Spring 2017

Seminar in Molecular Genetics: DNA Makes RNA

Listed in: Biochemistry-Biophysics, as BCBP-420  |  Biology, as BIOL-420

Formerly listed as: BIOL-45


David I. Ratner (Section 01)


(Offered as BIOL420 and BCBP 420.) 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, there is evidence 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; and the role of long non-coding RNAs in gene regulation, X chromosome inactivation, and other epigenetic phenomena. Riboswitches and CRISPR count, too. Three classroom hours per week.

Requisite: BIOL 251; alternatively, any two of the following courses: BIOL 220, 241, 291, 330/1, and 380/1. Limited to 15 students. Spring semester. Professor Ratner.

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


Attention to Speaking, Quantitative Reasoning


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2015, Spring 2017