The Purpose of Case Studies in Biology for the Informed Citizen:

Each chapter opens with a rich case study, which sets the stage for the content that will be covered in that chapter. Case studies are real-life examples that demonstrate how understanding biology basics can help you, as students, make informed decisions about important issues and also make connections between biology and other fields of study.

The Scientific Study of Life

Chapter 1. The Nature of Biology
Why Does Biology Matter to You?

Case Study: The “Infidelity Gene”


Chapter 2. The Nature of Science
Reproduction and Inheritance

Chapter 3. Human Development
How Do Cells Make a Person?

Case Study: Unusually Close Sisters


Chapter 4. Inheritance, Genes, and Physical Characteristics
Chapter 5. Cancer
How Can It Be Prevented, Diagnosed, and Treated?

Case Study: Xeroderma pigmentosum


Chapter 6. Reproduction
What “Kind” of Baby Is It?

Case Study: The Fastest Woman on Earth


Chapter 7. Plants, Agriculture, and Genetic Engineering
Can We Create Better Plants and Animals?

Case Study: Golden Rice


Chapter 8. Health Care and the Human Genome
How Will We Use Our New Medical and Genetic Skills?

Case Study: Carrie Buck and the American Eugenics Movement


Chapter 9. Evolution
Chapter 10. The Evolution of Disease
Why Do We Get Sick?

Case Study: Deadly Malaria


Physiology: The Body in Health and Disease

Chapter 11. Homeostasis
Why is it important that the body maintain its internal balance?

Case Study: Max Gilpin


Chapter 12. Circulation and Respiration
What If Your Body Doesn’t Get the Oxygen It Needs?

Case Study: Blood Doping at the Tour de France


Chapter 13: The Nervous System
Does Your Brain Determine Who You Are?

Case Study: The Only Living Man with a Hole in His Head


Chapter 14. Infectious Disease and the Immune System
How Are Invaders Repelled, Evaded, or Killed?

Case Study: The Summer of Sorrow


Chapter 15. Nutrition, Activity, and Wellness
How Can We Live a Healthy Lifestyle?

Case Study: Dying for the “Perfect Body”


Interacting with Nature

Chapter 16. Ecology
How Do We Benefit from a Functional Ecosystem?

Case Study: The Near-Extinction of Kirtland’s Warbler


Chapter 17. Biodiversity and Human Affairs
How Is the Human Race Like a Meteorite?

Case Study: The Discovery of America


Chapter 18. Human Population Growth
How Many People Can a Single Planet Hold?

Case Study:
A Story About Bacteria


This is really engaging!
Gregory Farley
- Chesapeake College

“It serves as a useful and critical first step on the step-by-step journey that the authors have laid out for the chapter … it will draw anyone who reads it into the chapter, because it’s simply an interesting story … Humans love stories …[and] the biology underlying the case study is important in several different ways … [and] the case study is good because it shows the process of science”
Sarah Leupen
- University of Maryland Baltimore County

This is the best part of the chapter.
Sheela Vemu
- Northern Illinois University

I think the case studies are helpful to put the concepts into perspective. It interests the students in the topic and makes them want to read more in the chapter.
Fran Norflus
- Clayton State University

Short and to the point … and is one example to which many can relate to …The idea of chapter opening case studies is excellent. What I liked in this opening case study was … that during the chapter the author returned to the case study and its results several times.
Csengele Barta
- Missouri Western College

I think this is a fantastic way to bring students in … Opening a chapter with a case study is critical!
Michelle Rafacz
- Columbia College Chicago