DePauw Catalog Descriptions of Courses taught by Prof. Fornari in the Biology Dept., and his Comments on each Course

BIO 101
Molecules, Cells & Genes
BIO 105
Human Genetics
BIO 215
Cell & Molecular
BIO 315
Molecular Biol.
BIO 250
BIO 325
Genomics Bioinformatics
BIO 320
BIO 415
Molecular Genetics
BIO 450
Senior Seminar
BIO 490

BIO 101, Molecules, Cells and Genes (3-3)1 course-credit.

BIO 105. Human Genetics (3-3) 1 course credit.

A non-majors course that examines basic principles of genetics. This course emphasizes the basic biology of human genetics, including various disorders and their ethical and economic impact on society. Not open to students with junior or senior status when taught as a W course.

This course provides a basic introduction to 4 areas of genetics: (1)transmission, (2)molecular, (3)quantitative, and (4)population/evolutionary genetics. All 4 areas are presented within the context of the scientific method in genetics as applied to human biology, and focus mainly on human genetics. The genetic basis of disease is discussed throughout the course, along with human evolution, genetic engineering of humans and other animals, and reproductive technologies. The implications of eugenics and other genetic technologies are discussed within a framework of biology, scientific method, and ethics. Critical thinking and scientific analysis of complex, genetic issues in human society are major themes for the course.

BIO 215, Cells and Genes (3)1 course-credit.
(formerly BIO 120 and 140 half-courses)

An introduction to cell biology and molecular biology. Topics covered include macromolecules, enzyme kinetics, thermodynamics, membrane and organelle structure and function, cellular metabolism and cell cycle, molecular genetics of prokaryotes and eukaryotes, DNA structure and function, gene expression and genetic engineering, and genomics. Prerequisites: CHEM 120.

This course is approximately one half molecular biology topics, and one half cell biology topics. The first half of the semester covers the molecular biology topics, and the second half of the semester addresses the cell biology topics. I present all topics at an introductory level, except for basic chemistry since CHEM 120 is a pre-requisite; most topics, molecular and cellular, have a strong basis in chemistry. Logical upper-level courses after this Introductory course include BIO 314 Cell Biology and BIO 315 Molecular Biology; BIO 215 offers a good preparation for these and other upper-level courses.

BIO 250, Microbiology (3-3) 1 course credit. (formerly Bios 150)

A general, introductory overview of microbiology focusing on the fundamentals of microbe structure, metabolism, physiology, genetics, ecology and evolution. The interplay between the microbial world and the human environment is also considered. Major principles of biology are examined as they relate to the microbial life of bacteria, viruses, archaeal cells, protists and fungi. Prerequisites: BIO 101 OR CHEM 240.

This course emphasizes both basic molecular and microbial biology, and has as its central theme the molecular evolution of microbes in changing environments, both natural and artificial. The lab is an interactive, discovery-based series of projects on microbial evolution, and offers a thorough introduction to the 4 basic methods of microbiology. The class meets 3 days per week for lecture discussions,  and once a week for a 2-3 hour lab session. Some lab work each week is performed in the Microbiology Laboratory outside of  the normally scheduled lab session.

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BIO 315, Molecular Biology (3-3) 1 course credit
(formerly BIO 220)

Includes three hour laboratory. This course presents advanced concepts of molecular biology with the experimental evidence and practice of genetic engineering and recombinant DNA technology. Lectures focus on explaining biological phenomena in molecular and biochemical terms, including DNA-Protein interactions in gene regulation, and provide conceptual support for the laboratory experiments. Laboratory work focuses on a semester-long project using biochemical and molecular techniques. Prerequisites: BIO 101 OR CHEM 240 OR BIO 215 .


BIO 325, Bioinformatics (3-3) 1.0 course credit.

An introduction to the computational tools for discovering the structural properties, functional dynamics, genetic architectures, and evolutionary histories of genes and genomes from model organisms (microbes to humans). A major activity is the use of computer algorithms to find and align gene and protein sequences, to predict protein structure and function, and to create network maps and phylogenetic histories . Prerequisites: BIO 101 OR CHEM 240 OR BIO 215

Comment: This course spends considerable time in the JSC room 278 or room 108/109 Computer Labs to initiate and complete a Project. This project involves the application of Bioinformatics to tracing the molecular evolution of a gene responsible for a human disease; approximately one third of the course is devoted to this Project.

BIO  415, Molecular Genetics (3-3) 1 course.
(formerly BIO 364)

Normally ncludes laboratory, but not always. This course presents an advanced molecular analysis of genes in cells, organisms, and populations in terms of their structure, function, and evolution, with applications of genetic theory to diseases in humans as now understood through the sequenced, human genome. Prerequisites:BIO 101 OR CHEM 240 OR BIO 215; recommended: BIO 315, or BIO 325 or BIO 320; may not be taken Pass/Fail.

This course focuses on the genes in the Human Genome which are responsible for causing simple, monogenic diseases (see OMIM), and more complex, polygenic diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, asthma, and autism. Both classical genetics (Mendelian, Quantitative, Population) and modern genetics (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in Genome Wide Association Studies) are introduced for probing the discovery, transmission, and molecular functions of these genes. We also probe new ways of treating and testing for diseases along with the ethical implications.
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BIO 320, Genetics (3-3)1 course

The study of gene transmission, structure and function. Topics include patterns of inheritance, microbial genetics, molecular genetics and population genetics. The lab includes work with animal, plant and microbial material. Prerequisite: BIO 101 OR CHEM 240; BIO 102 recommended.

Bios 320 is designed primarily for Biology Majors, and provides an in-depth analysis of several major areas of Genetics: Transmission genetics, Molecular genetics, Recombinant DNA technology, Quantitative genetics, and Population-Evolutionary genetics. The course is Concept and Problem-based and examines many experimental approaches in modern genetics, and encourages the development of problem-solving skills by learning general algorithms for solving diverse problems in genetics.
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BIO 490, Research Problems (2) 0.5 course (full semester).

Directed independent study. For those who are qualified to do original work. Prequisite: two years of biological science and permission of department. May be repeated once for credit.
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BIO 450 Senior Seminar (2) 0.5 course (full semester). 

All biological sciences majors must take this course during either the Fall or Spring semester of their senior year. Students read, present and discuss research papers from a variety of areas in the biological sciences. Prerequisite: a major in biological sciences and senior status. May not be taken Pass/Fail.

Comment: This course represents a Comprehensive Exam for all Biology majors, and has a minimum grade requirement of "C" for passing. The syllabus was designed by the whole department several years ago, and remains certified by the current department instructors.

Science Research Fellows (2)
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