BIOL 416 Fall 2012 Epigenetics

After decades of studies emphasizing the role of DNA in heredity, scientists are now turning their attention from genetics to a variety of heritable phenomena that fall under the heading of epigenetics, heritable changes that do not result from an alteration in DNA sequence. Research reveals that stable changes in cell function can result from, for example, stable changes in protein conformation, protein modification, DNA methylation, or the location of a molecule within the cell. Using readings from the primary literature, we will explore the epigenetic nature and molecular mechanisms underlying a diverse array of phenomena such as prion propagation, genetic imprinting, dosage compensation, transvection, centromere formation, vernalization, and programmed genome rearrangements. The significance of epigenetic processes for development, evolution, and human health will be discussed.
Class Format: discussion, three hours per week
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on class participation and several short papers
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Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: Biology 202; open to juniors and seniors
Enrollment Preference: senior Biology majors who have not taken a 400-level course, then to juniors
Department Notes: does not satisfy the distribution requirement in the Biology major
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Divisional Attributes: Division III
Other Attributes: BIMO Interdepartmental Electives
Enrollment Limit: 12
Expected Enrollment: 12
Class Number: 1163
BIOL416-01(F) SEM Epigenetics Division 3: Science and Mathematics Marsha I. Altschuler
TR 09:55 AM-11:10 AM Bronfman 107 1163
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