Spring 2015

Seminar in Molecular Genetics: DNA Makes RNA

Listed in: Biology, as BIOL-420

Formerly listed as: BIOL-45

Moodle site: Course


David I. Ratner (Section 01)


If the basic tenants of eukaryotic molecular biology have followed the prokaryotic paradigm-- DNA makes RNA makes protein--established decades ago, the importance of eukaryotic RNA that is not translated into protein is only now becoming appreciated.  While barely more than 1% of the human genome encodes protein, recent evidence suggests that as much as 98% of our genome is transcribed!  What function, if any, do all those RNA species serve?  Incorporating articles from the recent scientific literature, this course will focus on topics such as: the diverse roles of micro RNAs in regulating gene expression; the use of piwi RNAs in genome defense; the origin and possible function of long “antisense” transcripts; modification of RNA transcripts (coding and noncoding) by alternative splicing and editing; and the role of long non-coding RNAs in X chromosome inactivation and other epigenetic phenomena.  Three classroom hours per week. 

Requisite: BIOL 251; alternatively, any two of the following courses: BIOL 220, 241, 291, 331, and 380/1.  Limited to 15 students.  Spring semester.  Professor Ratner.

If Overenrolled: preference given to seniors and Biology or BCBP majors


2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2015, Spring 2017