You are here: Home Undergraduate Portal Academic Planning Resources Syllabi BIOL 472 Markle

BIOL 472 Markle

Main Content

BIOL 472 - Mammalian Physiology


Ronald A. Markle, Ph. D.      Spring 2014, schd. #198922, Section 001;  Jan. 14th – May 1st

Professor of Biology              Tues/Thurs  11:15 a.m. – 12:30p.m. 

Office: 122 Ritenour Bldg.          Classroom: 22 Diecke Bldg.

Required Text: 

Human Physiology. An Integrated Approach. 6th edition, by Dee U. Silverthorn. Pearson/Benjamin Cummings, 2013.  One (1) copy is on reserve at Pattee, and separately, two copies of the Interactive Physiology CD-ROM.  Can I use an older edition?  Not recommended.  The 6th edition is the selected edition; use an earlier one at your own discretion.


Suggested helpful supplements:

• Ganong’s Review of Medical Physiology. 23rd or 24th Edition by Kim Barrett, Susan Barman, Scott Boitano and Heddwen Brooks. Lange Medical Books/McGraw Hill, Medical Publishing Division, 2010/ 2012, respectively.

• You should own a medical dictionary.  For example:  Mosby's Pocket Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing & Health Professions, 7th Edition, 2013.


General Information:

 Biology 472 is a 3-credit hour lecture course specifically designed to cover fundamental mammalian physiology with special emphasis on humans for advanced undergraduate and graduate students studying life sciences.  The course builds upon principles covered in previous biology, chemistry and physics courses. The goal is that students develop a working knowledge of mammalian physiology with particular reference to humans and selected disease conditions.


Science Times section of The New York Times:  

When you are out of college, regular reading in your discipline will be essential in your professional life and to be an informed citizen!  No doubt, many students in this class have already become a “go to” person in their family for science questions.  This year we will include a “current readings” component of the Penn State Student Newspaper Readership program.  Daily print copies of The NY Times are available with your student ID card at no charge at distribution boxes around campus.  Primarily drawing from the Tuesday Science Times section, selected articles relevant to our class will be identified and announced in class and on Angel as “assigned reading.”   A few questions from assigned current readings will be included on quizzes and/or exams. 


Electron Access – the following information is provided by our NY Times representative:  New York Times Online Access -  - Go passes allow complimentary, full digital access to The New York Times* for 24 hours on your computer or smartphone.  It's easy to pick-up your daily digital version of The New York Times!  Please see link .  For Penn State students only: Simply register with your Penn State email address and create your user password to claim a Academic Pass and receive access.  If you have any access questions, your contact person is: 

Christine Patterson,  Education Account Manager, Publishers Circulation Fulfillment, Inc.

(Office) 215.675.6927   (Cell) 267.980.5013  (Fax) 443.470.7962


Course Objectives:

 This instructor has two primary objectives. The first is for every student to gain a working knowledge and understanding of basic physiological principles. The second is to apply these principles to problem solving situations as occur, for example, in acid-base disturbances, vascular dysfunction, renal failure, endocrine imbalances and others. The end point of both objectives is to gain a mechanistic understanding of systemic physiology that students can build upon in their future activities.



 The exams will emphasize in-class coverage of the topic blocks plus assigned readings, handouts, any out-of-class study materials plus the Silverthorn text.  The final course grade will be determined by totaling raw scores on three (3) exams, with 60 questions each (one point per question); four (4) quizzes of 5 points each administered via ANGEL;  plus an 80 point Final Exam.  If point totals change, the same percentages in the grading scale will be applied to final totals.  The latter three exams will be inherently cumulative – topics inherently build on earlier ones.  Exams may consist of integrative multiple choice and/or short answer questions; graph interpretation, figure identification & labeling; problem solving and analysis of hypothetical data may be included. No calculators will be permitted during exams.  If there is any handwritten work, it must be legible, coherent and grammatically correct for fullest possible credit. 

**Please note now:  there are no "extra credit" exercises in this course and there will not be any make-up quizzes. The grading scale appears later in the syllabus. 


Attendance and Notes:

 Your lecture notes and class handouts serve as your “study guide”.  Class attendance is not taken.  It is recommended and assumed that students attend all classes.  Students are responsible for all course material, including handouts, and all announcements given in each class and transmitted via ANGEL.  For a missed handout, first check on ANGEL.  If you miss a class, obtain the class notes from a classmate.  Minor changes of dates of lecture topics and exams could occur and such changes will be announced in class.  EXAM days:  If a student must miss an exam, a reasonable and honest excuse must be presented for approval by the course professor prior to the exam.  Desiring more study time; having more than one exam the same day are not supported reasons.  The instructor reserves the right to require verification of the reason for missing an exam. 


• Some BIOL 472 classroom policies for classroom courtesy and important dates (verify via Registrar’s Office):  

1.  Cell phones, etc. off/ thank you. 

2.  On exam days: bring your PSU photo ID, all electronics off and stowed away; and test day seats may be assigned. 

3.  Late drop begins January 23rd and the late drop deadline is April 11th.

4.  Final Exam Conflict filing period:  February 17th – March 9th and the Withdrawal deadline (from all classes) is May 2nd. 


Emergencies happen:  At our discretion, we may require you to verify an “emergency” that impacts class administration such as test dates, extended absences, etc.


