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Genetics Course Chapter Outline
1 – Introduction
The course is divided into 8 chapters and is designed as a semester elective. Basic concepts from biology will be reviewed and built upon. This course covers topics such as inheritance, manipulating DNA, and genetic engineering. A short description of the content of each chapter is summarized below.
2 – Introduction to Genetics
This chapter covers some basic history of the field of genetics, variation in offspring caused by dominant and recessive alleles, probability, and the use of Punnett Squares to predict outcomes of genetic crosses.
3 – Advanced Genetics
This chapter covers information about genetic testing, sex-linked traits, environmental influences on gene expression, aneuploidy, and gene mapping using linked genes.
4 – Storage on Information (DNA)
This chapter covers the structure of DNA, how it is copied (DNA replication), and the different types of mistakes (mutations) that can occur during this process. Since genetics is based on the genes stored in the DNA of an organism, it is important to understand how that DNA is put together.
5 – Human Inheritance
This chapter covers some of the different types of disorders that can be passed on genetically from parents to offspring that are generally not visible on a karyotype. These are small changes in a gene or section of a chromosome which may have big impacts on the organism.
6 – Tools of the Trade (Manipulation of DNA)
This chapter covers biotechnology, the tools and techniques used to manipulate DNA. This will include making copies of DNA using PCR, separating DNA fragments by size using gel electrophoresis, and the uses for these processes.
7 – Transcription, Translation, and Mutations
This chapter describes how DNA is actually decoded and used by the cell. Gene mutations, different from the chromosomal mutations discussed in chapter 4, are examined, including what effects they can have on an organism.
8 – Genetic Engineering and Genetically Modified Organisms
This chapter discusses the process and uses of genetic engineering. Scientists can clone cells (make identical copies) and change the genes in cells. They can even put genes from different species into cells. Why would scientists want to do this? What gains could be made from these changes? What are the ethical considerations involved in changing the genetic makeup of an organism?