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A breakdown of Molecular and Structural Biology

Students in Mrs. Tomlin's Molecular and Structural Biology class, performing a lab to determine how enzyme activity is affected by heat. Photo courtesy of Normal West Science Department.

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Students in Mrs. Tomlin's Molecular and Structural Biology class, performing a lab to determine how enzyme activity is affected by heat. Photo courtesy of Normal West Science Department.

Ariana South, Staff Reporter

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At West, students can choose multiple science classes to take to fill their credits. Although beyond the required biology and chemistry, most people choose not to continue with science. 

For those who do choose to continue however, a popular choice is a class called Molecular and Structural Biology. The class is taught by science teachers Amanda Long and Lisa Tomlin.

“Prior to being called Molecular and Structural Biology, the class was called Biology II,” said Tomlin, “I taught that for about fifteen years before I started teaching this class five years ago.”

As the class is a full year long, the sections are split into even parts. During the first semester, students study the molecular portion of the class. They study cells and how they work throughout the body, as well as apply genetics and how they affect students. A well known project of the unit is the raising and mating of fruit flies to focus on genetics

“I loved mating fruit flies first semester,” said senior Stephanie Reinhart. “Everyone in my class had a lot of fun and got really into it.”

Second semester students study the structure of cells. During this, they learn the anatomy and physiology of the human body. They study each system within the body and study them in detail. A popular project in this unit is the multiple labs students do to diagnose a patient  by the end of the semester.

“I’m excited to diagnose people,” said junior Alyna Thompson. “It’s going to be interesting to learn about how doctors would diagnose someone through a sample.”

On average there are 65 students that sign up for the class, and the numbers are divided between Long and Tomlin.

“I love my Molecular kids,” said Mrs. Long. “They all have this passion for learning that I don’t see with many other students.”

“We really have fun in the class,” said Alyna Thompson. “I recommend this class for whoever wants to go into the doctoral field.”

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