Biological identification: The principles and practice of identification methods in biology

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Vertebrate Biology 4 Taxonomy, life history, ecology and evolutionary history of vertebrates. Biology of Insects 4 A broad study of the structure and function of this class of over , different species. It includes a study of their morphogenesis, reproduction, behavior and relation to humans. The laboratory work will include at least three field trips on Saturdays in addition to the preparation of classified insects.

Both anatomy and physiology of insects will be covered in the two weekly laboratories. Marine Biology 4 Introduction to general concepts of community ecology, taxonomy and phylogeny, anatomical and physiological adaptations of marine organisms, and their interaction with the physical environment. Emphasis on natural history and identification of marine organisms of the Central California intertidal and sub-tidal environment. Marine Birds and Mammals 4 An introduction to the ecology, behavior, economic importance and conservation of cetaceans, pinnipeds, otters, sirenians, seabirds and shorebirds.

Physical and biological oceanography are considered as they relate to distribution and abundance of marine birds and mammals. Prerequisite: junior standing. Open to non-majors as well as majors. California Flora 4 The identification and classification of flowering plants, gymnosperms, ferns and fern allies as represented in Northern California.

Human Physiology 4 A lecture- and lab-based review of the functions of the major organ systems of vertebrates with emphasis on the human body.


Lab exercises demonstrate basic physiological processes in the human body and emphasize techniques of instrumental data acquisition and data presentation. Credit will not be given if a student has already received credit for BIOL Lab Assistant in Biology 2 or 4 Students attend organizational meetings during which laboratory material is discussed and then assist in the laboratory answering student questions, doing dissections, etc. Attendance at class lectures is recommended and students are expected to take lecture and laboratory examinations. Usually one laboratory meeting per week will earn two units credit; two laboratory meetings per week will earn four units credit.

Genetics 4 Heritable variations and their relation to structure, behavior and function of genetic material. A basic course for students concentrating on biological sciences, medical sciences and liberal arts. Recommended for the sophomore year. Anatomy and Physiology 4 A lecture and laboratory course which covers the structure and function of the major physiological systems of the human body. Intended primarily for students in the Dental Hygiene program. Principles of Immunology 4 A study of the fundamental properties of antigens and antibodies, with an emphasis on the theories of antibody production, tolerance, transplantation immunity, autoimmunity and tumor immunology.

Histology 4 A study of the tissues which comprise the organs of the body. This course is limited to human tissues.

Identifying biologically relevant putative mechanisms in a given phenotype comparison

Thin sections of organs will be studied and their structure related to function. Credit only given once for BIOL or Prerequisites: BIOL, Plant Kingdom 4 Through lectures, laboratories and field trips, students will be introduced to the morphology, reproduction biology and environmental requirements of all major groups of plants. Included will be material bearing on the evolutionary relationships within and between each major group.

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Individual projects are required. Microbiology 4 The biology of microorganisms with emphasis on viruses, bacteria and fungi including techniques of cultivation and identification. Medical Microbiology 4 A survey of microorganisms implicated in human disease; emphasis on characteristics and properties of microorganisms, chiefly bacteria and fungi, responsible for pathogenesis.

These classes are called taxa. Identification is the process of assigning a specimen to a pre-existing taxon. The name of the taxon can then be used as an index to find known information about the taxon, and therefore about the specimen itself e. Alternatively, information about the specimen can be added to the body of knowledge about the taxon.

Biological principles

The science of biological description, classification, and identification is called taxonomy. Both classification and identification must be based on comparative descriptions. The descriptions are framed implicitly or explicitly in terms of a list of characters. A character is a set of states that describe some aspect of the organisms to which the character is to be applied. The number of states may be finite e. Descriptions of taxa or specimens can be represented as a table with each row corresponding to a taxon and each column to a character. The entry in each cell of the table consists of the value or values that the character takes for the taxon.

Entries may be missing if the value is unknown or the character is inapplicable to the taxon.

Emery and Rimoin's Principles and Practice of Medical Genetics

The table is generally called a data matrix. There are many kinds of aids to identification 1. The traditional one, and still the most commonly used, is the diagnostic key , which has been in use for more than years. Table 1 shows the first few lines of a key to the grass genera of the Australian Capital Territory. Each number at the left of the key labels a set of character states.

To identify a specimen, the key user starts at label 1, and selects the character state that best describes the specimen. This state points to another label, or to a taxon name.

Biological identification : the principles and practice of identification methods in biology

In the former case, the states at the new label are examined, and the appropriate one selected. This process is continued until a name is reached. Computers can be used to produce conventional diagnostic keys 2—6. However, they can be more effective aids to identification when used interactively. In a conventional key, a predetermined set of characters must be used to identify a given specimen, whereas, in a well-designed interactive system, characters can be avoided if they are difficult or impossible to use.

Also, an error in the construction or use of a conventional key almost inevitably leads to a wrong identification, whereas an interactive system can be made tolerant of errors, both those in the data matrix and those made by the user. Using an interactive identification system is similar to using a key, in that character states exhibited by the specimen are selected until a name is reached. The differences lie in the flexibility with which characters can be selected, and the other facilities that may be offered to assist the process.

Table 1. Two main approaches have been tried in constructing interactive identification systems: programs which directly use a data matrix 7—24 ; and rule-based expert systems 25— Frame-based expert systems do not seem to have been much used for identification, although Edwards, Morse and Fielding 29 consider that they would be superior to rule-based systems. It is not clear whether frames offer significant advantages over data matrices in this context. Rule-based expert systems are usually designed to mimic the methods of human experts. Expert taxonomists can certainly carry out identifications more quickly and reliably than non-experts, so it would seem logical to try to capture their knowledge and methods for use by others.

Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Forensic Biology by Richard Li. Designed as an accessible introduction to basic scientific principles and their application in professional practice, Forensic Biology provides a concise overview of the field.

Focusing solely on the science behind the forensic analysis of biological evidence, this book highlights the principles, methods, and techniques used in forensic serologic and forensic DNA analysis.

Divided into two areas, the first addresses the identification of biological fluids including blood, semen, and saliva. Chapters instruct on the identification techniques involved in presumptive and confirmatory tests. The second area covers the individualization of biological evidence using forensic DNA techniques. The book demonstrates extraction methods, quantization methods, DNA profiling analysis, and interpretation of results. Each technique introduced in this text is preceded by a brief background of its development and the basic principles that support the technique and its applications.

All methods are discussed in detail and accompanied by schematic illustrations where appropriate.