Genetics and Society
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
No science is more central to contemporary life than genetics. Human health, reproduction
and agriculture increasingly rely on an understanding of the hereditary mechanisms shared
by all organisms. In Genetics and Society, we present the general principles of genetics,
show how they operate in humans and other organisms and discuss their implications for
individuals and society. During the past decade, incredible advances in the study of
genetics and molecular biology have transformed our understanding of human heredity.
Advances in genetic knowledge have the potential to solve many problems, but at the same
time they present us with new dilemmas. As we consider the principles of this discipline we
will also examine some of the ethical and social issues arising from genetic manipulation,
reproduction intervention and biotechnology.
You will have two 1½ hour lectures a week: Tuesdays 2:30 – 3:50 and Thursdays 2:30 –
3:50. Lectures will be held in MACN 113. Lectures serve to clarify, illustrate and amplify the
text material. Material given in lectures is the responsibility of the student. This includes
announcements regarding changes to reading and problem assignments. A schedule of
lecture topics and assigned text chapters is attached. Tutorial assignments will be provided
in your first tutorial period during the second week of class.
Dr. J Robb, 201 Axelrod
Phone ext. 52529
You will have one fifty-minute tutorial each week. The tutorials are designed to help you
master genetics through the solving of practical genetics problems. In five of the tutorial
sessions you will be required to complete an assignment. All assignments are found in your
workbook. To find the information needed to complete the tutorial assignments, you will
need to consult you lecture notes, course textbook and biology/genetics books found in the
library. At the beginning of each of these five tutorials there will be a five-minute quiz. The
quiz will consist of two questions. If you have completed the weekly tutorial assignment,
you should have no difficulty answering the quiz questions. Quizzes are written at the
beginning of each tutorial. Do not arrive late for a tutorial – no extra time will be given to
write the quiz.
There are five tutorial quizzes plus the submission of a human karyotype in tutorial one.
You are required to do five of the six quizzes for 10% of you final grade. (i.e. 2% per quiz).
If you choose to complete all six then the best 5 marks will be used. Additionally, in four of
your tutorial sessions, students in groups of three will present short seminars (10 – 12
minutes in length) on topics, which will be assigned by your TA tutorial instructor during the
second week of class. These seminars will be graded by your instructor and the resource
TA (see below) and will count for 15% of your final grade.
You must be enrolled in one of the following tutorial sections:
Tutorial 01: Mondays 11:30 – 12:20 in AXEL 028
Tutorial 02: Mondays 1:30 – 2:20 in AXEL 309
Tutorial 03: Mondays 3:30 – 4:20 in AXEL 309
The tutorial instructors are graduate students in the field of Molecular Biology and/ or
Genetics. They will assist you with the tutorial assignments; manage the weekly quizzes
and/or seminars, and run help sessions prior to final examinations. The winter 2006 tutorial
Juan-Carlos Juarez-Ayala, Shuha Ma and Michael Pniak.
MBG*1000 has a resource TA who will assist you with seminar preparation. The resource
TA will be available to answer your questions during weekly office hours (TBA) and via
email. The resource TA will also grade your seminars along with your tutorial instructor.
The Winter 2006 Resource TA is Mariana Oviedo Ovando.
REQUIRED TEXT BOOKS
MBG*1000 Tutorial Workbook – revised Winter 2006. The workbook contains the tutorial
assignments and a selection of multiple-choice questions. Older editions are obsolete. The
Workbook can be purchased from the University Bookstore.
Human Genetics: Concepts & Applications by R. Lewis. 7th Edition. McGraw-Hill 2005.
*older editions of this textbook may be used but be aware that chapter numbers and
chapter content are different in older editions. You are responsible for ensuring that all
appropriate sections are covered if you use an older edition. Copies of the current edition
are available at the Reserve Desk of the Library.
Midterm Exam (Thursday February 16th, in class) 35%
Final Exam (TBA) 40%
Tutorial Grade (Quizzes 10% & Seminar 15%) 25%
NOTE: Students requesting academic consideration because of illness or compassionate
reasons must submit the appropriate written documentation (medical certificate, verification
from Dean’s Office, etc…) to the instructor prior to the last day of classes.
