Office of the Registrar
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03755-3529
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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2017-18


BIOL 63 RNA: The Real Secret of Life

Legend has it that after the discovery of the structure of DNA Francis Crick announced to the patrons of the Eagle Pub in Cambridge, England that they had discovered the secret of life.  But what has been learned since this February day in 1953 is that although DNA is the bedrock of modern molecular biology, it is actually RNA that allowed for the emergence of life, and is the central molecule in life’s Central Dogma.  Indeed, with the application of new deep sequencing technologies we are discovering that much of the genome is transcribed into functional RNA that does not code for proteins, but instead is involved in gene regulation and genomic architecture, in addition to the maintenance of genome integrity and even possibly the evolution of morphological complexity. In fact, the very question of “what is a gene?” is even being reconsidered, as the fundamental unit of genomic organization appears not to be the classical DNA-based “gene” but instead is the RNA-based transcript.  In this course we will explore these issues and more through lectures, literature discussions, student-led presentations, and student writing assignments. 

Instructor

Peterson

Prerequisite

One from among BIOL 28, BIOL 36, BIOL 38, BIOL 40, BIOL 45, BIOL 47 or CHEM 41

Distributive and/or World Culture

SCI

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.

Offered

18S, 19S: 12