Bio Process Lab

Want to learn live? Enroll in ScioCamp.
Course content was made from ScioVirtual Bio Process Lab lead faculty, including:
Andrew Van Dusen, the WW-P South Science Olympiad president, national medalist, and Top 20 USA Biology Olympiad competitor. Andrew has taught over 100 students at ScioVirtual, including courses from Circuit Lab to Endocrinology to Bio Process Lab. He taught Immunology for ScioCamp 2022.
Megan Kwok, a UK Biology Olympiad competitor from Wycombe Abbey with her own non-profit promoting positive mental health. Megan has taught Bio Process Lab with Andrew and will taught Anatomy & Physiology for ScioCamp 2022.
Joanna Moon, a student at Cornell University Class of 2023 studying biological sciences. Joanna is a pre-medical student conducting neuroethology research in Cornell University’s Ophir Lab. Joanna taught Bio Lab at ScioCamp 2021.
Erin Camelon, a freshman studying neuroscience at UT Austin Class of 2026. Erin taught Bio Lab at ScioCamp 2021.
Monica Tschang- BA in Cell Biology and Neuroscience from Rutgers University, incoming neuroscience PhD student at the University of Washington, figure skater, martial artist, cat mom, finished 4th season of Stranger Things.
Dave Young- cool kid @ university of washington, molecular + cellular bio major, plays chess.
Tiffany Phan- rising sophomore at Temple City High School, Science Olympiad medalist, tennis player, obsessed with Hamilton (and other musicals), had an embarrassing Shakespeare phase.


Scientific Inquiry

Lab techniques

Cell Biology

Cell Biology is the study of biology on the molecular level.

There are three important principles of cell biology…

Principle 1: The Cell has a lot of Parts; But these Parts Work Together

In addition to the cell membrane, each (eukaryotic) cell has numerous components called organelles. Read important information about the organelles below:

Khan Academy article that breaks down the important organelles. This article was made for students preparing for the MCAT (medical school entrance exam).

Principle 2: Cells Get Energy through Cellular Respiration

Learning hack #3: Go beyond memorization. For example, knowing that “the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell” is not good enough. A good way to go beyond memorization is ask, “what would happen to a cell if I removed the mitochondria?”.

One of the most important (yet pretty complicated) component of cells is their ability to create energy in the form of a molecule called ATP. Because there are a lot of moving parts, I recommend first watching a video to get a good overview of cellular respiration.

Learning hack #4: Don’t get caught up in the details. Cellular respiration is a mechanism. You will likely encounter many mechanisms and systems in biology. It is easy to get caught up in making flash cards and trying to memorize every step. Don’t do that. First, understand the bigger picture of how energy is made. Then you can understand the specific steps.

Principle 3: Cells Can Use that Energy to Replicate

The final important concept is how cells can now use ATP to grow and even completely replicate.

Inside your body right now, billions of cells are probably in the process of replicating to help you grow and replace older cells. Interestingly, cancer is when your cells replicate out of control and start hurting your body.


Genetics & Development is the study of how hereditary information (DNA and RNA) is maintained and passed through generations.

Principle 1: DNA is the Blueprint of Life

DNA is often called your genetic “blueprint”. Although we already discussed the structure of DNA in the Biochemistry section, here is an overview of how that DNA is important for creating and passing on life.

However, sometimes errors occur during DNA replications which can cause mutations and disorders.

Principle 2: The Central Dogma of Molecular Biology is Really Dope

The Central Dogma of Molecular Biology is just a big term to describe the process of how DNA eventually becomes protein.

The main concept you need to know is that DNA becomes RNA which then becomes protein.

There are three mechanisms you should be familiar with:

  1. DNA replication (DNA —> DNA)
  2. Transcription (DNA —> RNA)
  3. Translation (RNA —> Protein)

Learn the basics of these steps below:

Source: Wikipedia


Biosystematics is the classification of different forms of life.

Principle 1: Life is Determined by Ability to Replicate Independently

Humans, bacteria, fungus, and even grass can all create more of itself through a process called reproduction.

However, a virus cannot reproduce without depending on the machinery of another organism called its host. Therefore, for a virus to be successful, it needs to always infect some other organism, making viruses contagious.

Principle 2: Taxonomy is the Classification of Living Organisms

What makes a dog a dog? Why are there so many different types of dogs? What makes one type of dog different from the other?

Are humans related to monkeys? How closely related are we? Can we consider humans to just be another type of ape?

Simple explanation of taxonomy.
More fast-paced and advanced explanation of taxonomy.

Food tests