Biology 311
at the College of Charleston

The basics of the science of heredity. The course encompasses Mendelian genetics, the molecular basis of inheritance, changes in chromosomal number and structure, microbial genetics, mutations, and population genetics.

Announcements! News & Announcements!

R. T. Dillon
Science Center Room 200A

S. Dellis

Science Center Room 202A

1. Office hours
for Dr. Dillon are right after class, Tuesday & Thursday 12:10 - 1:30 pm.  Office hours for Dr. Dellis are Tuesday 2-3:00 and Wednesday 11-12:00.  If these hours don't suit, please make an appointment.

2.  Our text is Principles of Genetics, seventh edition, by Robert H. Tamarin.  The Student Study Guide by Deborah C. Clark is sold along with the text, as well as a CD-ROM by Ann Reynolds. Principles of Genetics has a very nice web site associated with it, including tutorials, quizzes, and lots of links, although you need a password to access a lot of it.  Click on the image at left, and check it out!

3.  Homework. You will notice on the syllabus that we have assigned readings and problems corresponding to each lecture topic.  In addition, we distribute supplementary homework problems sets on a regular basis.  We do not collect or grade homework, but it will be to your advantage to have all readings and problems completed while we're discussing the subject in class.

4. Help sessions are generally scheduled in the evening several days before each test.  We will not have anything planned to say, but will be happy to answer questions and solve homework problems.

5. Attendance at lecture is not required.  But attendance for tests is another matter.  Contact us as soon as possible if you find you must miss a test.  Make-up tests taken in advance are generally equivalent to those administered to the class as a whole.  But regardless of your excuse, the later the make-up test, the greater its difficulty.

6. A Research Paper on human genetic diseases will be assigned.  More information soon!

7. Course grading:

3 midterms X 100 pts
Research paper
Comprehensive final exam

90% is the lowest A, 80% the lowest B, 70% the lowest C, and 60% the lowest D.

8. Genetics Lab 311L is not required.  Don't take it unless you want to, or need the credit for your major.  The first meeting will be January 13.

Helpful Hints for a good grade in Genetics 311.

Course Resources:

Problem Sets:

Classical Links:

MendelWeb - provides the Text of Mendel’s "Experiments in Plant Hybridization," in both German and English, with lots of annotations, applications, questions for thought, homework, etc.

Classic Papers in Genetics - provides the complete text of papers by Mendel, Garrod, Bateson, Sutton, Hardy, Morgan and many others.

Mendelian Inheritance in Man - An on line version of Victor McKusick’s perennial classic.  Information is available here for any sort of human genetic variability, from eye color to rare genetic disorders.

Molecular Links:

Blazing a Genetic Trail - beautifully-illustrated online genetics magazine from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Primer on Molecular Genetics - A good laboratory manual, oriented toward the human genome project.  Good introductory material, plus protocols for sequencing, physical mapping, "informatics," etc.

The Genome Machine - Provides idiograms of human chromosomes.  Clicking on a specific location will provide a list of genes that have been mapped to that region.  - Lots of links to primarily medical applications of molecular genetics and gene therapy - news, databases, protocols, conferences, searches, and other web resources.

Evolutionary Links:

The Origin of Species - The complete text of Darwin’s classic on line.

Quantitative Genetics Resources - Organized around upcoming volumes on genetics and the analysis of quantitative traits.  Lots of links to animal & plant breeding, population & evolutionary genetics, etc.

Creation/Evolution Controversy - Super archives and links to background on religion & science, creationist misunderstandings, frequently asked questions about evolution, the fossil record, the age of the earth, much more.

Genome Databases:
(See where genetics is heading today!)

Bacteria - Visit The Institute for Genome Research and hit the "TIGR Databases" button for databases on 14 bacteria (at last count), plus virus, helminths, Arabidopsis (the little weed), rice, potato, humans, and more!

Yeast and Arabidopsis - Brought to you by Stanford Genomic Resources.

C. elegans - the nematode that's become such an important model.

Fruitfly - see the Genetics Lab 311L page for lots of links to Drosophila.

Dog Genome Project - at the Fred Hutchinson Center.

Human Genome Center - at Stanford.

Human Genome Data Base - International, hosted by Johns Hopkins.

The National Center for Genome Resources a clearinghouse for information on any gene in any organism.

Celera Genomics - The private corporation formed by Craig Venter, bent on sequencing the world.  Read their press releases!

Cloning from vertebrate somatic cells:
(Not directly relevant to Genetics 311, but lots of students find this interesting!)

Roslin Institute Online - Here's the web resource put together by the folks who cloned "Dolly."  This institute continues to lead the pack persuing vertebrate somatic cloning.  Lots of links to bioethical-type sites.

Missyplicity Project - The $2.3 million project to clone a mongrel dog named "Missy."  I am not making this up.

Genetic Savings and Clone - A companion project to the above.  For only $1,000 you can have DNA from your valuable livestock or favorite pet stored in a "gene bank" for future cloning.