Crash Course: Biology

Crash Course: Biology

Ratings: 8.63/10 from 54 users.

Crash Course: BiologyAnd thus begins the most revolutionary biology course in history. Come and learn about covalent, ionic, and hydrogen bonds. What about electron orbitals, the octet rule, and what does it all have to do with a mad man named Gilbert Lewis? It's all contained within.

The molecules that make up every living thing - carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins - and how we find them in our environment and in the food that we eat.

The city of Eukaryopolis - the animal cell that is responsible for all the cool things that happen in our bodies.

How cells regulate their contents and communicate with one another via mechanisms within the cell membrane.

Why plants are so freaking amazing - discussing their evolution, and how their cells are both similar to & different from animal cells.

The "economy" of cellular respiration and the various processes whereby our bodies create energy in the form of ATP.

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25 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Tom Carberry

    Watching the first couple of minutes of the second video, I think an orgy image would make the image of water hydrogen bonds more memorable. The molecules cohere in an orgy of attraction between the negative oxygen and positive hydrogen.

  2. Tom Carberry

    I enjoyed the video. Hank obviously has read some memory books or watched some memory videos, because he knows that sex images create memories. If you don't get anything else out of the video other than carbon's promiscuity, you got more than most people got out of high school chemistry.

  3. Ahsan Shahzad

    thank you so much. I was looking for this video perhaps. Because emm
    not from the field of biology. i am mechanical engineer but want to
    learn about all other subjects and similar is biology so that at least i
    am not blind when there comes a biology...

    1. Tom Carberry

      "so that at least i am not blind when there comes a biology."

      We all remain mostly blind to things around us, despite the enormous wonders of modern technology. Our societies have made us into atomized individuals, concentrating only on ourselves and our own fields, and ignoring so much wonder around us.

      I would like to see the internet become like a wonderful program against illiteracy that Italy had during my childhood there, called "Non e mai troppo tardi" or "it is never too late," in which they used their new and only TV station to broadcast a daily show in teaching adults how to read and write. Millions watched it, including the completely literate, like my family.

      Knowledge can free people from the horrors of today's world.

  4. simonmclean

    is or will there be videos for maths and physics?

  5. Isah Secret

    My question is, what happen to the beer I had in the refrigerator?

  6. wisedonkey

    I found the presentation fun, maybe not James Burke fun but, a good reminder of basic sciences in a bit of humorious manner.

  7. Luyang Han

    For my point of view the biology part is much more irritating than history. Personally I think making fun of history is interesting and sometimes illuminating but making fun of natural science really does not make any sense. Any by all means, to study natural science in general is NOT to accept facts, but to know why it works (theory) and how it is proven (experiments), i.e. following the scientific method. And to a certain degree, applying scientific method requires questioning intuition. Just pouring facts and say 'accept and remember this' is exactly how science should not be.

    1. Eric Abram

      True, but im sure everything he talks about in this video has been proven by experiments anyways. If every single student did every experiment for every fact learned, then progress would be very slow.

  8. Glen Grehan

    Intolerable presenting style. Appears to be meandering bullshit. Hard to take anything in. Must be for kids

    1. Toshak101

      Comments section appears to be for douches.

  9. SFXkilla

    I like this series If its too fast you can do like the kid said and rewatch the parts you miss. It is kinda technical so i missed some of the procecces and had to go back but i found it facinating and it helped me fill in some gaps in something I was thinking about

    1. Tom Carberry

      You have learned an essential feature of remembering and learning -- if you didn't understand something, go back and listen again, and if you still don't understand it, inquire further.

      Nothing defeats learning more than proceeding without having learned the essential foundations for the next step. You can't learn calculus until you learn that 2 and 2 equals 3.

    2. Tom Carberry

      Or maybe 4, I can't remember.

  10. rljp

    was really interested in the subjects but the instruction is not based on how many people learn. It is a crash course for geniuses or it is a nice refresher for people who took Chem in high school. I got into commerce and so am not incapable of learning but this is over the top and only a select group will walk away learning anything of substance. Every teacher needs to understand not everyone learns the same way. Those are the best teachers

  11. Max B.F.

    Not sure this is a good way to teach (learning subject), more like a fast way to tell people what "I" know about the subject. ("I" being the narator). For someone already studying that subject, must be intertaning, fun and good reminder of what they have learned. I'm not at school, still i consider myself intelligent, and love science documentaries so muchs! Science becoming a passion. Watch about 300 of them on this site, This is one of the few doc.
    I did not liked.

