Spring 2015
Course Descriptions and Syllabi for lecture and laboratory components
Updated October 7, 2014

As a parent, you get to be grateful for little things…, like NOT being father of either of these two girls:

Dr. Stan Eisen
Office:  AH 112
Telephone:  901-321-3447

Office Hours:

M:  9 a.m. to 11 a.m.; 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
       WF:  9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Medical Complications of Alcoholism: Slideshow

To the lecture schedule

Course Description for BIOL 103: Alcohol and Drug Abuse

            In this course, we will cover the biological effects of alcohol and drugs on human organ systems, particularly the nervous, digestive, excretory and reproductive systems. We will discuss the psychological and sociological consequences of these effects. The use of drugs in both therapeutic and pathologic situations will be explored. Modalities of recovery will be discussed. This course fulfills the university graduation requirement for a science course with a lab. Three (3) credits, offered in the Spring semester.  For the laboratory component, you must be comfortable with the idea of holding, observing, and dissecting preserved organs and animals, specifically sheep brains, sheep hearts, ox eyes, human brains, and fetal pigs.  You must also be comfortable with the idea of working with live animals, specifically Drosophila melanogaster.

            The lecture class meets MWF 9:00 to 9:50 p.m., while the laboratory sections meet on Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 2:00 to 4:50 p.m. The textbook we will use is Eisen (2011), The Biology of Addiction, and the lab book we will use is Eisen (2011), Laboratory Workbook for BIOL 103,  both available at the bookstore.

Grading in the lecture component will be on the basis of the following:

1)Short, weekly quizzes, usually given in the first 10 minutes on Fridays, covering the previous week’s material.  Collectively, these quizzes will count 1/6 of your final grade;

2) 4 semester exams, each worth 1/6 of your final grade. All exams are comprehensive;

3) A comprehensive final exam scheduled during final exam week, worth 1/6 of your final grade.

Grading in the laboratory component will be on the basis of the following:

    1. 1 laboratory report, worth 1/4 of your final grade.  This laboratory report will pertain to the acute effects of alcohol on the cognitive and equilibrium capabilities of humans exposed to the equivalent of 4 drinks, and on the vascular effects of ethanol on Daphnia.  This lab report is due on the last full day of classes.  You may work in groups up to 4 people in writing this lab report.  All of the members of a particular group will get the same grade. 
    2. Weekly quizzes, collectively counting 1/4 of your final grade;
    3. A Midterm Exam, worth 1/4 of your final grade;
    4. A comprehensive final exam, worth 1/4 of your final grade.

Tests and laboratory reports will be graded on a 4-point scale, and final grades will be given on the basis of the following scale:

            3.50 - 4.00 = A
            2.75 - 3.49 = B
            2.00 - 2.74 = C
            1.00 - 1.99 = D
            <1.00 = F

Some Useful Web Addresses:

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism -


  1. Please DOUBLE-SPACE your laboratory report, and use margin size to 1 inch.
  2. Place a cover sheet at the front of your laboratory report. The cover sheet should have your name, the report title, the course and section numbers centered on the page. PLEASE DO NOT PLACE YOUR LABORATORY REPORT IN A PLASTIC OR OTHER BINDER.

The laboratory report should include the following sections:

    1. An ABSTRACT section, in which you describe in briefest form, the purpose, primary results and conclusions of the research report. By convention, it is 200 words or 3% of the laboratory report, whichever is LESS;
    2. An INTRODUCTION section, in which you provide information pertaining to the problem as it is recognized and in which you discuss background information which would be pertinent to the reader. The purpose, in which you specify the questions to be addressed in THIS lab report, should be in the LAST paragraph of the introduction section;
    3. A MATERIALS AND METHODS section, in which you discuss the organism(s) under study and the experimental protocol in "text" form. PLEASE DO NOT INCLUDE A MATERIALS LIST. If there are several parts to the experiment, each part should be described separately. Briefly describe in the text of your Materials and Methods section the protocol you followed in conducting this experiment;
    4. A RESULTS section, in which you discuss the data from each part of the study in the same sequence as the parts were described in the Materials and Methods section. Use a paragraph to tell the reader what the main point is, and at the end of the sentence, refer to a specific Table or Figure, as in the following: "Seedlings exposed to either .1% or .2% phosphate grew vigorously, but the controls did not (Figure 1)." It is essential to convert or present the data in an understandable format. CHARTS OF RAW DATA ARE NEITHER NECESSARY NOR DESIRABLE!;
    5. A DISCUSSION section, in which you relate the results of your experiment to the general body of knowledge pertinent to this area of research;
    6. A REFERENCES section, in which you list the references used for background information and/or protocol procedures, including your laboratory textbook.   Only journal articles from refereed journals or government agency reports (e.g. NIDA) are permitted.  References to web pages are NOT permitted. 


