MBIO Major
Biology Dept
Kenyon College
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BIOL 263: Molecular Biology and Genomics
Dr. Wade Powell
Fall 2013, MWF 10:10-11:00 
TOM 101

Current Syllabus: Fall 2013

The Ancestral Protein of the Glucocorticoid Receptor and the Mineralcorticoid Receptor
by Haley Adcox '11 and Cami Odio '11

This JMOL tutorial examines the structure and function of a ligand-activated transcriptional activator: the hypothetical ancestor to two modern steroid receptors.

From biological molecules to the Human Genome Project,  this course explores the molecular basis of gene function in humans, animals, plants, and bacteria.  Topics include:

  • Macromolecular machines.  How are they built, and how do they perform all the incredible functions of our cells?
  • Gene structure and regulation.  Human genes are regulated by proteins and RNAs--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 defective genes?
  • Chromosome 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 varieties?
  • Next generation sequencing and genome-level expression analysis. New technologies for sequencing DNA has made genome sequencing routine. Is the $1000 genome in reach? How can sequencing technologies enable measurements of expression of all genes in an organism simultaneously?
  • It's an RNA world. RNAs do more than the central dogma suggests. What newly discovered roles do RNAs--many encoded by intergenic "junk" DNA--play in molecular biology and human disease?