401--Great Papers in Biology

Most courses present the prevailing wisdom of the field as artistically rendered figures that summarize a large body of information and present it as dogma. However, that’s not how the field actually advances. Breakthroughs occur when researchers publish original research papers in peer-reviewed journals. Sometime the importance of the work is obvious at the time of publication and sometimes it takes many years for the true significance of the work to be appreciated. The “Great Papers in Biology” course is designed to allow students to read seminal papers in biology with the goals of: 1) understanding, in detail, how the experiments were conducted; 2) how the results were interpreted; and 3) how the work changed scientists understanding of biology. Papers to be discussed will represent a wide range of fields within Biology, including: developmental biology, genetics/genomics, neuroscience, cell biology, and the mechanisms of disease.

This three-credit will be limited to 20 upper division students who will be expected to read and discuss each of the papers. Students will be evaluated on the basis of their presentation and on class participation.

Fulfills biology core requirement area(s):


Fulfills plant requirement for biology majors?


Fulfills lab requirement for biology majors?


Fulfills general education requirement for non-biology majors?