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Lecture 1

BIO SCI 99 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Central Dogma Of Molecular Biology, Cyanine, Telomere

Biological Sciences
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2020 Bio99 Reading Guides
The below questions are examples of problems that you should be capable of completing prior to
each lecture. These questions do not cover all topics in the reading and are only meant to provide
you with a means to test your understanding. Answers to these questions will not be released.
Feel free to discuss them with your classmates, on the message board, in office hours, etc.
Week 1 Monday (Lecture 1)
1. Describe how information flows in the central dogma.
2. If a virus (dsDNA genome) is unable to replicate itself in a host cell, what possible step
within the central dogma could be malfunctioning within the host cell?
3. Draw out a DNA and an RNA nucleotide (bases can be represented by a letter A, G,
etc). What are the main structural differences between DNA and RNA nucleotides?
4. In vitro, why is RNA hydrolyzed more rapidly?
Week 1 Wednesday (Lecture 2)
1. What are the characteristics of the Watson and Crick DNA structure?
2. How many hydrogen bonds do adenine and thymine share? Guanine and cyanine?
3. If I know that an organism has 23% adenine bases, how many guanines are present in the
cellular system?
4. In Oswald and Griffith’s experiment, why did the heat killed smooth bacterial strain
alone not kill the mouse? Why did the combination of the heat killed smooth bacterial
strain, and live rough bacterial strain lead to the death of the mouse?
5. In Hershey and Chase’s experiment, how did their experiment contribute the conclusion
that DNA is our genetic material?
Week 1 Friday (Lecture 3)
1. True or False? Given the large diversity amongst the human population, two people
randomly chosen from opposite sides of the world most likely will only have about 80%
genomic similarity.
2. How did the induced genetic mutations from Beadle and Tatum’s experiments support
the central dogma?
3. List and briefly describe the different types of sequences within our genome.
Week 2 Monday (Lecture 4)
1. What are the differences between bacterial DNA and eukaryotic DNA?
2. What role do telomeres serve on a chromosome? What would the consequence be if
chromosomes lost telomere DNA?
3. Why is DNA wrapped around a histone protected from nuclease digestion?
4. How do histones interact non-specifically (in terms of sequence) to DNA?
5. What is the role of histone tails?

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Week 2 Wednesday (Lecture 5)
1. Why does the Meselson/Stahl experiment produce different results if conducted in
alkaline versus native conditions?
2. Predict the results for the fourth generation of the Meselson/Stahl experiment.
3. In the “How we know” regarding the origin of replication and cell survival on ampicillin,
why does the absence of an origin of replication lead to no colonies on the left plate?
Week 2 Friday (Lecture 6)
1. How does DNA polymerase add a nucleotide to the 3’ end of a DNA strand? How does
the hand analogy explain DNA polymerase’s activity?
2. What is primase’s function? Could DNA Pol operate without a primer?
3. What are the ways that DNA polymerase contributes to the accuracy of DNA synthesis?
Week 3 Monday (Lecture 7)
1. For each of the enzymes involved in DNA replication, what is its role and how does it
Week 3 Friday (Lecture 9)
1. What ingredients are added to a PCR reaction and what is the role of each? What is its
2. How is a PCR reaction affected by changes in the percentage of AT or GC nucleotides in
the primer?
3. Will replication and transcription be able to occur on genes that are supercoiled? How
does the cell prevent supercoiling? (Use figure 9-18 as a reference to answer such
4. Does topoisomerase require ATP or any kind of triphosphate to ensure its reaction with
DNA? What property of topoisomerase (chemically) allows for it bypass the use of
5. If telomerase ceased to exist, what would be the biochemical consequence for our coding
DNA? How does telomerase solve the end-replication problem?
Week 4 Monday (Lecture 10)
1. Define the different types of mutations included in the reading, including silent,
missense, nonsense, insertion, deletion, and frameshift.
2. For the different types of spontaneous mutations described (oxidative damage, alkylation,
radiation) when in the cell cycle can they occur and when does the cell need to repair
3. Describe how chemotherapeutic agents work.
Week 4 Wednesday (Lecture 11)
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