GENE 5102 & BIOC 5102 

at Oklahoma State University

Molecular Genetics 2013

CID numbers are : 11239 (BIOC) and 14521 (GENE)

Tu & Th Meetings (10:30)
Room 246H NRC

Course Information and Policies

Quick to 2013 Topic Outline

Objectives

1. To understand, at the molecular level, the organization of genetic material and its functioning in the phenotypic expression of genetic characters.

2. To understand the observational bases for interpretations and theories in molecular genetics.

3. To become competent in the interpretation of research observations in molecular genetics.

4. To develop facility in the design of research approaches to molecular genetic questions.

General Information

Suggested Texts:

Prerequisites: Bioc 3653 or Bisc 3014, or equivalent

Instructor:  
Ulrich Melcher  
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology  
NRC 354  
x46210, 377-3602  
ulrich.melcher@okstate.edu  

Meeting: Tu & Th 10:30-11:20

NRC 246H

Mode of teaching

About 13 topics will be covered in this course, generally in two or three class sessions.  Principally, the class sessions will be discussions.  In the first of the two sessions, the instructor will present a situation.  Students, in groups of two or three, will be asked to identify questions that the situation raises.  The class will discuss the questions, suggest possible answers and formulate the latter as hypotheses. They will identify those worthy of further investigation and assignment to groups for investigation for the next class period.

Between class periods, groups will consider questions relative to the situation and answer them relative to the hypothesis assigned to them. Students are encouraged to consult as many sources, primary and secondary as they see fit.  They may send (or post) illustrations of experimental results to the instructor for projection at the next class meeting.

The findings of the groups will be presented and discussed at the next class meeting and, if necessary, in the first half of the following session.  Each group member will be expected to present part of the group’s findings

There will be no regular class on 20 September due to the BMB Graduate Student Association sponsored symposium. Instead students are asked to make presentations or attend presentations by other students at the symposium sponsored by the association. See below for details.

Examinations and Grading:

Exams, Assignments, and grading for 2013

Quiz 5% Due August 26
BMBGSA 0% September 19-20 (see below)
Exam I 20 % TBD
Exam II 20% TBD
Presentation 10% As scheduled
Term paper 10% Due December 5, 10:30 am
Final 35% December 10, 10:00 am

An assignment at the beginning of the course has as its major purpose letting the instructors know what kind of gaps in knowledge need to be filled in the course. The on-line quiz, also is aimed at refreshing memories on terms that you may have understood at one time, but have now forgotten.

There will be three examinations: two examinations during the semester and a final examination that is comprehensive with emphasis on the later sessions. Remember, course emphasis has changed several times over the years. The kinds of questions asked this year may differ from those of previous years. Nevertheless, the formats are similar, making old exams (available from the Internet as ".pdf" files, for reading by Adobe Acrobat; see Course Homepage, below) potentially useful. Unfortunately 2010 examinations are not available. All three examinations contain questions that examine understanding of the experimental basis for selected interpretations in molecular genetics; that ask for interpretations of observations presented; and that ask the student to identify ways of attacking specific problems. The final examination will be worth 35% of the total grade.

Past Examinations
Exam 1991 1992 1993 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2011 2012 2013
Pre-midterm/ExamI not available select select select select select select select select select select select select select select select select select select select select
Midterm/ExamII select select select select select select select select select select select select select select select select select select select select select
Final select select select select select select select select select select select select select select select select select select select select  

 Both oral and written communication are important in science and practice of both is important for graduate students. However, graduate students are usually also quite busy. Thus, for this year, communication skills may be used for multiple purposes. Those that have already performed research related to molecular genetics (either at graduate or undergraduate levels) are asked to participate in the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Graduate Student Symposium on 19 and 20 September by making either an oral or a poster presentation. Beginners at making presentations are strongly urged to discuss their presentations with Ulrich in considerable advance of the presentation. A written description of the research, in the style of a research manuscript, is to be submitted for the written communication requirement. These may be submitted at any time. Feedback with the possibility of resubmission will be provided if submission occurs before 26 November.

Alternatively, the written communication requirement may be satisfied by a short (less than 20 double-spaced pages) proposal for research funding (project description only--no bios or budgets, etc.). Those students without a molecular genetic research project in mind are asked to attend multiple presentations at the above mentioned symposium and choose one of them as the basis for a research proposal description. Proposals should include sections reviewing the literature (background and significance), a main question to arise from the review, and an experimental strategy to address the question. As above, it can be submitted at any time and feedback with the possibility of resubmission will be provided if submission occurs before 26 November. During the last week of the semester, time will be set aside for a brief oral presentation of the written work.

Grade Standards

Grades are not assigned on a curve. Rather, minimum percentages of total points will be required for assignment of each letter grade. These percentages are:

Letter grade
Percentage
A
80
B
70
C
60
D
50
F
none

The required percentages may be lowered should the difficulty of the examinations or the stringency of their grading be higher than anticipated. The required percentages will not be raised. Over the past 20 years, 53% (range 36-100%) of the students completing the course received "A" grades. "B" grades were given to 40% (range 0 -64%) and 7% (range 0-18%) received lower grades. The same percentages occurred over the past 10 years.

Learning Material

Course Homepage

The homepage for Gene 5102 is located at the d2l site and mirrored at:

http://bioinfosu.okstate.edu/UM/Gene_5102/home.html

At this location you will find links to old examinations in pdf format. You will also find a link to a list of topic summaries, mirrored from d2l.

Topic summary pages will be available on the website and through D2L. They can be reached from the outline of topics. Each lecture outline contains links to relevant pages in the webetext. The outlines may contain references to published works. These are either seminal papers in the field or recent review articles. Some will be indicated as required reading.

Webtext

A series of webpages is available. It is being improved and updated as time allows. The preface for the webtext version of this course contains instructions on navigation and information on the organization of the site. The overview page of the webtext, the starting point for exploration, is the place from which you should be able to access all material available.

Should you notice any problems in the links, in spelling, grammar, clarity, facts, etc., please jot down the page number (found near the bottom of each page), and the nature of the problem. Give or send the information to Ulrich so that he can correct the page.

Academic Integrity

Oklahoma State University is committed to the maintenance of the highest standards of integrity and ethical conduct of its members. This level of ethical behavior and integrity will be maintained in this course. Participating in a behavior that violates academic integrity (e.g., unauthorized collaboration on homework or assignments, plagiarism, multiple submissions of the same assignment, cheating on examinations, fabricating information, helping another person cheat, having unauthorized advance access to examinations, altering or destroying the work of others, and fraudulently altering academic records) will result in your being sanctioned.  Violations may subject you to disciplinary action including the following: receiving a failing grade on an assignment, examination or course, receiving a notation of a violation of academic integrity on your transcript, and being suspended from the University.  You have the right to appeal the charge.  Contact the Office of Academic Affairs, 101 Whitehurst, 405-744-5627, <http://academicintegrity.okstate.edu/>.

University Policies

For other university academic policies, including drop and add dates, follow this link.

Posted 13 August, 2004; Updated 7 December, 2013