Bio 109 Genetics and Biotechnology in Society
Jo Wen Wu, Ph.D., Fullerton College

Contact Information

Jo Wu, Ph.D.
Division of Natural Sciences,
Fullerton College
321 East Chapman Ave,
Fullerton, CA 92832-2095.

VoiceMail: (714) 992-7459
Office: 411-11

Summer 2019 Courses:

  • Bio 109 Genetics & Biotechnology in Society - Online
  • Bio 191 Biotech A: Basic Lab Skills - Hybrid
    • MTWR 1 - 5 pm in Room 426

Fall 2019 Courses:

  • Bio 100: Principles of Biology - Hybrid
    • Tue 1 pm - 2:45 pm
  • Bio 109 Genetics & Biotechnology in Society - Online
  • Bio 272: Cellular & Molecular Biology Lecture/Lab
    • Mon Wed 10 am - 1 pm in Room 426
    • Mon Wed 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm in Room 426
    • Mon Wed 6:00 pm - 9:10 pm in Room 426

Summer 2019 Office Hours:

Study Sessions: Mon 5 - 6 pm in room 426
Appointments: as scheduled

Fall 2019 Office Hours:

272 S13 Syllabus
Study Sessions: 
  • Mon 4:30 - 5:30 pm in room 426
Private Appointments


  • Download Syllabus (pdf)In order to pass the course, a 65% minimum average grade for two proctored exams are required.  If you do not live in Orange County, you must make arrangements for the proctored exams in your area early.

    Registered students must access the Bio 109 course materials inside Canvas server before 11:59 pm Tuesday June 17, to stay in the course. If you are having trouble with password to access Canvas, contact the school technical support (,  714-992-7111). Also write email to  to tell me that you are trying to access the course, but having a problem, so that I do not drop you and give your spot to someone on the wait list..

  • If you are trying to add, get on the official waitlist on MyGateway.  You will need to check the status regularly for an available spot.  If you miss your registration window, then you will go to the bottom of the wait list. Usually there is turnover the week before term and during the first week of term.


  • This introductory survey course will cover the basic concepts of heredity and current advances in biotechnology - such as cloning, recombinant DNA technology, DNA fingerprinting and gene therapy. This course will emphasize the applications, social consequences and ethical implications of biotechnology in medicine and agriculture. 3 lecture semester units. Non-majors course. (Degree Credit) (CSU, UC)


Upon successful completion of BIOL 109 F, Genetics and Biotechnology in Society, the student will be able to:

  • Analyze chromosomal and gene inheritance patterns and probabilities, using Punnett squares and pedigree analysis.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the molecular processes of DNA replication, transcription, and translation, and how these processes are managed in cells.
  • Explain how biotechnology is used for medicinal biologics, gene therapy, and genetically modified organisms.


  • You need to be able to read the textbook, understand details, do basic algebra, use internet, send email, send attachments, download files, and post on electronic discussion forum.
  • Check for weekly class emails. Keep a detailed personal calendar, plan out your study time and deadlines.
  • Although the course is somewhat flexible, you must enter the course server and follow the assignment deadlines.
  • If you do not want to participate in the course, then you should withdraw officially yourself on MyGateway by July 7.


  • This is considered a non-majors course (with no prerequisites), though biology majors are certainly welcome. It will be an intense class ... and requires LOTS of reading, time, internet usage and self-motivation! Online courses usually are harder and require MORE time than campus courses, but have the advantages of convenience and flexibility.

  • This entire class can be taken almost entirely online and from your home (but you are required to take TWO proctored exams on campus or approved college/military testing center). The lecture notes, quizzes, activities, web tutorials, discussion forums, and exams will be accessed via internet. You are required to read the textbook and additional readings from the internet.

  • During the first half of the course, we will survey many common genetic diseases, their inheritance patterns, and resources for medical information. During the second half of the course, we will explore the basics of molecular biology, current biotechnological advances and associated ethical problems for society.

  • After completing and passing the course, you should be able to understand how certain diseases are transmitted in your family and many of the biotechnology updates in future public news releases. It will not be an easy class, but it will be a very interesting course (I am biased, of course)!


  • ADVANTAGES of the online course: You will be able to work at your own pace and during any hour at your convenience - but you are responsible for meeting all course deadlines. You will need to interact with the instructor and classmates via electronic mail and discussion forums (bulletin boards). Instructor will attempt to answer all student questions via email or webchat sessions.

  • DISADVANTAGES of the online course: Although I may send you reminder emails about the course, this course requires much independence, self-motivation, responsibility and time-management skills! YOU need to remember to check deadlines, check emails, read the textbook, do activities, take quizzes and exams, and plan your study schedule. o Do not miss the deadlines!! This is the biggest problem for online students. Points are awarded for assignments that are submitted by the deadline (Pacific Time). Do not procrastinate!! Genetics is definitely NOT a course that you can procrastinate and wait until the last day to cram all the readings for 5 chapters and expect to do well on the exam.


    1.     Be sure that your correct email address is listed as the PREFERRED email address on MyGateway. Look for class emails (subject line will always start “Bio 109”).
    2.     Go to Canvas. Log in with your FC ID (without @) and password for MyGateway.
    3.     Click on course “Bio 109”. Click “Modules” link and “Start Here” folder.
    4.     For technical help with Canvas, call 844-600-4948. OR click on the Help icon in your Canvas dashboard to send a message under “Report a Problem.”
    5.     Buy the textbook and start reading according to the Course Calendar (on last page of syllabus).
    6.     Enter “Modules” and “Unit 1” folder to access all of the online puzzle, chapter, tutorial quizzes and exams of Unit 1. Do not miss these deadlines! Once the deadline has passed, the quiz may disappear from view. It is strongly suggested that you learn from your quiz mistakes to study for the exams.
    7.     Enter the link “Grades” to see all of the assignments, deadlines and scores. Each score links to the attempted quiz, so that you can see your mistakes. Learn from these mistakes, so that you do not repeat them on the second attempt of your quizzes.


  1. CANVAS  Learning Management System (course materials, powerpoints, discussions, quizzes, puzzles and gradebook)
  2. CONNECT Access (this gives you the digital textbook and Learn Smart interactives) for Human Genetics: Concepts and Applications, TWELVETH edition by Ricki Lewis, published by McGraw-Hill. ISBN   #9781259937019.   Register for the Connect Access.  You will have two week courtesy access (free) for the ebook. Cost is $85. You can also order the printed loose-leaf book from the publisher for ~$25 with your Connect account.

GRADING SCALE == A > 90%; B > 80%; C > 65%; D > 55%.

I reserve the right to make minor adjustments to assignments. The Summer 2019 Bio 109 course grade is based on 645 points:

  • 2 Proctored Exams (Units 1 and 2) – must attain 65% average for two proctored exams: 100 points x 2 = 200
  • 2 Online Exams (Units 3 and 4):  100 points x 2 = 200
  • 20 best Online Quizzes:  10 pt each x 20 = 200
  • 3 Class Writing Assignments: 15 pt each x 3 = 45
  • Optional Bonus Crossword Puzzles (1 point each, max of 15 bonus points)
  • Optional Proctored Cumulative Final Exam (that can replace a lower unit exam score) (100 pts)