Genomics in Modern Society
The human genome is the DNA book of life, containing information to create networks of proteins that construct a human being. The course discusses how the genome was read, how variants in DNA information are detected, and how this information changes views of disease, medical treatments, and our image of ourselves as a species. Through an historical perspective, students will discover the role of DNA, RNA, and proteins as the molecules of life and explore some of the most current applications of molecular biology and biochemistry to biomedical research, forensic analyses, and molecular anthropology. Students will be provided with the basic scientific foundations necessary to understand the vast impact of biotechnology on modern society. The class format will combine lectures with case-studies discussions, presentations, and screenings of media. Students are required to actively search media and scientific sources to find recent breaking news pertinent to the field. Each week will feature a critical discussion based on a specific topic.
- Place life sciences into a historical perspective and describe current developments
- Describe the role of DNA, RNA, and proteins as the chemical foundations of life
- Summarize and explain some of the key aspects of biotechnology, such as DNA sequencing, cloning and amplification through PCR, the biological production of drugs and the –omics world (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics)
- Critically examine the application of DNA-based analyses to the study of human evolution (molecular anthropology) and forensic science