    Maybe using those fast 12 minutes to explain a "specific" thing like ex.: "octet rules", i would of learn one thing at least; how octet rules works :D

    I might seem unintelligent in my comentaries, but i know my brain is able to assimilate enough information to build my own theories and believes witch might be more accurate then the one already existing (what you learn in school)

    Hear, I'm living in a french country with french speaking people, but still I was able to somehow learn English without anyone teaching me how, just by listening reading watching. That guy could of teach me more in that 12min, just by doing a simple bio experiment and explaining what happened. :d

    Sorry for my opinion :D
    p.s.: my first post... and a bad commentarie :S
    don't be cruel with me

    -Monsieur Qc-

    1. wald0

      I agree that the series moves too fast. That said there isn't much to explain about the octet rule other than what he said. The octet rule is a chemical rule of thumb that states all atoms having an atomic number less than twenty tend to bond with other atoms in such a way that all atoms involved end up with eight electrons in there outer or valence shell. This is why when you draw a lewis dot diagram you always start by placing eight electrons around the most electro negative atom being considered, which is the one closest to fluorine on the periodic table. Then you attempt to distribute the remaining atoms and there electrons in such a way that all atoms involved end up with eight electrons around them as well. To get this right you have to know the rules for which electrons you can count for which atom and the rules for creating bonds. For instance in the case of carbon dioxide, carbon is the most electro negative so we place it at the center and then distribute eight of the 16 electrons around it. We have 16 electrons because oxygen has 6 in its outer shell and there are two oxygens involved, so thats twelve. Then we add the four electrons from carbon's outer shell to get 16. Now place one oxygen on both sides of the carbon and distribute the ramining 8 electrons around them, four to each one. Now we move the two electrons from the top and bottom of our carbon into the bonds with the oxygen, to maximize bonds. Now we have the lewis dot structure done and if you count the electrons surounding each atom they will add up to eight, when we are counting for the octet rule all electrons are counted even if they originally belonged to another atom. So we see that oxygen has two closed pairs of electrons and then four bonding it to the carbon, which adds up to eight. The carbon in the center has four on each side bonding it to the oxygen, which also adds up to eight. Whats more our bonds are maximized and each atom still has its original valence count as well, because when we count valence for each individual atom bonding pairs of electrons only count as one. So oxygen has its two free pairs and then two of the four electrons bonding it to the carbon, which adds up to 6 which if you'll remember we said was its original valence count in the first place. The carbon in the center gets two of the four on each side, which adds up to 4- its original valence count. This by the way is why we can't very easily break the bonds between carbon and oxygen in order to break down carbon dioxide into its harmless constituents, carbon and oxygen. Because it is double bonded, which takes large amounts energy to overcome. Because we currently produce that energy via fossil fuels we would end up with more carbon dioxide than what we broke down in the end, which of course is a net increase in carbon dioxide.

    2. Tom Carberry

      Your obvious prior knowledge of the subject proved Max's point. Once you get a strong grasp on a subject, it becomes hard to see why others can't pick it right up.

      It gives a quick overview or refresher, not a true learning experience. But that doesn't mean people shouldn't watch such videos. Much better than TV reruns or even new shows.

  12. KooKookaChoo

    I love this series! I personally don't think it goes too fast, but then again I talk a lot and can really get going myself.... but I do find it completely entertaining and accurate -- the best combo, which for some reason always makes me brain-crush on the presenters....anyway....


    I am a biologist who has physicist (and chemist) envy! (to quote Richard Dawkins) I think it's because I find biological concepts and theories fluff in comparison. I know there are more difficult subjects than others in bio (genetics vs. ecology) but they are all intertwined and what makes them difficult is the amount of physical science involved (i.e. the amount of reliance on the laws and theories that make biology work at that level) -- the actual biological concepts are pretty obvious (intuitive as you said).

    I asked a chemistry professor what the difference was between those in biology and those in chemistry, and she said it was about being able to think abstractly. Biology is easy because you just need to know a few basics and look around you for examples. The physical sciences require you to really think outside the box of what we see and feel to understand what we see and feel (did that make sense??? see, this is why I am a biologist! lol) -- the idea that the toughest object on earth is made up of stuff that never touches -- you don't get that in bio! lol -- but I LOVE quantum physics and am trying to learn as much as I can.... even though it hurts my brain....

