The course deals with evolutionary processes on a molecular and genetic level and provides training in analytical methods related to detecting genetic variation, phylogenetics, recombination, horizontal gene transfer, comparative genomics, and the analysis of microbiomes. The course contains three intellectual parts: genetic variation (mutation process, evolutionary rates, the molecular clock, and selection and neutral evolution at the molecular level), genome evolution (genome size, the evolution of chromosomes, the evolution of introns, gene/genome duplication, genome reduction, transposons, retroelements, gene conversion, and horizontal gene transfer) and evolution of genetic systems (the evolution of sex and sexual reproduction, recombination rates, sex ratios, genomic conflict, viral RNA genomes and bacterial transduction, transformation and conjugation). This course will also include a weekly computer lab and discussion of the social, ethical and legal issues surrounding genetic technology and evolutionary biology.
This course covers current techniques in genetics and genomics, their use in answering fundamental questions in biology and the social, ethical and legal issues surrounding genetic technology. Theoretical background and experimental approaches will be emphasized. Topics will include, but are not limited to DNA sequencing technology, genome structure and evolution, genome wide expression analysis, bioinformatics, human microbiomes, personal genomics, and the genetics of disease. Students will have the opportunity to determine SNPs in their own genome through 23andMe.
Genomics Journal/Project Club
Microbial Genomics and Evolution