MBIO Major
Biology Dept
Kenyon College
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BIOL 263: Molecular Biology
Dr. Wade Powell
Fall 2019, MWF 09:10-10:00 
SMA 101

Current Syllabus: Fall 2019


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.

The molecular and genomic basis of life is at the heart of modern biology. In BIOL 263, we will learn techniques and explore research questions at the forefront of molecular biology, focusing on the mechanisms by which the information of the genome is expressed to form the functional molecules of living cells and organisms. The processes of DNA replication, recombination and repair, transcription of RNA from DNA templates, and translation of RNA into protein are discussed in the context of current research, frequently using primary literature. The function of genes and regulation and measurement of gene expression are treated in depth. Students analyze and publish interactive tutorials on the structure and function of key macromolecules. This intermediate-level course presumes a strong background in the basics of protein structure/function, central dogma processes, fundamental molecular techniques for manipulating nucleic acids and proteins, and general chemistry.

Required prerequisites: BIOL 115, 116; one year of chemistry (CHEM 121-124 or CHEM 122); or permission of the instructor (organic Chemistry is NOT required).

Learning Goals:

  • To recall and explain the basic cellular and biochemical processes of molecular biology.
  • To recognize, identify, interpret, and illustrate the chemical structures and interactions of the macromolecular machines that perform these processes.
  • To develop a "mental toolbox" of molecular biology techniques that will enable comprehension and critical analysis of the field's primary literature.
  • To integrate content knowledge toward solving problems, designing experiments, and evaluating data in both familiar and novel situations.