            The maximum grade is a 4.00 and is a composite of three grades based on spelling grammar, and content.

I. Spelling counts 10% of the total grade. Each different spelling or typographical error will usually result in a point deducted from the maximum. However, if one word is consistently misspelled, it will be deducted only once. Low grades in spelling can be avoided by keeping a dictionary on hand and proofreading your work before you submit it for review.

II. Grammar counts 20% of the total grade. Each grammar error (wrong tense, poor sentence of paragraph structure) will usually result in a point deducted from the maximum. Low grades in grammar can be avoided by proofreading your work before you submit it and by writing practice essays.

III. Content counts 30% of the total grade. The kinds of questions that are considered in evaluating content include the following:

      1. Is your information accurate?
      2. Is your discussion logical?
      3. Did you transform the raw data into a more useful and appropriate format?
      4. Do you adequately support your argument?
      5. Do you adequately correlate and contrast your data to previous experience?
      6. Do you support your conclusions with the appropriate statistical test(s)?

IV.Format counts 40% of the total grade. The kinds of questions that are considered in evaluating format include the following:

        1. Did you follow the appropriate protocol for writing the report?
        2. Are all section of the lab report complete?
        3. Did you transform the data into an appropriate manner?
        4. Did you include the appropriate tables and figures?

You should write your reports as if you were submitting them to the Transactions of the Tennessee Academy of Sciences. I, in turn, will review them as if I were an editor for the journal.


Spelling x 10% = ____________.

Grammar x 20% = ___________.

Content x 30% = ____________.

Format x 40% = _____________.


BIOL 103: Alcohol & Drug Abuse
Spring 2015
Lecture and Lab Schedules
Subject to change

Day/ Date

Topic (Chapter in book)

**Asterisks indicate Moodle resources

That week’s Exercise in Laboratory Manual

M 1/13

Risk factors (1)*

3.  Microscopy

W 1/15

Risk factors, cont’d (1)  

F 1/17

 Basic Neuroanatomy and Physiology, cont’d (2)*

Structure of neurons, and how neurotransmitters work,
Structure of the brain

How drugs work on specific synapses of the brain – 

Neurobiology animations

M 1/20

Martin Luther King Day – No lecture

Martin Luther King Day – no lab

W 1/22

Basic Neuroanatomy and Physiology, cont’d (2):  Simple reflexes

F 1/24

  Basic Neuroanatomy and Physiology, cont’d (2):  Brain structure and function

M 1/27

Basic Neuroanatomy and Physiology, cont’d (2):  Autonomic function

5.  Nervous system

W 1/29

Basic Neuroanatomy and Physiology, cont’d (2):  Senses

F 1/31

Reward Circuits and Pathways (3)*:  Close to Home:  Part II

M 2/3

Reward Circuits and Pathways (3):  Close to Home:  Part II, cont’d

1.  Diffusion

W 2/5

CRF, the HPA axis, and the tendency towards relapse (4)*

F 2/7

Genetics of Addiction (5):  Fundamentals of genetics*

M 2/10

Lecture Exam 1

2.  Enzymes

W 2/12

 Genetics of Addiction (5):  Genes implied or involved in affecting behaviors relating to addiction.

F 2/14

Sexual dimorphism:  The differences between men and women (6)*

M 2/17

Brain imaging (7)*

4.  Anatomy of Internal organs:  Dissection of fetal pig

W 2/19



Active transport

F 2/21

Pharmacokinetics and physiology (8)*

·         Enzyme activity:

·         Structure & Function of the excretory system

·         Termination of drug action and the excretory system

·         Drug metabolites

·         Commercial drug testing kits

·         Attainment of Steady State:

M 2/24

Ethanol, (9):  Mode of action, metabolism, and toxicity*

Two female Texas A&M fans, possibly after some drinks, stumble into a live TV report (VIDEO)


“Beer goggle” Effect: 


Alcoholic Vervet Monkeys! - Weird Nature - BBC animals


Dean Martin and Foster Brooks.

