May 20, 2022  
Catalogue 2021-2022 
Catalogue 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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BIOC 356 - Biochemistry Senior Seminar

Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
1 unit(s)

An intensive study of selected topics at the molecular, subcellular, and cellular level. Specific topics will vary. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking and research with course material being drawn from the recent biochemical literature. 

2021/22a: Modern molecular biology and the RNA world: This course covers the central pathways of molecular biology, with an emphasis on the storage and expression of genetic information and how our understanding of these mechanisms has evolved from the birth of molecular biology as a discipline to the modern day. In particular, we explore how the role of RNA has grown from that of simple information vessel to the central and multivalent molecule it is known as today. We also cover the explosion of experimental approaches—including, but not limited to, high-resolution structural methods, single-molecule techniques, super-resolution microscopy, and next-generation sequencing technologies—that have enabled the expansive growth of this field. Throughout the semester, we focus on developing your ability to approach, interpret, criticize, and communicate advanced scientific topics, in both spoken and written forms. Colin Echeverría Aitken.

2021/22b: Structural Basis of CRISPR Gene Editing: Analysis of protein structure and underlying structure-function relationships are critical for the understanding of any biochemical pathway, as function is intimately tied to a protein’s three-dimensional structure. Through the study of enzymes from the CRISPR gene-editing system, we examine three major protein structure determination methods: x-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance, and cryo-electron microscopy. We use the primary scientific literature to understand the biochemical and molecular basis of CRISPR based gene editing. We also explore other ways to evaluate protein structure-function relationships, and discuss the societal impact of gene-editing with CRISPR. Development of effective science communication skills through critical analysis of the primary literature, written work, and oral presentations is a major goal of this discussion-based course. Krystle McLaughlin.


Prerequisite(s): BIOL 106  or the equivalent, CHEM 125  or the equivalent, CHEM 244  and 245 , BIOL 272 /CHEM 272 .

Two 75-minute periods.

Course Format: CLS

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