In this course we will explore genetic analysis as a means of probing the mysteries of the molecular world. Scientists often turn to the study of genes and mutations when trying to decipher the molecular mechanisms that underlie such diverse processes as the making of an embryo, the response of cells to their environment, or the defect in a heritable disease. All of the reading in the course will be from the primary literature, where students will engage with data from genetic experiments that shed light on the workings of a signal transduction pathway. Students will learn from these examples how to use genetic analysis to formulate models that explain the molecular function of a gene product. In the laboratory students will apply these approaches to their own semester-long project, taking responsibility for experimental design and execution as well as data interpretation and analysis. Three hours of lecture and four hours of laboratory per week; the laboratory projects will require time outside of class hours.
Requisite: BIOL 191. Limited to 24 students. Not open to first-year students. Spring semester. Professor Goutte.