Jane Lopilato Simmons College

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Genomics at Simmons College

Course Overview

Genetics is an intensive, problem-solving course in which individual work will be expected. The course is roughly divided into 3 segments: Classical, Evolutionary, and Molecular Genetics. Included in classical genetics are monohybrid, dihybrid, two and three point crosses, epistastis, sex linkage, tetrad analysis, karyotypes, chromosomal alterations, aneuploidy, and polyploidy. Molecular genetics covers replication, recombination, transposition, transcription, and translation with an examination of gene regulation including the effects of chromatin. Manipulations of DNA including PCR, cloning, and restriction enzyme analysis will be examined. Evolutionary genetics includes populations, evolution, and complex (quantitative) traits.

These topics will be amplified in labs by carrying out crosses in Drosophila and working with bacteria and phage as well as DNA. Statistical tools, such as chi-square analysis and standard deviation, will be used to analyze data. The additive and multiplicative rules of probability will be used as well as binomial expansion.


Students will gain knowledge of the three areas of Genetics detailed above using a problem based approach and extensive readings from their texts and current literature. In addition, through discussion and analysis, students will be exposed to the impact of Genetics in society and how it affects their lives. This course provides excellent preparation for all upper electives in Biology and Biochemistry.

Required Attendance - Two lectures per week on T and Th. 9:30-10:50 AM in Rm. L005 One three hour lab per week T 1:30-4:20PM or Th 2:00-4:50PM in S224 Particular labs are given only during the week noted on the schedule; they will not be given again. The labs will include experimental as well as problem-solving and review sessions. Attendance is required each week. In addition, students will be expected to continue and complete ongoing experiments outside of the lab period.

Assignments : Problem Sets; Workbook chapters and problems; Selected readings and summaries; Lab Work and Lab Reports. All assignments from class and lab will be due on a stated day and must be turned in ON TIME. Any late assignments will have points deducted and will NOT be accepted after a particular segment of the course has ended. All assignments are to be done ON YOUR OWN. The Simmons Honor Code will be in effect for exams, quizzes, lab reports, and certain assignments.

Grading: 700 points total Class - 300 points (Exams = 100 pts. each; Quizzes = 50 pts. each) Lab work - 200 points Final exam - 200 points

Lessons Learned and Future Plans

Syllabus for Genetics 336

The complete syllabus including weekly schedule can be downloaded here.