2013 Spring Elective Courses

The PUC Department of Biological Sciences is offering several elective courses for the spring semester, including:


Spring Electives for 2013
Course Name Course Number Description
Biostatistics 33000 Biological applications of statistical principles and procedures. Topics include basic concepts of statistics and probability, sampling and experimental design, data collection, and various analytical methods to analyze the data collected.
Recombinant DNA Techniques 50800 Basic principles of genetic engineering, gene cloning with various vectors. Techniques include isolation of DNA, use of restriction endonucleases, separation of DNA fragments, transformation of E. coli with recombinant DNA, detection of DNA sequences in Southern blot hybridization, mRNA isolation, cDNA library construction, DNA sequencing, and PCR technology.
Developmental Biology 56600 Principles of development of plants and animals; the formation of organ systems.
Plant Ecology 58800 The physico-chemical and biotic environment affecting plants in nature; the dynamics of plant communities; ecological methods. Applications to agronomy, forestry, wildlife management, outdoor recreation, and other land use interests.
Bioinformatics 59500 The digital information explosion and advent of high throughput techniques in biology and chemistry requires knowledge of how to obtain, organize and mine that data for knowledge.  This course is designed to be an introduction to bioinformatics and data mining techniques for biologists.  Data mining techniques allow an investigator to understand the collection of data and then to classify and/or make predictions from the data.  It is a combination of statistical, informatics and other analytical techniques.  Topics will be introduced in lecture and practical examples relating to the topic will be explored with examples and case studies in the lab.  Data mining examples used in this course will be drawn from genomic, proteomic, epidemiological and ecological data sets.
Epigenetics 59500 The field of ‘epigenetics’ is an exciting one and has grown swiftly over the past several years, this course will review the evidence for epigenetics, the study of extra-genetic (or non-DNA mediated) inheritance of biological characteristics. Topics to be discussed include: chromatin modification, transcriptional silencing, dosage compensation, genomic imprinting, nuclear reprogramming, and epigenetics in human disease.
Environmental Microbiology 59500


The major natural force in history is the collective force of microorganisms. They have been involved in the evolution of air-breathing organisms (including man) by being the first organisms to generate O2, by being the first eukaryotes, by being the first multi-cellular creatures, and by eliminating the wastes left by other creatures. They are critical to agriculture practices. They have caused plagues and have been blamed for human social movements (for example, the migration of Irish that occurred at the beginning of the 20th century).
This course will try to investigate the diversity of microbes in the environment, the diversity of environments, and interaction of microorganisms and the environment that lead to their activities in the natural environments.

Experimental   Design 59500 This course focuses on how to design experiments with the proper experimental controls and how to organize these experiments into a successful research project. The lab component of this course will use current molecular biology techniques such as cloning, transformation and protein isolation to complete a semester-long project.
Advanced Immunology 59500 This course is designed to introduce students to contemporary issues in the field of immunology.