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1 Environment Preservation & Improvement.
(Cross-listed as Environmental Studies 91.)
Biology 1 is a readings-based seminar that treats current ecological issues as they
relate to preserving and improving the environment. This year's topics are
drawn from readings in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, a new
journal that provides timely and exciting translations of the best environmental
science for use by scientists, the science media, the corporate world and political
decision makers. Examples of topics include mapping urban growth from space, modern
sustainable agriculture, invasive species, climate and conservation biology of
whales, and wildlife medicine. This course does not count towards the biology
2 Biology and the American Social Contract. Scientific background of such biological issues as teaching of evolution
and the creationist viewpoint, risk assessment and the causes of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, genetic engineering
in medical and agricultural research, the use of animals and humans in research. Case studies of the impact of public and
private interests on biological research in the United States. Spring 2015 and alternate years.
6 Big Bang to Humankind. (Cross-listed as
Chemistry 0006 & Astronomy 0006).
Course will explore the origins of the Universe, the
formation of Earth and its structure, the chemistry of life,
the development of complex organisms, and the development of
modern humans. Students will learn the evidence for the various
ideas presented, the scientific method used by scientists, and how
the community of scientists evaluates the evidence. This course
does not fulfill pre-medical requirements for a lab-based chemistry
course. Open to all students, freshman through seniors. Spring.
7 Environmental Biology.
An examination of major natural and created ecosystems and human influences on them.
Ecological bases for sound land use and pollution abatement. Fall.
8 Human Heredity. The basics of human genetics for students not majoring in the biological sciences. Cells and chromosomes, Mendelian genetics, sex-linkage, sex determination, what is a gene, genetic testing including forensics and pre-natal diagnosis, embryonic stem cells, genetically modified foods, cancer, genes and human behavior. Prerequisite: high school biology. Spring.
10 Plants and Humanity. Principles of botany accenting economic aspects and multicultural implications of plants,
their medicinal products, crop potential, and biodiversity. Emphasis placed on global aspects of this dynamic science,
with selected topics on acid rain, deforestation, biotechnology, and other applications. Also covered are medicinal,
poisonous, and psychoactive species, as well as nutritional sources from seaweeds and mushrooms to mangos and durians. Spring.
12 Human Reproduction and Development.
An exploration of human reproduction and development prior to and soon after birth.
This course will include topics on sex selection/mate choice; genes and
heredity; fertility/infertility and contraception/assisted reproduction
technologies; sexually transmitted diseases; birth defects; genetic
counseling; designing babies; and embryonic stem cells. The basic biology
of these subjects will be covered, as well as current related issues and
polices. Will satisfy the Natural Science Distribution Requirement.
Prerequisite: high school biology. Spring.
13 Cells and Organisms.
An introductory course primarily for prospective biology majors. General biological principles
and widely used methods related to current advances in cell and molecular biology, genetics, immunology, plant and biomedical
sciences. Three lectures and one laboratory each week. Prerequisites: advanced high school chemistry and biology recommended.
14 Organisms and Population. Forms a logical sequel to Biology 13. Selected topics in animal and plant physiology, development,
genetics, and population biology, with emphasis on evolutionary mechanisms. Three lectures and one laboratory each week.
Prerequisite: Biology 13 recommended. Spring.
40 Bioinformatics. (Cross-listed as Comp 7.) A hands-on
introductory course in bioinformatics for students with little
or no computer science background. Basic programming skills for
data manipulation and analysis. Methods and applications of online
tools for sequence alignment, molecular phylogeny, gene expression
data analysis, and linking molecular variation to disease. Counts
towards the laboratory requirement for the biology major.
41 General Genetics. Basic concepts of classical and molecular genetics, including Mendelian genetics, genetic mapping,
recombination, the genetic code, gene transcription and translation, regulation in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, genetic engineering,
and human chromosomal abnormalities. Prerequisite: Biology 13 or equivalent. Fall/Summer.
46 Cell Biology. Basic concepts of cellular organization, function, regulation. Emphasis on molecular/biochemical approach
to fundamentals of bioenergetics; plasma membrane functions such as transport, secretion, and signal transduction; organelle
function and biogenesis; cell growth and division. Prerequisite: Biology 13 or equivalent. (Group A.) Spring.
