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Dr. Ruth Ballard                                    Page 1                                          07/26/10
BIO 184 Sylla...
Dr. Ruth Ballard                                         Page 2                                               07/26/10
Dr. Ruth Ballard                                     Page 3                                            07/26/10
BIO 184 Sy...
Dr. Ruth Ballard                                    Page 4                                          07/26/10
BIO 184 Sylla...
Dr. Ruth Ballard                                    Page 5                                         07/26/10
BIO 184 Syllab...
Dr. Ruth Ballard                                   Page 6                                         07/26/10
BIO 184 Syllabu...
Dr. Ruth Ballard                                    Page 7                                         07/26/10
BIO 184 Syllab...
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  1. 1. Dr. Ruth Ballard Page 1 07/26/10 BIO 184 Syllabus Fall, 2009 CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, SACRAMENTO Department of Biological Sciences BIO 184: General Genetics Fall, 2009 LECTURE (T/R): 3:00-4:15 PM, HMB 202 LABS: (T/R): 9-10:15 AM or 10:30-11:45 AM; HMB 220 LECTURE INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Ruth Ballard LABORATORY INSTRUCTOR: Christin Bendorf OFFICE HOURS: T/Th, 2-3 PM OFFICE LOCATION: 120-B Sequoia Hall RESEARCH LABORATORY: 108 Sequoia Hall RESEARCH AREA: Forensic serology/DNA PHONE/E-MAIL: (916) 278-6244; WEB SITE: REQUIRED TEXTS: Genetics: Analysis and Principles, 3rd Edition, Brooker, R. J. (2009); Available in Hornet Bookstore; Text web site: BIO 184 Laboratory Manual, R. Ballard, B. Holland, T. Peavy, and M. Loo (2009). Available at the Hornet Bookstore. PREREQUISITES: BIO 1, BIO 2, and CHEM 1A (or equivalent courses at other institutions) COURSE DESCRIPTION General Genetics (BIO 184) introduces students to the fundamental principles of the science of genetics and its central role in understanding life processes. It also exposes students to the legal and ethical dilemmas posed by modern genetics research, and encourages students to explore and develop their own informed positions on these issues. Successful students will leave the course with a good understanding of how information molecules direct the development and ongoing processes of living organisms, how genetic mutations alter the physical, cognitive, and/or behavioral characteristics of organisms and drive their evolution, and will be better able to make informed decisions about personal and public policy issues involving genetic principles. In addition, they will be well-prepared to answer genetics questions on the GRE, MCAT, and other standardized post-graduate tests, to enter a genetics graduate program, or to obtain an entry-level position in a biotechnology company or public agency that uses genetics to solve research problems or to produce products and/or services.
  2. 2. Dr. Ruth Ballard Page 2 07/26/10 BIO 184 Syllabus Fall, 2009 COURSE STRUCTURE Genetics is the study of genes. It is traditionally taught as four sub-disciplines: Molecular genetics, cytogenetics, transmission (or Mendelian) genetics, and population/quantitative genetics. Each of these sub- disciplines describes the nature and behavior of genes; they just do so from different perspectives. Molecular genetics describes the structure and behavior of genes as discrete “information packets” of DNA that control and promote their own perpetuation and change over time. Cytogenetics describes the structure and behavior of chromosomes, the cellular structures that genes build to organize themselves and ensure their efficient replication and distribution to daughter cells. Transmission genetics describes how genes travel through pedigrees and explains the inheritance patterns of genetic diseases and other heritable traits. Finally, population/quantitative genetics describes the effects of natural forces such as geographic isolation, natural selection, and mutation on the ebb and flow of genes in whole populations. In this course, we will start our study of genetics at the molecular level and work outward to cytogenetics, transmission genetics, and, finally, population/quantitative genetics (lab only). However, bear in mind that our journey is similar to that of a helicopter pilot who takes off from the roof of the capitol building in downtown Sacramento and ascends to a height where the entire city can be seen. The pilot is viewing the same area of the world as he ascends, but the details disappear as their context becomes apparent. In addition, as