Lecture Schedule – MBG*1000
DATE TOPIC TEXT CHAPTER
1 Tues Jan 10 Introduction to Cells 1-2
2 Thurs Jan 12 Human Chromosomes & Karyotypes 13
3 Tues Jan 17 Nuclear Division & Gametoggenesis 3
4 Thurs Jan 19 Normal & Abnormal Prenatal Development 3
5 Tues Jan 24 Autosomal Chromosomes & Clinical
Aspects of Their Disorders
6 Thurs Jan 26 Sex Chromosomes & Clinical Aspects of
7 Tues Jan 31 Simple Mendelian Inheritance 4
8 Thurs Feb 2 Pedigrees & Exceptions to Mendel 4,5
9 Tues Feb 7 More Exceptions to Mendel 6,7
10 Thurs Feb 9 Multifactorial Traits and Genetics of
11 Tues Feb 14 DNA Structure and Replication 9
12 Thurs Feb 16 MIDTERM EXAM (In Class)
MID WINTER BREAK
13 Tues Feb 28 Transcription and Translation 9-10
14 Thurs Mar 2 More About Translation 10
15 Tues Mar 7 Gene Mutation 12
16 Thurs Mar 9 Gene Mutation and Genetic Disorders 12
17 Tues Mar 14 Genetic Engineering 19
18 Thurs Mar 16 Genetic Engineering 19
19 Tues Mar 21 Cell Biological Basis of Some Disorders ---
20 Thurs Mar 23 Cell Biological Basis of Some Disorders ---
21 Tues Mar 28 Genetic Testing & Counseling 20
22 Thurs Mar 30 Treating Genetic Disorders 20
23 Tues Apr 4 Reproductive Technologies 21
24 Thurs Apr 6 REVIEW ---
Wed. Apr.19 FINAL EXAM (8:30-10:30a.m.)
Schedule of Tutorials for Genetics and Society
Your tutorial sessions in MBG*1000 will be divided into two parts. In part I you will study
five of the tutorials in you Tutorial Workbooks. The tutorials are designed to help you
master genetics through the solving of practical genetics problems. To find the information
needed to complete the tutorial assignments you will need to consult your lecture notes,
course textbooks and biology/ genetics books found in the library. The teaching assistants
will discuss all the assignment answers with you.
In each of the five tutorials there will be a short quiz on the assignment for that week. The
quiz will consist of one or two of the questions from the tutorial assignments chosen by your
TA. It is to be written in class and handed in for marking. If you have completed the
assignment before the tutorial in you workbook you should have no difficulty answering the
quiz question. The TA will take up the other problems in class and return quizzes from the
* Each quiz will be worth 2% of your mark for a total of 10% in your final grade.
In part II of your tutorial sessions you will work in groups of three. Each group will present a
short 10-12 minute seminar discussion on a subject chosen from a list of topics given
below. A Resource TA has been assigned to help you find information for your talk and
provide organizational help when necessary. An overhead and transparencies can be
obtained form the resource TA for this purpose. The transparencies can be used to copy
material with Xerox machines or can be written on with coloured markers. Facilities may not
be available for laptop presentations. All students in a group are expected to participate in
researching the topic and preparing the talk. One person may present if the group chooses
or (preferably) each person will handle a separate part of the seminar presentation. All
students in the group will receive the same grade. The other students will have 3-5 minutes
to ask questions after each seminar.
Your seminar will be worth 15% of your final grade. Your Instructor and the Resource TA
will grade your talk, and return to each member of the group a copy of the assessment
along with comments and helpful suggestions for future improvements in the next tutorial
Schedule of Dates
Part I – Tutorial Assignments
Mon Jan 9 NO TUTORIAL
Mon Jan 16 Introductory Tutorial Section
Mon Jan 23 Workbook Tutorial 8
Mon Jan 30 Workbook Tutorial 9
Mon Feb 6 Workbook Tutorial 1
Mon Feb 13 Workbook Tutorial 2
Mon Feb 20 MIDTERM BREAK
Mon Feb 27 Workbook Tutorial 3
Part II – Seminar Talks
Mon Mar 6 1 Pros and Cons in Animal Models for Drug Testing
2 Ethical Issues and Stem Cell Research
3 Ethical Issues and Gene Therapy
Mon Mar 13 4 Should DNA be patented?
5 Ethics using a Recombinant Drug
6 Ethics of Genetically Modified Crop Plants (GMO’s)
Mon Mar 20 7 Comparing Various Methods of Pre-natal Diagnosis
8 Ethical Issues and Human Reproductive Cloning
9 Ethical Issues and Genetic Privacy
Mon Mar 27 10 The Hardy Weinberg Equilibrium: Theory and
11 DNA Profiling, Theory and Application
12 Effects of Migration and Genetic Drift on Populations
13 How do we study Molecular Evolution?
Mon Apr 3 OPEN HELP SESSION FOR FINAL EXAM
Evaluation of Tutorials
Your tutorial grade represents 25% of your final course grade.
Tutorial Sessions 10%
Total 25% of Final Course Grade