50 Experiments in Molecular Biology. Similar to Biology 49, but investigating
a series of laboratory problems using modern techniques of biotechnology. Gene cloning, recombinant protein expression,
protein biochemistry, and immunochemistry are emphasized for teaching state-of-the-art laboratory skills and for reinforcing
basic concepts of modern molecular biology. One laboratory session per week plus one discussion period.
Prerequisites: sophomore standing and Biology 13 or equivalent. Open only to majors in biology, biochemistry, or biotechnology.
51 Experiments in Ecology. An introduction to field research in different habitats.
Emphasis on acquiring skills in taxonomic identification, sampling techniques, hypothesis testing and experimental design,
data analysis and interpretation, as well as oral and written communication. Opportunity for student-designed group research
projects on ecological questions. One laboratory session per week plus one discussion period.
Prerequisites: sophomore standing and Biology 14 or equivalent. Fall.
52 Experiments in Cell Biology. The field of Cell Biology
focuses on examining cells and the behaviors they perform. This course will introduce students to the investigation
of several laboratory problems using standard techniques of cell biology examining diverse organisms, ranging
from single cells to intact animals. One laboratory session per week plus one discussion period. Requires
completion of BIO 0013 or equivalent. Spring.
53 Experiments in Genetics. This course
is designed as a "labinar" – a combination seminar and laboratory course.
Classical and modern papers will be read and discussed and used as the basis
for experimental study. Experiments will use classical and molecular genetic
techniques to explore more complex inheritance patterns in Drosophila melanogaster,
such as multi-genic inheritance and epistasis. The interplay between gene
expression and physiology and behavior will also be explored. Emphasis will
be on laboratory technique, data collection and analysis, and communication of
results. One laboratory session per week plus a required recitation (also
used as time for additional lab work for the semester project). Prerequisites:
Bio 41 and Bio 13. Biology, Biochemistry and Biopsychology majors only. Spring.
54 Molecular Genetics Projects Lab. A discovery-based research
experience in the field of molecular genetics, taught at the introductory level.
Students will each carry out a related independent research project using modern
techniques in genetics and molecular biology to discover gene function, identify
proteins that play a role in maintaining genome stability, and develop testable
hypotheses. Techniques used will include genetic assays, PCR, gene knockouts, and
phenotype analysis. Prerequisite: Bio 13. Genetics prior to or concurrent with
taking the course is suggested but not required. The course is appropriate for sophomores
and juniors with no prior laboratory experience.
61 Biology of Aging. An
introduction to concepts relevant to the biology of aging. Focus on
molecular, cellular, and physiological changes that occur during the
aging process in humans and other organisms. Major topics include
theories of aging, genetic regulation of longevity in model systems,
and therapeutic modulation of the aging process. (Group A)
Prerequisites: Bio13 and Bio14 or their equivalent, or consent.
62 Molecular Biotechnology. (Cross-listed as Chemical and Biological Engineering 62) Overview
of key aspects of molecular biology and engineering aspects of biotechnology. Lecture topics include molecular biology,
recombinant DNA techniques, immunology, cell biology, protein purification, fermentation, cell culture, combinatorial methods,
and bioinformatics. (Group A.) (May be taken at the 100-level with consent) Prerequisite: consent. Fall.
75 Comparative Vertebrate Physiology. A comparative study of vertebrate function.
Physiology of selected systems, including digestion, circulation, excretion, respiration, and temperature regulation.
Emphasis on physiological adaptations to the environment. Three lectures. Prerequisites: Biology 13L and 14. One year of
chemistry recommended. (Group B.) Fall 2015 and alternate years.
93, 94 Introduction to Research.
At least ten hours per week of guided laboratory research, generally
including one hour of consultation or seminar with research supervisor
and a paper. Details of individual project to be worked out with the
supervisor. Gives students an opportunity to participate in biological
research on the Tufts Medford/Somerville and Boston campuses. Does not
satisfy laboratory or course requirement for the major in biology.
May be counted as credit toward degree only. Students typically
initiate independent research in their sophomore or junior years.
102 Human Genetics. Applications of the principles and methods of modern genetics to problems in human heredity. Topics include genetic diagnosis and screening, gene therapy, transgenics, imprinting, mapping, cancer, and behavioral genetics. Prerequisite: Biology 41. (Group A.) Fall.
