Thinking About Biology: An Introductory Lab Manual, 6th edition

  • Mimi Bres, 
  • Arnold Weisshaar

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Thinking About Biology: An Introductory Lab Manual provides an extensively class-tested approach to the introductory biology laboratory course. The manual allows you to see how scientists work to solve problems through scientific investigation by learning to ask and answer questions through observations and conducting experiments. The lab manual gives you practical experience in understanding lecture concepts and developing problem-solving skills that lead to success in school and the competitive job market.

The 6th Edition features new and revised activities based on feedback from both students and faculty.

Published by Pearson (July 14th 2021) - Copyright © 2019

ISBN-13: 9780137520909

Subject: Biology

Category: Biology for non-majors


  • Exercise 1 Introduction to the Scientific Method

    • Activity 1 Forming Hypotheses to Solve Problems
    • Activity 2 Testing Hypotheses
    • Activity 3 Interpreting Data
    • Activity 4 Performing an Experiment and Collecting Data
    • Activity 5 Graphing Your Results
    • Activity 6 Interpreting Data Using Simple Statistics

    Exercise 2 Windows to a Microscopic World

    • Activity 1 Learning to Use the Dissecting Microscope
    • Activity 2 Making Observations with the Dissecting Microscope
    • Activity 3 Getting Familiar with the Compound Microscope
    • Activity 4 Parts of the Compound Microscope
    • Activity 5 Learning to Use the Compound Microscope
    • Activity 6 Preparing Temporary Slides - Wet Mounts
    • Activity 7 Using the Microscope to Answer a Question: What Do Aquarium Snails Eat?

    Exercise 3 Functions and Properties of Cells

    • Activity 1 Cellular Organelles
    • Activity 2 Observing Living Cells
    • Activity 3 Amyloplasts in Potato Tubers
    • Activity 4 Stem Cells

    Exercise 4 Movement of Molecules Across Cell Membranes

    • Activity 1 Water Molecules in Motion
    • Activity 2 Diffusion and Osmosis
    • Activity 3 Controls for the Diffusion and Osmosis Experiment
    • Activity 4 Completing the Diffusion and Osmosis Experiment
    • Activity 5 Osmosis in Elodea Cells

    Exercise 5 Investigating Cellular Respiration

    • Activity 1 Do Microorganisms Perform Cellular Respiration?
    • Activity 2 Comparison of Classroom Air with Exhaled Air
    • Activity 3 Effect of Exercise on Carbon Dioxide Production
    • Activity 4 Alternatives to Aerobic Respiration
    • Activity 5 Anaerobic Respiration

    Exercise 6 Photosynthesis

    • Activity 1 Absorption of Carbon Dioxide During Photosynthesis
    • Activity 2 Testing Leaves for Starch
    • Activity 3 Cells of the Leaf Epidermis

    Exercise 7 Organic Molecules and Nutrition

    • Activity 1 Positive and Negative Indicator Tests
    • Activity 2 Testing Food Samples
    • Activity 3 An Embryo in a Peanut Seed
    • Activity 4 Dietary Intake and Good Health

    Exercise 8 Factors that Affect Enzyme Activity

    • Activity 1 Demonstration of Enzyme Activity
    • Activity 2 Enzyme Activity in Food Vacuoles
    • Activity 3 Effect of Environmental Conditions on Protein Structure

    Exercise 9 Introduction to Molecular Genetics

    • Activity 1 Removing DNA From Cells
    • Activity 2 The Basics of DNA Structure
    • Activity 3 Building a Model of DNA
    • Activity 4 Steps of Protein Synthesis
    • Activity 5 Building a Real Protein

    Exercise 10 Mitosis and Asexual Reproduction

    • Activity 1 How Mitosis Works
    • Activity 2 Recognizing the Stages of Mitosis
    • Activity 3 Mitosis - The Real Thing!
    • Activity 4 Estimating the Duration of the Cell Cycle
    • Activity 5 Regeneration
    • Activity 6 Asexual Reproduction: Growing a Plant From a Cutting

