BIOL 430

BIOL 430  will be hosted through Moodle

BIOL 430 Molecular Genetics of Development 

Course Description: The objective of this course is to introduce students to a sample of molecular strategies that animals use to develop from a single cell to a multicellular organism. We will explore the genetic and molecular mechanisms that orchestrate how cells grow, move, change shape, pattern and differentiate to form various organs and tissues. All of these processes can be influenced by communication between the cells of the embryo. The main emphasis will be on model genetic organisms such as Drosophila, C. elegans and the mouse. Credits: 0.5 | Offered: W | Structure: 3L 1S

Special Note: Students have to present a journal article from the current literature.

Prerequisites:
 BIOL 330 Cell Biology I. (Which means that you must have taken BIOL 205 Mendelian and Molecular Genetics).

Instructor: Dr. Ian Chin-Sang , Rm. 2422a Biosciences complex, 533-6124

e-mail: chinsang@queensu.ca

T.A. : Samantha Lo  e-mail: 7sl14@queensu.ca

When: Mondays 12:30pm, Wednesdays 11:30am, Thursdays 1:30pm

Where: Bioscience Complex Rm. 1120 [Campus Map]

Office hours: Please e-mail me to book an appointment to meet with me. Most questions can be answered via e-mail correspondence.

Textbook:  Principles of Development 4th edition by Lewis Wolpert et al. Oxford University Press ISBN13: 9780199549078. On Reserve in the Bracken Library. Purchase at campus bookstore. The second and third editions also cover over 90% of the material, but the page numbering and chapters may differ from the course notes.

The Companion website has various web links, flash cards for studying as well as iPod videos that you can download. Sample multiple choices are also provide for each chapter. Please note that the exam material will cover what was covered in lectures.

Supplementary Reading:

Molecular Biology of the Cell, Bruce Alberts et al., Garland Publishing

Developmental Biology 6th edition by Scott F. Gilbert, Sinauer Associates Inc. (www.devbio.com)

Genes IX by Benjamin Lewin

Current journal articles on Development (CellScienceNatureDevelopmentGenes and Development etc.)

To search for journal articles try NCBI Pub Med

Course Grades:

Midterm Exam: 25%

Quizzes: 10%

Seminar: 25%

Critique/Participation: 10% (Note: to get the full 10% you need to ask at least one question in class)

Final Exam: 30%

Course Outline and Goals:

The objective of this course is to introduce students to a variety of processes that occur during development. The big picture is to understand how animals develop from a single cell to a multicellular organism. We will explore the genetic and molecular mechanisms that orchestrate how cells grow, move, change shape, pattern and differentiate to form various organs and tissues. All of these processes can be influenced by communication between the cells of the embryo. We will focus mainly on model genetic organisms such as the fly, worm and mouse.

Expectations:

This is a 4th year course and I want students to be independent in their learning. I don’t want students just memorizing concepts without understanding how experiments are done and why they are done that way. Since this is probably your first exposure to developmental biology I will provide the necessary background and some basic concepts of developmental biology. The second half of the course will focus on current journal articles in the field of developmental biology. Students are expected to read the papers prior to class and are encouraged to ask any questions on any aspect about the paper. Also, the students should get in the habit or researching other papers relevant to the paper for discussion. A good place to start is to look within the reference section of the paper of interest.


Important Dates:

Mid-term exam: TBD

Final Exam: Will cover all the presentations but may also cover the entire course. The format will be Multiple Choice, and Short Answers (1-3 sentences). The questions will be based on questions submitted by the seminar presenters.

Presentations (after reading week): Two or three students will present a journal article(s) on a selected topic. You can decide how you will present the work. One suggestion is tag team approach and alternate throughout the presentation. Each person should speak for no more than 12-20 min and we will have 10- 15 min of discussion and questions. The presentations should be fairly formal with overheads or PowerPoint, movies, figures and tables to describe the experiments. Handouts are also encouraged.You should include explanations of how and why the experiments were done. Some of the papers are shorter than others, if so then go into more depth by presenting other literature that is referenced in the journal article (i.e. more introduction and more discussion).Presenters should not rely on the journal article alone. Please use other sources to research the topic of the paper. See Tips for preparing a great seminar.

Sample Questions: Presenters should come up with a list of key points and 5 questions (short answer or multiple choice) about your seminar that you feel would be good for the final exam. I will compile this list prior to the final exam which you can use as a study guide for the final.

Critiques: 10% of your final mark comes from critiquing your fellow classmates' seminar presentations. This is an exercise in learning to be critical - writing the word 'fine' in each category will not earn marks. Keep in mind the presenter's material is covered on the final exam! If we did not have time to answer your questions in class, write your question down on the critique. The critiques are filled out online and are due 1 week after the presentation.  

Please DO NOT fill in critiques if you did not attend the seminar presentation.

BIOL430 Class List-- Please make sure you are officially registered for this course (check Q-card). If you are not registered for this course, your final exam will not be graded, and hence, a final mark will NOT be available for the course!

If you use a different e-mail than your queensu (Queen’s e-mail) account please let me know.