Spring 2014

Genetics Seminar: Epigenetics  

Listed in: Biology, as BIOL-460


Robert A. Drewell (Section 01)


With the completion of the sequencing of the human genome, where does science go now?  Many scientists have chosen to investigate our genome at the level "above genetics," or Epigenetics. Epigenetic changes are not coded in the DNA sequence, yet they are heritable through mitotic or meiotic cell divisions.  Epigenetics is an exciting field of science that is beginning to explain the unexpected.  Why are identical twins not perfect "clones" of each other?  Why are even cloned animals not perfect "clones"?  Why does a deletion on chromosome 15 cause Prader-Willi syndrome when the deletion occurs on the paternally inherited chromosome, but the entirely different Angelman syndrome when the deletion occurs on the maternally inherited chromosome?  Epigenetic phenomena have been noted for decades, and seemingly disparate observations are only now coalescing into a field of Biology.  Your textbook "Epigenetics" is the first of its kind, and is written by over 40 leaders in the fields of gene expression, chromosome structure, and chromatin dynamics.  This seminar style junior/senior level course will allow students to present research articles, discuss the literature, write a grant application, and review their peers’ grant applications in a mock study section. Three hours per week.

Requisite: BIOL-241, BIOL-251, BIOL-380, BIOL-381 or permission of the instructor.  Limited to 15 students. Spring semester. Professor Drewell.

If Overenrolled: Preference given to seniors and juniors.


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014