Biology/Mol.Biol. 2CO3: Genetics
Dr. Nicole Robbins, Ph.D. BSB 201A [email protected]
Office hours: Monday and Thursday 12:30 – 1:30 pm
Dr. Bhagwati Gupta, Ph.D. LSB 330 [email protected]
Office hours: TBA
Dr. Mihaela Georgescu LSB 119A [email protected]
Office hours: Monday through Friday 10:00-11:30 am and 1:00-2:00 pm, or
whenever the door is open.
JHE/376 Monday, Thursday 3:30-4:20 pm
Tuesday 4:30-5:20 pm
An understanding of the principles of Mendelian inheritance is a prerequisite to the
conceptual understanding of all fields of Biology. The material covered in this course builds
upon topics covered in first year Biology, which was an introduction to heredity and the
molecular biology of information transfer from DNA to RNA to protein. We take a more
detailed examination of how traits are transmitted and how a genotype is expressed as a
phenotype. We also explore aspects of chromosomal mapping, linkage, crosses, and
mutations and begin to look at genome mapping projects and the application of information
from the genome. We also take a look at genes and alleles at the population level and
discuss factors that change allele frequency. We also take a close look at polygenic traits,
those traits that are determined by multiple genes which include plant growth, human
height, and disease. Underlying our examination of inheritance and the expression of
phenotype is an understanding of the molecular mechanisms that regulate gene expression.
By the end of this course students should be able to,
•define and solve genetics problems that include data interpretation and problems of
statistics and probability.
•interpret, analyze and design scientific experiments
•demonstrate verbal communication skills through regular discussions
•students will develop a scientific attitude towards research and data gathering by
practicing the scientific methods: formulation of a hypothesis, experimental testing
Biology 1A03, Biology 1MO3 and Chemistry 1AA3 and registration in an Honours program in
the Faculty of Science, or a program in Arts & Science, Health Sciences or Kinesiology.
This course consists of three one-hour lectures and one hour tutorial each week. In the
tutorial, lecture material, new material, and assignments will be addressed. Therefore, the tutorials represent an integral part of the course work and are mandatory. The penalty for
late assignment is 10% per day.
This course uses Avenue to Learn to post the course outline, assignments, and other
notices. Go to http://avenue.mcmaster.ca/ to log-on to the course’s home page.
Textbook: We will make reference to the following textbook in lecture and tutorial:
Genetics - A Conceptual Approach, 3 or 4 edition.
Author: Benjamin Pierce Publisher: W. H. Freeman.
Note: In lieu of this, you could use a comparable Genetics textbook for reference and
Newbyte license fee receipt – more information on Avenue.
Tutorial quizzes 6%
Tutorial assignments (2) 17%
SCHEDULE OF LECTURE MATERIAL:
Week 1 – Dr. Robbins
Sept. 9 - 13
What is a gene? Mendelian genetics
Case study: Sickle cell disease and the β-globin gene
Week 2 –thr. Rothins
Sept. 16 – 20
Individual to populations: Population Genetics
Case study: β-globin alleles and malaria
Week 3 – Dr. Robbins
Sept. 23rd- 27 th
Extensions of Mendelian principles: Genetic interactions
Case study: cat coloration
Week 4 – Dr. Robbins
Sept. 30th– Oct. 4th
From multiple genes to quantitative traits
Case study: Plants to humans
Week 5 – Dr. Robbins
Oct. 7 - 11
What is a chromosome? Chromosomal basis of inheritance
Case study: Non-disjunction
Week 6 – Dr. Robbins First tutorial assignment – Oct. 18 that 4:00 pm
Oct. 14 - 18
Chromosome dynamics: Chromosomal basis of inheritance
Case study: The X-chromosome Week 7