the course progresses, experiment with embracing a geneticist’s way of looking at life. To a geneticist, our study of genes is only possible because of the genes themselves. Over the past 2 million years, genes in our proto-human ancestors evolved in such a way that their “survival machines”*(us) are capable of recognizing their existence and examining (and even manipulating) their behavior. To geneticists, genes are simply tiny packets of information for which living beings serve as temporary hosts. Genes build and maintain us in order to perpetuate themselves, and in so doing have accidentally given rise to creatures that are intelligent enough to study them. *A term first coined by Richard Dawkins in his highly acclaimed book The Selfish Gene (1976, Oxford University Press). COURSE POLICIES I. ATTENDANCE AND LECTURE/DISCUSSION NOTES I will not take roll in lecture but I strongly suggest that you attend. Lectures provide the theoretical framework for your understanding of genetics and for solving the genetics problems that you will encounter on exams. Each week, you should review your notes from the lectures, read the sections of the textbook pertaining to them, and test your understanding by working through the study problems at the end of the chapter. (The solutions to the even-numbered problems are in the back of your textbook.) On Tuesday of each week, I will spend the period lecturing and, on Thursday, we will finish up the lecture and spend some time going over the answers to the study problems. It is your responsibility to come to class and keep up with the material so that you are prepared for exams. Study problems will not be collected for grading. Your laboratory instructor will provide you with course policies pertaining to lab. Please note, however, that the weights assigned to lecture and lab will be the same for all students in my lecture session, regardless of which lab section they attend. II. EVALUATION Students may earn a total of 600 points in the course, 400 points from lecture and 200 points from lab. The points are distributed as follows:
  3. 3. Dr. Ruth Ballard Page 3 07/26/10 BIO 184 Syllabus Fall, 2009 1. Lecture: 400 points Midterm examinations (2) 200 Final examination (1) 200 400 The Lecture Exams will be multiple choice. The midterm exams are non-cumulative but the final exam is comprehensive. Questions may be derived from the lectures and the assigned study problems. On instructional furlough days, exam questions will be pulled from readings in the textbook that cover the information I was unable to cover in class. Exam dates are listed in the “Lecture Schedule” near the end of this syllabus. MAKE-UP exams will be given only if the circumstances of missing the exam are deemed by me to have been beyond your control (e.g. documented illness, car trouble, sick child, etc.). If you miss an exam, you must contact me as soon as possible to schedule a make-up exam. If this contact is not made before the exam or within 24 hours after the exam, you will be assigned a grade of “0” on the exam. 2. Laboratory: 200 points Your laboratory instructor will provide you a breakdown of the point distribution in the laboratory. At the end of the semester, points from all assignments (lecture and lab combined) will be totaled and grades will be calculated as follows: 90.0 - 100% = A 80.0 - 89.9% = B 70.0 – 79.9% = C 60.0 - 69.9% = D less than 60% = F Plus and minus grades will be assigned in each category as appropriate. Usually, I use the total point score earned by the top student in the class as the “100%” mark for grading purposes. However, in some semesters, I have averaged the top 2-4 total point scores and used that number to set the modified grading curve. III. STUDENT CONDUCT 1. Lectures and Exams Lecture is a “technology free” zone. Students are required to turn off or silence all electronic devices (including cell phones, laptops, iPods, etc.). Students should be prepared to take notes, and I strongly suggest bringing colored pencils or pens to class to help with note-taking. Students should also be prepared to participate actively in class discussions. Students who do not regularly attend lecture are VERY unlikely to be able to pass this class. You have been given fair warning! GIVE ME FOUR WEEKS. Research shows that students who actively attend class and keep up with the readings and other course assignments during the first four weeks earn significantly higher grades than students who do not take the class seriously until well after the semester has started (or after they do poorly on the first exam). It is very, very hard to “play catch-up ball” once you get behind.
