An exploration of genes and genomes that highlights the connections between molecular biology, genetics, cell biology and evolution. Topics include DNA and RNA, and protein structure and function, gene organization, mechanisms and control of gene expression, origins and evolution of molecular mechanisms, and gene networks. The course also deals with the principal experimental and computational tools that have advanced relevant fields, and introduces students to the rapidly expanding databases at the core of contemporary biology. Relying heavily on primary literature, we explore selected topics including the molecular biology of infectious diseases, genetic underpinnings of development, the comparative analysis of whole genomes and the origin and evolution of genome structure and content. Prerequisites: BIO 150, 152 or 154 or permission of the instructor. Laboratory (BIO 231) is recommended but not required.