BIOL655D Molecular Genetics

A survey of experimental methods of molecular genetics and their application to the elucidation of pathways governing eukaryotic development and behavior. Meetings will involve student presentations and discussion of research articles.

Each participant will put together 3 presentations during the semester. The first is about a technique- either something that you are familiar with or something you've been meaning to learn about (what better way to learn it than to present it?). It should be short (10min); it is low-stakes (10points) and your slides must be sent to me by Sept. 5 (see details of this assignment on the SIGN UP page).

The second round of presentations will be on Reviews in Molecular Genetics. Each student will choose a short review (again, there will be a sign-up list) and will present it to the class. This presentation will be about 15 min long and worth 20 points.

Lastly, each student must present a primary research article. It should be something that is relevant to your research and it must illustrate at least some of the concepts that we have learned. Your choice for the article (the PDF)  must be submitted to me by Wed Oct. 31; I may veto it if there is no relevance to what we've been discussing, so the sooner you have a choice to me the better! Start thinking of your papers sooner than later. This last presentation will be about 30 min long and worth 30 points.

In addition to student presentations, we will be reading some papers that illustrate some of the techniques and issues that we've discussed. Any required readings will be posted on this website under RESOURCES each week. Participation in class is a must. If you have pre-existing conflicts you need to inform me prior to the semester start.

Note: as each part of the course builds on what we've covered, it's important that the techniques we learn about early in the course are things you are interested in and that you come across now and then in your readings. Look through the suggested techniques on the SIGN UP page and if you think of a technique that comes up more often in your reading/research (and it seems 'molecular-geneticky') please suggest it as your topic. Not only will your first presentation go better, but the direction of the course will be more in keeping with the things you really need to know about.

Techniques-10  Reviews-20  Papers-30  Participation-40   Total: 100

90-100     A        75-84.9     B            60-69.9     C
87-89.9    A-       73-74.9     B-           57-59.9     C-
85-86.9    B+      70-72.9    C+          55-56.9      D+
A note on participation: you are encouraged to ask questions during and after presentations. I will be asking questions, not just to the presenters but to everyone. The key thing is not so much to answer correctly, but to think on the spot in terms of what we've been discussing. "I don't know" is fine. Throwing out a string of random terms in hopes that one is right is not fine. Verbal diarrhea will have a negative impact on your participation grade! Don't do it!

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