  4. 4. Dr. Ruth Ballard Page 4 07/26/10 BIO 184 Syllabus Fall, 2009 No communication is permitted between students during exams. No materials other than a pencil (with a good eraser), a simple calculator (NOT one associated with a cell phone or other sophisticated electronic device that might contain stored electronic data), and a scantron may be used during a quiz or exam. Caps may never be worn during any quiz or exam. Students may not leave the room during an exam unless they get my permission to do so. Please go to the bathroom before the exam so that this does not become an issue. If you have a medical condition that requires you to take breaks during exams, please arrange to take your exams at the campus test center. If I obtain evidence of cheating on any lecture exam, I will report the incident to the Department Chair and the Dean of Students for disciplinary action. 2. Communication with the Instructor Outside of Class: I will communicate with you through My Sac State. Be sure to log onto your My Sac State site regularly to check for messages. Students should communicate with me via e-mail rather than by telephone, using the e-mail address provided on the first page of this syllabus. When writing me (or your other professors) an e-mail, please use the following rules of etiquette: 1. Address your professors as “Dr” or “Professor” unless they expressly tell you otherwise. 2. Write in complete, grammatically correct sentences. 3. Sign e-mails with your full name, particularly if your e-mail address does not include your full name. 4. Drop the “cutesy” e-mail address for school purposes. Using an address like is not professional and can be off-putting to many professors (not to mention prospective employers, medical school admissions committees, etc.) It is best to choose an address that includes your name, such as 5. Before sending an e-mail, try to answer the question or solve the problem on your own. For example, don’t write me an e-mail asking me when I hold my office hours or if BIO 184 is a requirement for BIO 180. This information is readily available online. 6. Respect that fact that your professors have already set aside time for office hours every semester. Do not request to meet with a professor outside of these hours unless (1) You are at work or in class during the professor’s office hours and (2) Your questions pertain specifically to a course taught by that instructor or to an advising issue that can only be answered by (or is clearly best answered by) that professor. 7. Do not assume that professors are available 24/7. Some do not answer e-mail over the weekends or in the evenings, and many try to go home at 5 PM. Limit your communications and requests for meetings, as much as possible, to reasonable business hours. IV. ADD/DROP POLICY The Add/Drop policy will be followed as outlined in the “Student’s Registration & Advising Handbook – Fall 2009-Spring 2010 (p. 2-3 and 7) with the exception that, with the instructor’s permission, the Department of Biological Sciences allows students to drop a course without serious and compelling reasons up through the sixth week of the semester (October 9th in Fall 2009). Please be forewarned, however, that after the end of the sixth week, you will be required to produce convincing and compelling documentation of your reason for dropping the course. Please see me if you need to drop the course after October 9th. I will gladly provide you with information about what types of difficulties are deemed acceptable (a low grade in the course does
  5. 5. Dr. Ruth Ballard Page 5 07/26/10 BIO 184 Syllabus Fall, 2009 not, by itself, qualify) and how the process works. Special forms are needed and are available in the Biological Sciences Department office (SQU 202). DROPS DURING FINALS WEEK ARE NOT PERMITTED FOR ANY REASON. Students with an emergency during this time period can request to be assigned a grade of “I” in the course and must make up the missed assignments/exams within 12 months or the “I” grade will automatically become an “F”. A special form is required to request an “I” grade. The form can be obtained from the Biological Sciences Department office (SQU 202) and must be completed and signed by both the student and the instructor. V. HOW TO SUCCEED IN THIS CLASS 1. Read the textbook before coming to class. If you have already read through the material before you hear it in lecture, you will be much better prepared to ask questions and gain clarification on any topics from the readings that you did not understand. 