BIOL 264:  Gene Manipulation

Dr. Wade H. Powell
FSH 202; PBX5396
Fall Semester 2009
Tuesdays 1:10-4:00pm
FSH 204

Current Syllabus (KC Moodle Site; campus access only--Sorry!)

Archived Fall 2006 syllabus (Publicly available)

This course introduces students to molecular biology research through a collaborative, semester-long group project. The planned project is designed to enable students to work independently, competently, and safely in a molecular biology laboratory.

The goal of the project is to clone cDNAs encoding Cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) enzymes from several vertebrate species. We will use the sequences of the cDNA clones we obtain to: (1) construct the phylogenetic history of the protein during vertebrate evolution, and (2) to study of effect of environmental contaminants on the expression of the associated mRNAs.

Learning goals:

Students will gain extensive experience in experimental design, performance, and data analysis from many important molecular biology techniques, including :

* Isolation of nucleic acids from animal tissues.
* Amplification of specific DNA sequences using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
* Electrophoresis of nucleic acids.
* Isolation, quantitation, and manipulation of distinct DNA molecules.
* Real-Time RT-PCR: a cutting-edge technique for measuring changes in mRNA expression levels.
* Bioinformatics: The use of computers and public databases to obtain and analyze DNA and protein sequence information.
* The arts-and-crafts of data presentation.

Students will develop the ability to produce high-quality scientific writing that demonstrates:

* Lucid prose, including strong sentence construction, well developed paragraphs, and logical organization.
* Factual accuracy.
* Insightful, evidence-based arguments.