103 Developmental Biology. Concepts of animal developmental biology, with emphasis
on the molecular events underlying the morphological changes that occur going from egg to adult. Examples drawn from several of
phyla will illustrate developmental mechanisms, patterns of gene expression and gene regulatory networks involved in gametogenesis,
fertilization, cell differentiation, cell signaling, cell-cell interactions and organ formation. Topics include issues of human cloning,
birth defects, stem cell research, gene therapy, assisted reproduction technologies and evolution and development.
Prerequisite: Biology 41 or 46. (Group A) Fall.
104 Immunology. Concepts
of modern immunology and their importance in biology.
Topics include humoral and cellular immune responses, antibody structure and biosynthesis, antigen-antibody interactions,
cellular immunology, immunological tolerance, autoimmunity, and tumor immunology. Prerequisite: Biology 41. (Group A.) Fall.
105 Molecular Biology. Gene structure and function in prokaryotes and eukaryotes,
fundamentals of recombinant DNA technology. Mechanisms of DNA replication, recombination, transcription, and protein synthesis
are emphasized. Advanced topics including gene expression during cell differentiation, retroviral infection, and regulation of
cell proliferation are based on current literature. Prerequisite: Biology 41. (Group A.) Spring.
106 Microbiology. A survey to provide a general understanding of bacteria and viruses.
Bacterial structure, growth, ecology, pathogenic mechanisms, and viral life cycles. The laboratory will familiarize students with
microbiological methods and various groups of microorganisms. Three lectures, one laboratory per week. Prerequisites: one intermediate
biology course, or equivalent, and Chemistry 2. (Group A or Group C.) Spring.
108 Plant Development. Structural and physiological aspects of plant development.
Genetic and environmental influences on development as these pertain to germination, root and shoot growth, plant sexuality, and
flowering. Information on corn, bean, and tobacco systems will be extended to diverse groups such as cacti, ferns, bromelaids,
water plants, parasitic and carnivorous plants. Prerequisites: Biology 13 and 14, or equivalent. (Group B.) Spring 2015 and alternate
110 Endocrinology. A comprehensive
introduction to the chemical and physiological
principle of hormonal integration in animals. Topics include endocrine regulation of metabolism, growth and development, reproduction,
neural functions, mineral and water balance, behavior, and nutrition. Prerequisites: Biology 13L and 14, or equivalent. One semester
of organic chemistry recommended. (Group B.) Fall.
115 General Physiology I. Elements of homeostasis, circulation, respiration, and excretion
are discussed at various levels, from the molecular to the organ system. Prerequisites: Biology 13 and 14, or equivalent. (Group B.)
Fall 2014 and alternate years.
117 Physiology of Movement. Introduction
to the physiological basis of human and animal movement. Topics include biomechanics, kinesiology,
muscle and bone physiology, biological materials, and locomotion.
Prerequisites: Bio 13 & 14 or equivalent required. Physics 1 and Math 32 will be helpful, but not required.
(Group B or Q.) Spring 2017 and alternate years.
118 Plant Physiology. Interaction of living plant components performing biological
functions including water transport, mineral uptake, movements, and signalling between plant parts in response to environmental cues.
Prerequisites: Biology 13 and 14, or equivalent. Introductory chemistry recommended. (Group B.) Spring 2016 and alternate years.
119 Biophysics. (Cross-listed as PHY 25) Presentation at an introductory level of selected topics in physics relevant to modern medicine and biology. Development of topics to the point of application to biomedical problems. Topics drawn from acoustics, physics of fluids, diffusion, laser physics, and other subjects varying from year to year. Prerequisites: PHY 1, 2, or 11, 12 or permission of instructor. Corequisite: MATH 42 (formerly MATH 13). Spring.
130 Animal Behavior. An examination of ethological theory: the development of behavior,
orientation, migration, communication, and social behavior. Particular emphasis will be placed on the functioning of animal societies.
Prerequisites: Biology 13 and 14, or equivalent. (Group C.) Spring.
131 Principles of Medical Imaging. (Cross-listed as Electrical Engineering 131). This interdisciplinary
course presents the principles of medical imaging techniques such as disgnostic ultrasound, radiography, X-ray, computed tomography (CT),
and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). For each imaging modality, topics include the physical principles, key aspects of instrumentation
design, mathematical methods, and the anatomical/physiological information content of the images. Representative medical images will be
discussed and interpreted. This course cannot be taken for basic science requirement for engineering students.
Prerequisites: Mathematics 11, Physics 2 or 12, or consent.
132 Biostatistics. An examination of statistical methods for designing, analyzing, and
interpreting biological experiments and observations. Topics include probability, parameter estimation, inference, correlation,
regression, analysis of variance, and nonparametric methods. Prerequisites: Biology 13 and 14, or equivalent, plus one additional
biology course. Fall.
133 Ecological Models and Data. Probability and
likelihood, fitting simple models to data, and using models to make
predictions. Examples come from problems in ecology, with emphasis
on monitoring plant and animal populations and forecasting how these
populations will respond to changing environments. Includes an
introduction to Bavesian statistics, building mixed and compounded
probability distributions, and use of the open-source statistics
program, R. Open to students at any level who are interested in
using models to interpret biological or environmental data. Students
should have an interest in ecology. Calculus recommended, strong
working knowledge of high school algebra required. (Group C) Spring.
134 Neurobiology. Biology of nervous systems. From the biophysical basis of neuronal
function, through synaptic interactions and signal processing in neural circuits, to behavior, learning, and memory. Examples from
both vertebrates and invertebrates. Prerequisites: Biology 13 and 14, plus one Group A course in biology or Psychology 103. (Group B.)
135 Ecology of Animal Movement.
Behavioral mechanisms and ecological consequences of movement by
animals and plants. Introduction to theoretical models of movement
and dispersal, field methods for monitoring movement, and statistics
used to analyze movement data. 3 required field trips. (Group C)
Prerequisites: BIO 14 and Calculus or BIO 117 (Biomechanics). Fall.
142 Population and Community Ecology.
(Cross-listed as Environmental Studies 142.) Introduction to
population dynamics (population structure and growth), species
interactions (predator-prey, competition, mutualism), and community
structure (adaptations to the physical environment, patterns and
processes governing the world's biomes).
143 Evolutionary Biology w/Lab. Theory and evidence
on mechanisms of evolutionary change in natural populations.
Population genetics, speciation, biogeography, biochemical
coevolution, life history strategies, sexual selection, and genetics
of endangered species. Labs address questions in ecology and
evolutionary biology through the application of bioinformatic
analytical tools on genomic data sources (gene expression, protein,
DNA). Prerequisites: Bio 13 and 14, or equivalent. 1.5 credits
(Group A or Group C) Spring.
144 Principles of Conservation Biology.
Learning and appplication of principles from population ecology, population genetics, and
community ecology to the conservation of species and ecosystems.
Focus on rare and endangered species, as well as threatened
ecosystems. Includes applications from animal behavior, captive
breeding, and wildlife management. Readings from current texts and
primary literature. Prerequisite: Biology 14 or equivalent. (Group
C.) Spring 2017 and alternate years.
152 Biochemistry and Cellular Metabolism.
An in-depth examination of the structure and function of biomolecules: chemical and physical
properties of proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids; enzyme kinetics and mechanisms; metabolism
of carbohydrates, lipids, and amino acids and the metabolic relationships of organ systems.
Prerequisites: Biology 13 and Chemistry 51 or 50. (Group A.) Spring.
162 Molecular Biotechnology.
(Cross-listed as Chemical and Biological Engineering 162.) See Biology 62 for course description.
Includes a semester-long technical project and oral presentation. (Group A) Prerequisite: consent.
164 Marine Biology.
An intermediate-level introduction to the biology of marine organisms.
Following a detailed survey of marine animal and plant groups, the course will
consider aspects of biology that are particularly relevant to marine organisms:
adaptation to salinity and temperature fluctuation, bioluminescence and its ecological
significance, locomotory mechanics, food-chain dynamics, dispersal and substrate selection,
and control of species diversity. Prerequisites: Biology 13 and 14, or equivalent. (Group C.) Spring.
171 Biochemistry I.
(Cross-listed as Chem 171) First course in a two-course sequence.
Chemistry of biological molecules: proteins, lipids, carbohydrates,
nucleic acids, etc. Mechanisms of enzyme and ribozyme catalysis.
Metabolic pathways, integrated metabolic systems, and molecular physiology.
Prerequisites: Bio 13, Chem 52. Spring.
174 Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering.
(Cross-listed as Chemical Engineering 164.) Synthesis, characterization,
and functional properties of organic and inorganic biomaterials and the
process of tissue engineering are covered. Fundamental issues related to
the utility of biomaterials are explored based on their biocompatability,
stability, interfaces, and fate in the body. Clinical applications for
biomaterials are explored, as are new directions in design and synthesis
to achieve better biocompatibility. Testing methods, regulatory issues,
legal constraints, and emerging research directions are also discussed.
Prerequisite: consent. Spring.
178 Seminar in Immunology.
Advanced topics in immunology. Readings and discussion of the current literature emphasized.
Topics include antigen presentation. T-cell activation, cytokine release and effects,
self-and non-self recognition, and immunopathology of HIV. Prerequisite: Biology 104 and consent.
(Group A) Spring 2015 and alternate years.
179 Seminar in Marine Biology.
Exploration of the primary scientific literature in areas selected by mutual consent.
Topics may include symbiotic interactions, migration and dispersal, larval ecology,
adult feeding and locomotory biology, responses to pollutants, and physiology of deep-sea animals.
Strong focus on developing critical reading skills and effective writing through frequent,
short assignments. Prerequisites: junior standing and Biology 164 or consent. (Group C.)
Fall 2015 and alternate years.
180 Seminar in Conservation Biology
- Climate Change and Extinction Risk.
Climate change is a current and looming threat to species worldwide.
In this seminar we will focus on the potential consequences of
climate change to species extinction risk, and possible ways to
reduce the risk. Seminar format with student-lead presentations;
discussions of chapters from a recent book on climate change and
extinction risk, as well as primary scientific literature. Prerequisite: Upper
level Group C course in Biology. (Group C) Spring 2018 and alternate
181 Tropical Ecology/Conservation. (Cross-listed as ENV 181) This seminar and field trip is designed to provide students with an in depth understanding of tropical ecology and first-hand experience in tropical Central America. Topics to be covered include 1) community ecology, 2) ecosystem ecology, 3) physiological ecology, 4) plant-animal interactions, and 5) conservation biology. In addition to weekly readings, discussions, and writing assignments, students will write a grant proposal and present it to the class. Over winter break we will travel to Costa Rica for an intensive two-week field experience. We will gain hands-on research experience in contrasting habitats and learn about conservation efforts in Costa Rica. A typical 2-day schedule will be a morning orientation hike followed by meetings to design experiments, data collection in the afternoon, an evening lecture or discussion, data collection the next day, and data analysis in the evening. Although the conditions will often be uncomfortable (hot and humid), this is an excellent opportunity to gain first hand research experience in the tropics. Estimated cost of this trip is $1,200 (financial aid is available). This is a HIGH DEMAND course. Fall 2015 and alternate years. (Group C) Bio 14 or equivalent and permission of instructor. A completed application and supporting materials must be submitted to Dr. Orians by April 15.
182 Seminar in Cell Signaling: Life, Death & Disease.
In order to demonstrate the importance and processes of cellular communication, this course will focus
on three areas of research: life (i.e. cancer, stem cells, teratomas), death (programmed cell death, apoptosis)
and disease (syndromes and developmental anomalies). During the semester students will be expected to present
and read papers from the current literature, design and write a research proposal, and become familiar with
selected signal transduction pathways. Prerequisites: Bio 41 or equivalent.
183 Seminar in Darwinian Medicine. The mechanistic vs.
evolutionary causes of diseases and modern medical practice. Focus on the evolutionary causes of disease
as a means of sharpening research skills, and the understanding and application of Darwinian thought.
Evolutionary hypothesis creation and testing in the form of both oral and manuscript form. Rationale:
As evolution is relevant to virtually every aspect of biology, students should learn how to take a
Darwinian approach to disease. Prerequisite: Bio 130. (Group C)
185 Food for All: Ecology,
Biotechnology and Sustainability.
With the human population expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050,
how will we meet the increasing demand for food in an ecologically
sustainable way? Historically, rapid increases in yield have been
a result of advances in three main technologies: (1) genetic improvement;
(2) use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers; and (3) expanded
irrigation. Each of these technological advances, however, has
limitations or has led to significant environmental degradation.
There is an urgent need for new approaches to food production without
destroying the environment. In this interdisciplinary course we will
examine the pros and cons of two divergent approaches to meeting the
increasing global food demand: organic farming and genetic engineering.
Contrasting crops grown in developing and industrialized countries
serve as case studies to evaluate: (1) how ecological knowledge makes
food production more sustainable; (2) what existing and emerging
approaches can, in the face of climate change, contribute to a reliable
supply of nutritious food; and (3) the political and economic drivers
that shape who has access to these technologies. An important focus is
developing communication skills for negotiating stakeholder-specific
perspectives (growers, advocacy groups, industry, governmental agencies).
Prerequisites: Intro Biology or intro Chemistry or equivalent.
(Group C) Spring 2015 and alternate years.
186 Seminar in Field Endocrinology.
Advanced seminar explores the mechanistic role of endocrine systems in
coordinating how animals survive, breed, and adapt to the ever-changing natural
environment. Emphasis on wild animals in natural conditions with focus on
student-led discussions of primary scientific literature surrounding a core text.
Prerequisite: Bio 110 and Junior Standing or consent. (Group B) Spring.
187 The Mammalian Central Nervous System.
Functional organization of the mammalian brain and spinal cord, including cellular structure,
functional circuitry and behavioral correlates, and gross anatomy. Emphasis on areas of current research.
Two lecture-laboratory/demonstration sessions. May not be applied toward fulfillment of the laboratory requirement in biology.
Prerequisites: Biology 13 and 14, or equivalent, junior standing, and consent. (Group B.) Spring.
188 Seminar in Molecular Biology and Genetics.
Current topics in molecular biology, genetics and genomics, studied through readings from the
original literature. Focus will be on studies recognized by the Nobel Prize Committee as pivotal
to modern molecular biology and genetics. These studies and current research directions that
follow from them will be covered using a combination of lectures, class discussion, and presentations.
Selected topics of current interest to be covered include genome structure and polymorphisms as related
to human disease, RNA functioning in the regulation of gene expression, and cell cycle regulation and cancer. (Group A)
Prerequisites: Biology 41 and junior standing or permission of instructor.
190 DNA: Structure to Function.
DNA structure and functioning studied through a combination of
lectures and discussions of the original papers. DNA is the sine qua
non molecule of life. Originally, it was believed to be a uniform
right-handed double helix with limited structural flexibility. It
has now become clear, however, that DNA structure is highly
versatile, and this versatility is central for major genetic
processes. The first half of the course will consider DNA secondary
and tertiary structures, DNA topology and topoisomerases, the
mechanisms of protein-DNA recognition and the structure of the
chromatin. The second half of the course will emphasize how the
principles of DNA organization are employed in key genetic
transactions, including DNA replication, transcription, repair and
recombination. Prerequisites: Biology 41 and permission of the
193, 194 Independent Research.
At least fifteen hours per week of laboratory or field investigation,
which must include independent design of experiments. Students write
a summary of research accomplished and give an oral presentation to
Members of the department.
195 Seminar in Coral Reef Biology. This
seminar course will focus on reading and discussion of recent
journal articles exploring ecological interactions within coral reef
communities. Topics will include: coral-zooxanthellae associations,
predation on corals, larval recruitment, fish mating systems,
defense associations, coral-algal competition, and reef
conservation. Prerequisites: Bio 13 & 14, plus one additional
biology class and instructor consent. Spring.
195-02 Topics in Field Endocrinology. In this seminar format course,
we will explore current topics where hormonal studies are used to illuminate physiological, behavioral, and ecological
aspects of wild free-living vertebrates living in their natural habitats. The focus will be on discussing primary literature.
Prerequisite: Bio 110 or permission of instructor.
196-04 Seminar in Molecular Evolution.
Current topics in molecular evolution. Focus
will be on next-generation sequence (NGS) analysis using Tufts High
Performance Computing Cluster and on discussion of primary
literature. Possible topics include regulatory and protein
evolution, adaptation and the neutral theory, population demography,
phylogenomics, QTL mapping, and assembly & variant discovery.
Prerequisites: Bio 143 and junior standing or permission of
196-05 Microbiology of Food. From the production
of raw materials to the digestion of food in our guts, microbes
impact what and how we eat. This interdisciplinary course will
explore how microbes play critical roles in the production,
processing, and consumption of foods. In our farm-to-gut journey,
we’ll examine basic principles of microbial diversity, ecology,
evolution, physiology, and genetics and learn about the tools that
scientists use to study the microbiology of food systems. We'll
explore how the impacts of microbes in food systems span many
disciplines including economics, political science, international
relations, ethics, community health, nutrition, and philosophy.
Guest lectures from farmers, chefs, and local food producers will
highlight the practical applications of managing food microbes. This
course is designed to provide students who are not science majors
with the opportunity to develop a core microbial literacy that will
serve them in life as well as in their field of study. Fall.
196-06 Seminar in Synthetic Biology.
Introduction to the basics of synthetic biology and the design and
development of research proposals, led in part by undergraduate
members of Tufts' Synthetic Biology team with faculty guidance.
Introduction to essential molecular biology principles, using
primary literature and software. Topics may include DNA assembly,
protein purification, cell culture, genetic and metabolic
engineering, biological circuits and the creation of synthetic life,
broader technological and ethical implications of synthetic biology.
Design and development of proposals to be implemented in
international synthetic biology competition. Pass/Fail. Fall.
Senior Honors Thesis. Intensive laboratory or field investigation, including independent design of experiments,
a written thesis, and an oral defense. Application is made during the student's sixth semester. Normally,
the applicant should have received at least three grades of A toward satisfying the concentration requirements
for the biology major and should have a cumulative average of at least 3.30. Prerequisites: Biology 193 or equivalent,
and prior consent of the course coordinator.
Graduate courses include all 100 level courses and above.
243 Topics in Molecular and Cell Biology.
Topics will be drawn from several of the following areas: regulation
of gene expression, chromatin structure and epigenetic regulation,
mechanisms of chromosome segregation, DNA replication, recombination
and repair, genome structure and genome stability, intra- and
inter-cellular signaling pathways. Students will read and present
papers from the current literature. Novel experimental techniques
used to answer central questions will be emphasized. (Group A)
Prerequisite: Biology 105 or equivalent OR permission of the
244 Graduate Seminar in Evolutionary Ecology.
An examination of current topics in evolutionary ecology, including
plant-herbivore coevolution, sexual selection, phenotypic plasticity,
life-history strategies, and conservation biology. Reading and
discussion of primary literature will include focus on experimental
methodologies and statistical methods. Prerequisites: Biology 71 or 143,
or equivalent, and consent. (Group C.) Spring 2014 and alternate years.
253-01 Graduate Student Research Rotation. A
research rotation is an opportunity to explore a new area of
Biology, to learn new techniques, and to become acquainted with some
of the research ongoing in our department as students conduct
intensive laboratory or field investigation, including independent
design of experiments ending with a final oral report. Students will
normally present their findings the Friday before the start of
spring semester. Rotation Duration: Oral reports will be given to a
group consisting of other students who have just finished a
rotation, the sponsoring research mentors, members' of the students'
committees, graduate students, and other interested persons.
1 graded credit. Prerequisite: consent.
260-01 Teaching Biology: Pedagogy and
Practice.This course aims
to enhance the professional development of graduate students by
preparing them to teach biological sciences in academic venues that
range from community colleges to Research I universities. Graduate
student participants will be introduced to issues related to
teaching in both lab and lecture settings and will apply effective
teaching techniques in their own classrooms. Program participants
will learn about pedagogy, gain practical teaching experience, and
receive mentoring and formal evaluation of their teaching. The
course requirements are designed to be flexible enough to be pursued
alongside full-time disciplinary studies, yet ensure that
participants are rigorously trained in biology-specific pedagogy.
1 graded credit. Prerequisite: consent/BIO13L Teaching Assistants.
262 Science Communication. This course is
designed to help graduate students learn how to communicate better
about science to the public, to their fellow scientists, to advocacy
groups, and to funding agencies. Scientists are increasingly called
upon to explain and advocate science to diverse groups. This course
will provide training in writing, speaking, and graphical
presentation skills in a variety of formats. Students will also
learn how to effectively edit and critique their work and others’.
We will focus on writing and communicating in a popular style so
that students can develop their abilities to present information
clearly and logically; such skills will translate naturally into
writing for scientific journals, for grants, and for presentations
at conferences. Spring.
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