2. Don’t be shy about coming to office hours – and don’t wait to come to office hours until you are failing the class! If you can’t meet me during my regularly-scheduled office hours, I will be happy to arrange another time to meet with you. You can contact me by e-mail to arrange meetings outside of my office hours. Please note, however, that I am not on campus on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. I am the DNA/Biology Advisor for the Forensic Science Graduate Program at UC Davis and also do occasional work for the court system as a DNA expert witness. I have sequestered Tuesday and Thursday mornings for these off-campus academic- related activities. I will also be furloughing on specific days and am not permitted to work during this time. 3. The enforced prerequisites for this class are BIO 1, BIO 2, and CHEM 1A (or the equivalent courses at another campus). These courses should have introduced you to the following concepts and skills. If the courses you took did not cover this information or you took the courses a long time ago, find a first year college biology text and review the material so that you are up to speed with your classmates. I will not review material that I already except you to know, except very quickly. CONTENT: a. The structure of a eukaryotic cell and the location/function of organelles within the cell. b. The chemical structures and physical/chemical properties of life’s large biomolecules: lipids, proteins, nucleic acids, and carbohydrates. c. The central dogma of molecular biology: DNA » mRNA » polypeptide » protein. d. Watson/Crick base-pairing rules for DNA and RNA. e. Chemical properties of carbon and water and why they are important for life. f. Mendel’s Laws and the basic rules of genetic inheritance. g. The basic structure of a gene: promoter, exons, introns, 5’-UTR, 3’-UTR, etc. h.. Dynamics/molecular mechanisms of transcription and translation. i. Genome size and organization in eukaryotic organisms. j. Oxidation-reduction reactions k. Atomic structure and chemical bonding LAB SKILLS: a. Understanding of the scientific method and proper use of experimental controls. b. Fluency with MW, moles, molarity, percent solutions, and unit conversions. c. Experience with microscopes and pipetting instruments (serological pipettes, micropipettes). d. Exposure to agarose gel electrophoresis e. Maintaining a laboratory notebook
  6. 6. Dr. Ruth Ballard Page 6 07/26/10 BIO 184 Syllabus Fall, 2009 VI. LECTURE SCHEDULE (TENTATIVE; See Section VII, below) DATE TOPIC(S) READINGS (TEXT) STUDY PROBLEMS 9/1 Introduction to the Course Chapter 1 All 9/3 Overview of Genetics PART 1: MOLECULAR GENETICS 9/8 Molecular Structure of DNA and RNA Chapter 9 All 9/10 Tentative Furlough Day 9/15 Gene Transcription Chapter 12 All 9/17 Gene Transcription 9/22 Translation of mRNA Chapter 13 All 9/24 Translation of mRNA 9/29 Mutagenesis and Protein Function Chapter 16 C1-C30; E1-E9 9/30 Mutagenesis and Protein Function (16.1-16.2 only) 10/6 DNA Replication Chapter 11 All 10/8 DNA Replication PART II: CYTOGENETICS 10/13 Review for Exam 1 10/15 EXAM 1 10/20 Reproduction and Chromosome Transmission Chapter 3 All 10/22 Reproduction and Chromosome Transmission 10/27 Reproduction and Chromosome Transmission Chapter 8 (8.1-8.2 C1-C38 10/29 Variation in Chromosome Structure/Number only) 11/3 Variation in Chromosome Structure/Number 11/5 Review for Exam 2 PART III: TRANSMISSION GENETICS 11/10 EXAM 2 Chapter 2 All 11/12 Mendelian Inheritance 11/17 Mendelian Inheritance 11/19 Molecular Basis for Dominance and Recessivity 11/24 Tentative Furlough Day – NO CLASS 11/26 THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY – NO CLASS 12/1 Extensions of Mendelian Inheritance Chapter 4 All 12/3 Linkage and Genetic Mapping in Eukaryotes Chapter 5 (5.1-5.2 only) 12/8 Linkage and Genetic Mapping in Eukaryotes 12/10 Review for Exam 3 12/15 FINAL EXAM: 3-5 PM, HMB 202 VII. FURLOUGHS For the past 10 years the CSU system has suffered chronic under-funding. This year, because of the state economic crisis, the budget cuts are draconian, $584 million, the worst ever in decades. The CSU administration is attempting to manage these cuts by dramatically increasing student fees and by furloughing almost all University employees, including faculty, staff, and administrators. A furlough means mandatory un-paid days off for employees. Indeed, employees are required to sign statements indicating
  7. 7. Dr. Ruth Ballard Page 7 07/26/10 BIO 184 Syllabus Fall, 2009 that they will not do any University-related work on furlough days. There are 18 of these this year for faculty, 9 in the Fall semester and 9 in the Spring semester. For students, this means that on some days the campus will be closed. The library will have shorter hours and many campus support services will be decreased or eliminated. It will, for example, be more difficult to get signatures to meet deadlines. Some classes you need may have been cut from the class schedule or are full. The days when I’m forced to cancel class because of the furloughs are marked on the “Lecture Schedule” above. These dates have not yet been formally approved by my Dean, which is why the lecture schedule is marked as “Tentative”. As soon as the dates have been approved, I will post a final version of the syllabus for you to download from my website. These days off are not holidays for students, and I expect students to master the same amount of material as I would in other semester. Students will simply get less direction from me in the form of lecturing and discussions. If you would like to take action, or simply learn more, I strongly recommend you contact the Students for Quality Education at CSU Sacramento: e-mail: web: