molecules to the Human
Genome Project, this course explores the molecular
basis of gene function in humans, animals, plants, and bacteria.
and protein machines.
How are they built, and how do they perform all the incredible functions
of our bodies?
structure and regulation. Human genes are regulated
by specific proteins--encoded by yet other genes. How does it all
work? Learn how any gene is regulated through GenBank.
Can knowledge of gene function lead to gene surgery--replacing or repairing
structure and function.
Mechanisms of chromosome division and segregation lead to severe mutations.
Why is mental retardation such a common sign of hidden chromosome
defects? Yet plants, particularly agricultural crops, are often polyploid.
How does polyploidy improve crops and enable production of seedless
and plant models of disease. How do we get human
genes into animals and plants? Transgenic animals create models for
disease, such as a mouse line with entirely human hemoglobin--with
or without sickle-cell anemia. Transgenic plants reveal surprising
affinities to human physiology.
genetics. Bacterial DNA operates by unique mechanisms,
including the promiscuous spread of genes for virulence and drug resistance.
How do environmental factors regulate bacterial genes? How do we discover
virulence genes and design new drugs against E. coli, tuberculosis,
Over time, change in DNA sequence leads to new genes and new species.
Molecular evolution explains the structure of mitochondria, and the
dimorphism between X and Y chromosomes.
What can DNA tell us about human ethnic diversity? Do biological
races exist? What are the implications of "ethnic DNA"
for human health?