    1. wald0

      Well said!! That's exactly what I mean by saying biology is much more intuitive than chemistry or physics, for the most part. Why, because most biological processes take place on the same level of perception we evolved to understand, the macro level between relativity and quantum mechanics. Of course this isn't true of all biological functions, but it is of many. Once you get into the operations inside of an individual cell I would imagine this changes. The same can be said for the biological processes taking place within the human brain. There is now a lot of evidence to suggest that quantum mechanical actions within the brain produce consciousness. I wonder if you, as a biologist, have any opinion on this research. I would be fascinated to hear it if so, thanks for your reply.

    2. Guest

      You say: "...That's exactly what I mean by saying biology is much more intuitive than chemistry or physics, for the most part."

      Somehow i get the impression KookooKaChoo is saying the opposite.

      She says:..."Biology is easy because you just need to know a few basics and look around you for examples. The physical sciences require you to really think outside the box..."

      You can blame my French or my lack of biology, physics and chemistry classes.
      Both of you got my respect in those branches.


    3. wald0

      Actually KOOKOOKACHOO agreed with me in exact terms, she says, "...the actual biological concepts are pretty obvious (intuitive as you said)". She also says that what makes it difficult are the laws and theories that make it all work, which come from physics and chemistry. Don't get me wrong, I am not in any way belittling the field of biology. One of my biggest heroes is and has always been Richard Dawkins, a famous biologist. It is a very interesting and necessary field that I am sure is just as complex and inspiring as physics or chemistry. But I would not say that it is one order of complexity higher than chemistry or physics, only that it is more inclusive. Meaning one need know at least some basics about all three to be succesfull in biology.

    4. KooKookaChoo

      I sure did! I was trying to say (probably long-windedly) that bio is based on chem and physics, you cannot understand bio without at least a rudimentary understanding of them -- to really understand bio you need a pretty good grasp on these topics, which tends to be a struggle for biologists because the concepts are more abstract than in bio. This is why EVERY intro bio text book, and THIS awesome series, start off the same -- physics and chem!

      The only part that make biology a difficult subject is how much chem and physics you need to know in order to understand the way they influence bio at that level
      e.g. genetics is the science of our dna and at that molecular level the laws of physics determines how chemical bonding will occur and so chem and physics are integral to that discipline -- ecology is how animals survive and interact in their environments, so it is a much more macroscopic level and the laws of the physical sciences don't apply as much (although they do in a round-about way because your genes determine your ability to succeed... blah blah blah)

      I think when he says bio is one level of complexity higher than chemistry, he is saying that you cannot have bio without it and you cannot have chem without physics -- I don't think it refers to their relative importance, but more a hierarchy of knowledge where physics is first and chem is next.

      And to answer your question about quantum physics and the brain -- I have only heard a little bit on this and I am fascinated by the implications, but sadly I don't really know anything about it -- we could help each other out though, if you find anything interesting about it let me know and I promise to do the same!! co-operative knowledge makes the world go 'round! :)

      Az! how's it going? it's been quiet on here without you! and you changed your bright avatar, I almost missed you! Where is everyone?

      Ah man, this ended being long too -- my epic struggle with word-economy continues...

  13. wald0

    Better than the history series but, still a little hyper and rushed. That's the whole point though I think, thats why they called it crash course. They did a great job explaining hydrogen bonding, covalent and ionic bonding, and the nature of carbon in organic chemistry- very important stuff if you hope to understand bio-chemistry, which is a huge part of biology. I am not sure that I agree that chemistry is one level of complexity lower than biology but, I am a chemist so that is to be expected I suppose. Really the two are apples and oranges so to speak, one is just as complex as the other in different ways. Chemistry is much less intuitive than biology for instance. That said one must know some bio-chem to understand biology yet one need know nothing of biology to understand chemistry, so in that respect I suppose it is a more inclusive field. Chemistry is very inclusive of physics so I suppose in an indirect way physics is also part of biology. I guess it is a pretty demanding field when you really think about it, it makes me think even more highly of people like Richard dawkins.

  14. Matthew Criuis

    Woooot! Crash Course rocks hard! Lovin it!