Skip to Main Content
Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice


OER Course Conversion Projects


SCI 220: The Incredible Living Machine

                The Human Body


                                      OER for SCI 220


Welcome to SCI 220: The Incredible Living Machine: The Human Body. This is a "Zero-cost Textbook" class. You are not required to purchase a textbook. All readings will be available at this website: or on Blackboard.

Course Description

This course offers a contemporary introduction to the structure of the human body and how the body functions to maintain good health as well as fight disease. It explores the human body on all levels - from genetics to the major body systems. Ethical issues on medicine, biotechnology, and bioengineering will also be explored. This course is recommended for students who have had High School biology and/or chemistry course(s). This course is for non-science majors. This course is a "Zero-cost Textbook Course" and the students do not have to purchase a textbook or other materials.

Learning Outcomes

During this course of study, students will:

  1. Gather, interpret, and assess information from a variety of sources and points of view.

    • Interpret student collected and professionally collected data from both laboratory experiments and research journals and assess the information within a larger perspective (e.g. for its predictive capability).

    • Examine epidemiological and toxicological studies of diseases that may affect the major organ systems of the body.

  2. Evaluate evidence and arguments critically or analytically.

    • Critically evaluate biological theories and current issues, including but not limited to: evolution, phylogeny, genetic engineering and biotechnology, and human infectious disease.

    • Recognize the significance of the scientific process in understanding biological theory and research that supports theories.

    • Learn how to draw appropriate scientific conclusions from evidence and experimental data in both scientific research and legal settings.

  3. Produce well-reasoned written or oral arguments using evidence to support conclusions.

    • The thoughtful and systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of data by students will produce evidence to support their conclusions both in the laboratory report, fieldwork reports, and in written research reports.

    • Develop a hypothesis, create a research plan, organize data to reveal important patterns, and draw conclusions based on findings.

    • Develop competence in oral and written forms of scientific communication by researching and presenting scientific studies on disease and/or health topic.

    • Discriminate between scientific and non-scientific resources by describing the basic components of a scientific investigation, and contrast this with non-scientific statements.

  1. Demonstrate how tools of science, mathematics, technology, or formal analysis can be used to analyze problems and develop solutions.

    • Students will practically apply observation and/or measurement in a larger scientific context and thereby assess the validity of the data they collect.

    • Students will statistically analyze scientific data.

    • Investigate properties of living organisms, tissues, systems, genetics, mutations, and drug resistance by using the tools of science.

  2. Articulate and evaluate the empirical evidence supporting a scientific or formal theory.

    • Correctly use basic terminology in biology, chemistry, anatomy, and physiology in order to discuss epidemiology and toxicology studies.

    • Recognize fundamental concepts that support the theory of evolution and our understanding of genetic engineering and biotechnology.

    • Acquire broad background knowledge in the biological sciences by performing laboratory experiments investigating the structure and function of the DNA molecule, enzymes, blood group genetics, and how these are related to understanding scientific theory.

  3. Understand the scientific principles underlying matters of policy or public concern in which science plays a role.

    • Understand the role of creativity in problem solving and the application of scientific principles in gathering and interpreting scientific data.

    • Interpret biological research findings in primary documents and synthesize these findings into how they relate to students’ daily lives.

    •  Interpret biological research findings as published in the popular media and critically evaluate the significance of these findings.

    • Explain and demonstrate comprehension of how issues of social justice converge with scientific research and its implications.