Class assistance: Teaching Assistants will be available with regular hours to answer questions, hold pre-exam meetings & oversee general help with course material. Details for Marie Noah and  Mihir Sheth will be announced  in class as their schedules become final.


Email to your instructors:  If you email your professor or TAs please give your first and last names and have “BIOL 472” in the subject line.  This outstanding PSU student production for ENGL 202 is well worth 7 minutes of your time:  


Any changes to the syllabus, if they arise, will be announced at class.

**Quiz dates will be announced ahead of time (not “pop” quizzes) along with the open time on Angel to take the quiz.**


Planned Sequence of Topics and Exam Dates:                                                           Relevant Silverthorn, 6th Ed. Chapters

Topic Block 1:

• Prerequisite course topics, important refreshers, anatomical terms (inside back cover)                     1 – 4, appendices B & C

• Quick recap on cells & classic tissue types                                                                                                   3

• Membrane transport principles/active and passive, homeostasis                                                           5, 6                                        

The End-of-Chapter Summaries for chapters 1 – 6 are assigned reading; not covered with class time                                            


• Excitable Tissues: neurons, electrical potentials (graded and action),                                                    8, 9, 11

synapses, reflexes, autonomic nervous system, other systemic

aspects of the CNS and PNS nervous system.

Physiology of special senses - selected example(s).                                                                                      10

Exam 1 planned for: Thursday, February 6th


Topic Block 2: (may include aspects of exercise physiology as covered in chapter 25)  

• Excitable tissue - muscle, types, tonus, basics of neuromuscular control                                              12, 13

• CV system: heart as a pump, blood pressure and flow, capillary dynamics                                         14, 15


• Blood as a fluid tissue,  including hemostasis                                                                                             16

Exam 2 planned for:  Tuesday March 4th   


Topic Block 3:

• Immune system introduction                                                                                                                         24

• Respiratory apparatus: ventilation, gas transport & exchange                                                                               17, 18

• Renal-excretory system and homeostatic balance of the internal environment.                                                 19, 20

• Temperature Regulation.                                                                                                                                Parts of 22 & 25

Exam 3 planned for:  Tuesday, April 8th 


Last topics for Topic Block 4:

• Classic hormone regulation/basic endocrinology, and control                                                                                7, parts of 20, 22 & 23

 of mineral balance, water balance, growth, endocrine pancreas and others.                                                                        

• Reproductive physiology/endocrinology                                                                                                     26

• Alimentary canal/physiology of the gastrointestinal system                                                                   21

and its accessory organs.


Final Exam: Comprehensive and scheduled by the Registrar in the week of May 5th – 10th.

“Final Exam Conflict” filing period with the Registrar (see below):  February 17 – March 9th.

We expect our final exam will be assigned to a different room by the Registrar.


Do not make your exit travel plans prematurely!


Grade Assignment:

The plan for assigning final letter grades is below:

A   280 – 259 points            B  242 – 231 pts                  C 214 – 195 pts

A-  258 – 251 pts                 B- 230 – 223 pts                  D 194 – 167 pts

B+ 250 – 243 pts                  C+ 222 – 215 pts                  F  less than 167 pts


* The instructor reserves the right to make minor adjustments to the grade scale. 


• Academic Integrity: University policy (#49-20) describes academic integrity as the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarizing, fabricating of information or citations, facilitating acts of academic dishonesty by others, having unauthorized possession of examinations, submitting work of another person or work previously used without informing the instructor, or tampering with the academic work of other students. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated in this course. This instructor will recommend to the Dean of the Eberly College the dismissal from Penn State of a student for any form of academic dishonesty.


Notification items


Office for Disability Services:

“Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. If you have a disability-related need for reasonable academic adjustments in this course, contact the Office for Disability Services (ODS) at 814-863-1807 (V/TTY). For further information regarding ODS, please visit the Office for Disability Services Web site (

In order to receive consideration for course accommodations, you must contact ODS and provide documentation (see the documentation guidelines at If the documentation supports the need for academic adjustments, ODS will provide a letter identifying appropriate academic adjustments. Please share this letter and discuss the adjustments with your instructor as early in the course as possible. You must contact ODS and request academic adjustment letters at the beginning of each semester.”


Conflict Final Exams:

An overload conflict occurs when three or more final exams are scheduled on any one calendar day or in three consecutive examination periods. There are six exam periods per day: 8:00-9:50, 10:10-noon, 12:20-2:10, 2:30-4:20, 4:40-6:30, and 6:50-8:40. For example, a student would have an overload conflict if he/she has a final scheduled at 4:40-6:30, 6:50-8:40, and at 8:00-9:50 the next morning.


For students at University Park, overload conflicts are noted on their personalized final exam schedules. Students who have an overload conflict may elect to take the exams when scheduled or may use eLion to file for a conflict exam, in which case one of the exams will be moved to another day. The Registrar's office determines which exam will be moved. When the exam is rescheduled, the student will receive an e-mail notification of the change, and the change will be reflected on the student's final exam schedule.


The final exam conflict filing period is three weeks long. No conflicts may be filed after the last day of the final exam conflict filing period. If a student with a conflict mistakenly does not file for a conflict exam during this period, he/she should try to resolve the conflict with the course instructor. A student who changes his/her schedule (e.g., late add, section change) after the final exam conflict filing period will receive an e-mail telling them to check their exam schedule. If the change has created a conflict, the student is responsible for resolving the conflict with the instructor.


The conflict final examination procedure is described in the Academic Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual, F-3.