BIOL 414 Fall 2014 Life at Extremes: Molecular Mechanisms

All organisms face variability in their environments, and the molecular and cellular responses to stresses induced by environmental change often illuminate otherwise hidden facets of normal physiology. Moreover, many organisms have evolved unique molecular mechanisms, such as novel cellular compounds or macromolecular structural modifications, which contribute to their ability to survive continuous exposure to extreme conditions, such as high temperatures or low pH. This course will examine how chaperonins, proteases, and heat- and cold-shock proteins are regulated in response to changes in the external environment. We will then consider how these and other molecular mechanisms function to stabilize DNA and proteins- and, ultimately, cells and organisms. Other extreme environments, such as hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor, snow fields, hypersaline lakes, the intertidal zone, and acid springs provide further examples of cellular and molecular responses to extreme conditions. Biotechnological applications of these molecular mechanisms in areas such as protein engineering will also be considered. Class discussions will focus upon readings from the primary literature.
Class Format: discussion, three hours per week
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on class participation and several short papers
Additional Info: not available for the Gaudino option
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: BIOL 202; open to juniors and seniors
Enrollment Preference: senior Biology majors who have not taken a 400-level course; then juniors
Department Notes: does not satisfy the distribution requirement in the Biology major
Material and Lab Fees:
Distribution Notes:
Divisional Attributes: Division III
Other Attributes: BIMO Interdepartmental Electives, MAST Interdepartmental Electives
Enrollment Limit: 12
Expected Enrollment: 12
Class Number: 1328
CLASSES ATTR INSTRUCTORS TIMES CLASS NUMBER ENRL CONSENT
BIOL 414 - 01 (F) SEM Molecular Mechanisms Division 3: Science and Mathematics Claire S. Ting
TR 09:55 AM-11:10 AM Biology 103A 1328
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