How not to rob a liquor store

WARNING:  Don’t do this at home.  In fact, DON’T DO THIS ANYWHERE:

Yoga and alcohol*

It’s a business, you know:

How to brew your own beer:

St. Patrick’s Day…for biologists:   

Daphnia is not immune to the effects of ethanol:

0% Ethanol (Control):

5% Ethanol:

10% Ethanol:


10.  Ethanol.  I.  Effects on humans:  Gross anatomy of liver 


W 2/26

Causes and Effects of Cirrhosis of the Liver

Ethanol, cont’d (9):  Liver transplant surgery

“Wet brain” syndromes

F  2/28

Ethanol, cont’d (9)

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Video: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Life Sentence

M 3/3

Drug use and law enforcement:  The sociology of addiction


W 3/5

Drug testing protocols (10)*

F 3/7

***EXAM 2***

F 3/14



M 3/17

 Depressants (11):  Barbiturates*

11.  Effects of ethanol on reproduction of Drosophila

W 3/19

Depressants (10):  Benzodiazepines*

Rolling Stones:  Mother’s Little Helper

F 3/21

Depressants (11):  Inhalants and anesthetics*

More kids turning to inhalants to get high:

David after Dentist:

M 3/24

 Psychostimulants (12)*:  Cocaine and amphetamines (10)*
Video: Animated Neuroscience & the Action of Nicotine, Cocaine & Marijuana 618.3/A52

Are you inhaling secondhand coke?

6. Respiratory system;
7.  Circulatory system;

Initiate vital capacity experiment

W 3/26

 Psychostimulants (12):  Amphetamines and Methylphenidate

Faces of meth

Faces of meth, before and after –

F 3/28

Lecture Exam 3

M 3/31

Nicotine (13)*

Description of Native American Pipe Ceremony:

Video: Animated Neuroscience & the Action of Nicotine, Cocaine & Marijuana 618.3/A52

9.  Effects of selected drugs on Daphnia magna, a micro- crustacean.  I. 

W 4/2

Opioids (14)*

Summary of drug effects: 

Curtis Mayfield:  Pusher Man

F 4/4

Opioids (14), continued

Can poppy seeds influence urine tests?

M 4/7

Marijuana/Cannabis (15)*
Video: Animated Neuroscience & the Action of Nicotine, Cocaine & Marijuana 618.3/A52

Cypress Hill:  Hits from the Bong

First-rate student goes to pot:  CME credit from Medscape.

12.  Excretory system & demonstration of urine test for opiates

W 4/9

 From MedscapeCME Clinical Briefs
Experts Give Tips on How to Collect Urine to Screen for Drugs CME:

How to avoid positive drug tests – a plethora of web sites, e.g.:

Cross-reactivity with legal, therapeutic drugs:

A wondrous blend of herbs and spices to mask offending molecules:

Psychedelics (16)*

Music and the Psychedelic Mind

Jefferson Airplane – White Rabbit:

Films on Demand:  Nine to Five High: Substance Abuse in the Workplace

F 4/11

Food  compulsions (Caffeine/chocolate) (17)*

Anabolic/Androgenic Steroids (19)*

John Fogerty’s Centerfield:

M 4/14

Problem and Pathological gambling (18)*

Top 10 best gambling songs, according to Virgin records:

Kenny Rogers – The Gambler

The Clash – Three card trick

Electric Light Orchestra – Poker

Frank Sinatra – Luck be a Lady

Motorhead – Ace of Spades

How to play blackjack:

7.  Tar content of selected cigarettes.

Final draft of caffeine lab report due.

W 4/16

Second day of Passover – No classes

F 4/18

EASTER HOLIDAY (starts Thursday, April 17) – no classes

M 4/21

Easter Holiday – no classes (Also, 7th day of Passover)

Mild cardiovascular effects of caffeine


Effects of gambling on physiology.  (Not in your lab books.)

W 4/23

Behavioral compulsions (20):  Exercise bulimia

Anorexia Nervosa Part I:

Anorexia Nervosa Part II:

Anorexia’s Childhood Roots (CBS News):

Anorexic Male Model:

Exercise bulimia:

F 4/25

Lecture Exam 4

M 4/28

Behavioral compulsions (21)*:  Cybersex

J. Geils Band – Centerfold:

Dinstuhl’s Chocolate tasting session.  (YAY!!)

W 4/30

 Treatment modalities (22)*:  Medical treatment
Close to Home: Part III.

F 5/2

 Treatment modalities (22):  Complementary and alternative medicine; Support groups, and the treatment center experience. 

The Treatment Center Experience

M 5/5

Prevention (22):  Vaccines, communication and education

Monitoring the Future Overview- 2009

T 5/6

Study Day

W 5/7 through T 5/13

Final exams for lecture and lab will be given during Final Exam Week:  Thursday, May 8, 3:30 to 5:30, back-to-back, lab exam first.