    Exercise 11 Connecting Meiosis and Genetics

    • Activity 1 Getting Started: Build a Pair of Chromosomes
    • Activity 2 Homologous Chromosomes Separate in Meiosis to Form Gametes
    • Activity 3 Fertilization: Nature's Equivalent to Rolling the Dice
    • Activity 4 What's Your Baby's Genotype?
    • Activity 5 Genotype Determines Phenotype
    • Activity 6 Passing On Traits
    • Activity 7 Practicing Genetics Problems

    Exercise 12 Human Genetics

    • Activity 1 PTC Tasting
    • Activity 2 X-Linked Traits
    • Activity 3 Codominance and Sickle Cell Disease
    • Activity 4 A Family History of Sickle Cell Disease
    • Activity 5 Codominance and Multiple Alleles

    Exercise 13 Evolution

    • Activity 1 Determining the Age of Rock Layers and Fossils
    • Activity 2 Reconstructing Fossil Evidence
    • Activity 3 Natural Selection

    Exercise 14 Functions of Tissues and Organs

    • Activity 1 Skin: The Outer Protective Layer
    • Activity 2 The Epidermis
    • Activity 3 The Dermis
    • Activity 4 Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
    • Activity 5 Below the Skin (the Hypodermis)
    • Activity 6 Touch Sensitivity

    Exercise 15 The Cardiovascular System

    • Activity 1 Circulation of Blood Around the Body
    • Activity 2 A Closer Look at the Heart
    • Activity 3 Understanding Blood Pressure and Pulse Rate
    • Activity 4 Cardiovascular Disease

    Exercise 16 Introduction to Anatomy: Dissecting the Fetal Pig

    • Activity 1 Getting Started
    • Activity 2 Following Anatomical Directions
    • Activity 3 External Anatomy of the Fetal Pig
    • Activity 4 Dissection of the Mouth
    • Activity 5 Dissection of the Neck
    • Activity 6 Dissection of the Thoracic Cavity
    • Activity 7 Measuring Lung Capacity

    Exercise 17 Organs of the Abdominal Cavity

    • Activity 1 Dissection of the Abdominal Cavity
    • Activity 2 The Urinary System
    • Activity 3 Internal Structure of the Stomach
    • Activity 4 Examining the Small Intestine
    • Activity 5 The Importance of Surface Area
    • Activity 6 Earthworm Locomotion

    Exercise 18 Introduction to Forensic Biology

    • Activity 1 Getting Started
    • Activity 2 Classifying Fingerprint Patterns
    • Activity 3 Analyzing Fingerprint Evidence
    • Activity 4 Blood Typing

    Exercise 19 Biotechnology: DNA Analysis

    • Activity 1 Sources of DNA Evidence
    • Activity 2 Solving a Crime Using RFLP Fingerprints
    • Activity 3 The Use of PCR For STR Analysis
    • Activity 4 Solving a Criminal Case Using STR Evidence
    • Activity 5 Deciding a Paternity Suit Involving STR Analysis
    • Activity 6 DNA Barcodes

    Exercise 20 Using Biotechnology to Assess Ecosystem Damage

    • Activity 1 Exploring Bioluminescence
    • Activity 2 Getting Started
    • Activity 3 Making Accurate Serial Dilutions
    • Activity 4 Preparing Bacterial Samples
    • Activity 5 Testing the Toxicity of Your Chemical

    Exercise 21 Ecosystems

    • Activity 1 Food Chains
    • Activity 2 Loss of Energy in Food Chains
    • Activity 3 Food Chains Interact to Form Food Webs
    • Activity 4 Bioaccumulation

    Exercise 22 Biodiversity and Conservation

    • Activity 1 Value of Biodiversity
    • Activity 2 Commercial Fishing as an Example of Tragedy of the Commons
    • Activity 3 Ecosystem Jenga®

    Exercise 23 Population Ecology

    • Activity 1 Introduction to Sampling - An Ecological Tool
    • Activity 2 Sampling Quadrats to Estimate Population
    • Activity 3 The Mark and Recapture Technique for Estimating Population Size


  1. Game Cards for Exercise
  2. Self Test Answers

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