BIL 250 Genetics, Fall 2016, 3.0 credits  
Download .pdf of Syllabus  
Copies of the 2015 Lecture Notes  
Lecture/date Lecture topic
23 Aug-Tue Introduction
  DNA: The genetic material
  DNA Structure  
  Watson & Crick  
  Chromosome Packing  
  Bacteriophage T4  
  DNA replication
  DNA Polymerase  
  DNA Replication  
  Gene function
  Gene expression: Transcription
  RNA Polymerase  
  Gene expression: Translation
  microRNA Inhibitition of Translation  
  DNA mutation and DNA repair
14 Sep-Wed Review Session for Exam #1
21 Sep-Wed Exam #1 (chapters 1 to 7a)
  Study Questions 1  
  Transposable elements
  Recombinant DNA Technology
  cDNA Microarray  
  PCR, DNA Sequencing, & Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs)
  Dye Terminator DNA Sequencing  
  DNA Fingerprinting with Microsatellites, Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism Analysis (RFLP), & Southern/Northern Blots:
  Genome-wide ssociation studies & chromosome walking
  Shotgun genome sequencing & functional genomics 10b
  Mendelian genetics
  Chromosomal basis of inheritance
  Extensions of Mendelian genetic principles
  Non-Mendelian inheritance
19 Oct-Wed Review Session for Exam #2
26 Oct-Wed Exam #2 (chapters 7b to 13)
  Study Questions 2  
  Genetic mapping in eukaryotes
  Genetics of bacteria and bacteriophages
  Variation in chromosome structure and number
  Regulation of gene expression in bacteria
  Regulation of gene expression in eukaryotes
  Genetic analysis of development
  Genetics of cancer
  Population genetics 1
  Population genetics 2
  Quantitative genetics
  Molecular Evolution
07 Dec-Wed Review Session for Exam #3
13 Dec-Tue Exam #3 (chapters 15 to 23 + inclusive) 5:00-7:30 PM
  Study Questions 3  
Location and time:
Tuesday & Thursday 2:00 - 3:15 PM, Cox Science 126, Wednesday 7:50 - 9:05 PM, Cox 126 (3rd class time available for review sessions & exams)

Peter J. Russel. 2010. iGenetics: A Molecular Approach. 3rd edition. Pearson Education, San Francisco, California. ISBN 0-321-56976-8/978-0-321-56976-9


Important dates:

07 September - Last day to drop a course without a W

24 October - Last day to drop a course (W grade given for course)

20-23 October - Fall recess

19-27 November - Thanksgiving recess

06 December – Last day of class (review session)

13 December – Final Exam 5:00 to 7:30 PM

Web content:

Course web site:
iGenetics web site:
Web site includes: iActivities, animations, practice quizzes, glossary, and solutions to end-of-chapter problem sets.
Exam 1 30%
Exam 2 35%
Exam 3 35%

Optional Paper* 5% (Bonus)
*One 5-page (double-spaced) paper for 5% bonus. This may be turned in anytime after fall recess, but no later than 1 December. Topics should focus on a theme of modern 21st century genetics that is of personal or professional interest. Examples might include an overview of recent technological developments in molecular genetic technology (e.g., next-generation methods of whole genome DNA sequencing, recombinant DNA, gene discovery & isolation etc.); genetics of a particular disease or public health problem; or conservation and evolutionary genetics. These are just some possible topics. Anything is possible, but please confirm your topic with the instructor or TA prior to writing.
*Study questions will be provided online so that you have the opportunity to work through difficult concepts prior to your exams. These will not be graded, but your instructors will discuss these questions and answers during scheduled review sessions.

*Review sessions and exams will take place during the Wed slot at 7:50 to 9:05 PM (Cox 126).

*3% bonus added to final grade for 100% lecture attendance (attendance will be sampled randomly).
*Exams in this course are purposely designed to be challenging, and it is not uncommon for raw scores to be low (e.g., means of 50-65%)—exam and final grades will be adjusted appropriately based on the overall means for each exam and the final grade distribution.
Exam make-up policy:

Make-up exams are not generally given. If circumstances are such that you are unable to take the exam, please contact me by e-mail ( in advance of the exam. Otherwise, no make-up exam will be given and your grade will be zero for that exam. If you do take a make-up exam, it may be oral!

Incomplete policy:

Incomplete grades are strongly discouraged and will only be authorized under exceptional circumstances. Your performance and participation in the course will factor into this decision.

Student code of conduct:
Students are subject to the UM Student Honor Code. Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. All cases in which students participate or appear to participate in these types of activities will be referred to the UM Honor Council, Dean of Students. Finding of a violation by the UM Honor Council will result in failure of the course (not just the assignment).
Other policies:
Needs of students with disabilities will be accommodated following university policies. Please talk to the instructor if you require assistance. The Office of Disability Services in the Academic Resource Center, N201, Whitten University Center provides disability services. Student athletes and members of the U.S. military should coordinate their absences with the instructor in advance.
Contact information:
Kevin G. McCracken
Department of Biology
#188 Cox Science Center (1st Floor, North Side)
University of Miami
Coral Gables, FL 33146
Office hours:
Tuesday & Thursday before and after class or by appointment.