthesis, in vitro fertilization, Independent Assortment and Gamete Diversity, gel electrophoresis, DNA chips, pregnancy tests, vesicle budding and fusing, and electron transport

The eSkeletons Project

Added 03/28/2011
The eSkeletons Project is a dynamic website with complete anatomical skeletons of the human and baboon (with the gorilla skeleton to be added) that allows for comparisons and identification of structures in all planes of view. It is extremely well designed and laid out clearly, concisely and attractively. There is information for all levels of students beginning with an outstanding introductory glossary, complete with visuals, and advancing to upper level quizzes, complete with answers. This website fosters great problem solving skills and it has exceptional graphics. The user needs to create an account in order to take the self test. Some areas are still under construction and this is clearly indicated.

Cells Alive!

Added 11/30/2012

This site provides information about cell components (such as cell wall, cell membrane, nucleus, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, cytoskeleton, cytosol, mitochondrion, chloroplast, peroxisome, lysosome, vacuole, etc.) and cell division (meiosis, and mitosis), as well as beautiful images in cell biology.


Virtual Labs

Added 04/26/2013

Virtual Labs project is an interactive and simulation based teaching approach for human physiology. Cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, renal, respiratory and visual systems are covered in detail. Other topics in physiology include acid-base maintenance and sleep physiology. Sections on general anatomy and cranial nerves are also presented. Each section begins with a review of related anatomy topic and the physiological concepts are further built on those concepts. The modules are self-contained and are interactive and engaging for the learner. The site contains very good descriptions, images, animations, simulations, games, and quizzes. This is an excellent interactive site to learn some very difficult topics in physiology.

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