BME80H, Spring 2011, Section 01: Syllabus

Instructor: Wendy Rothwell, Ph.D. (Rothwell-Lopez) MWF 3:30pm-4:40pm
Office: 405A Physical Sciences Building (PSB) Media Theater M110
Office Hours: 2:05-3:00pm MW
Phone: (831) 459-1623, email:


Course Description

BME 80H is a course in human genetics designed to provide students with a basic understanding of the inheritance of human traits and the biological processes involved. This course also addresses the areas of molecular genetics, genetic engineering, and cloning while considering the ethical, legal and social implications of each.

Text/Other Sources

Required Text: Michael R. Cummings, Human Heredity: Principles and Issues, 9th ed (8th ed OK)

(e-text available through CourseSmart at

eCommons Course Website: see eCommons Instructions at the end of this syllabus.

Human Genome Project Information:

Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM):

National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI):

There will also be lists of links associated with the lectures for further information on specific topics.


The final grade will be based on performance on 3 exams, 4 homework assignments and a short research paper. The weighting of each component in the grade is shown below.

AssignmentNumberPoints EachTotal Points% Of Grade
Exams 3 50 150 50%
Homework 4 25 100 33%
Paper* 1 50 50 17%
Total 8 100 300 100%

Each exam will cover ~1/3 of the course material. The final exam will not be comprehensive and will be given on Wednesday, 6/08/11 from 4:00pm-7:00pm in Media Theater M110

* see Research Paper Handout, available on eCommons, for further information.

Grading Scale: These are guaranteed minimum grades for the total points noted. I may impose a curve, depending on overall student performance.

A 269-300 points (90-100%)

B 239-268 points (80-89%)

C 209-238 points (70-79%)

D 179-208 points (60-69%)

F <179 points (<60%)

Course Organization

As I give the lectures I will be filling in lecture outlines that have been previously prepared. Copies of each of these outlines will be made available on the eCommons course Website prior to each lecture and will be formatted such that students can fill them in with the information as I lecture. Therefore, it will be important for students to have these printed out and ready to fill in at the start of each lecture.

Whenever possible I will use figures from your text in my lectures. However, on many occasions I will be using other sources from the Web and from handouts I have prepared. Web sources will be provided on the eCommons course website included in a list of links for each lecture. Handouts will also be made available on the eCommons course website. Students should be sure to print out the appropriate handouts and bring them to the lectures.

If students prefer to have the lecture outlines in a spiral-bound packet (rather than printing them out from the eCommons site), this option is available through University Readers. Ordering information is shown below (information is from the University Readers Website)

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The format of the exams will include short answer, matching, true-false and multiple choice questions. No scantrons or bluebooks will be needed. Also, no electronic devices (calculators, etc) will be needed or allowed. Bring 2 sharp pencils with erasers.

No make-ups will be provided. If an exam is missed due to an emergency or other serious and compelling reason beyond the control of the student (does NOT include "not enough time to study", "forgot", "slept in", "on vacation", etc.) its score will be replaced by the lowest of the other two exam scores minus 10%.

Disability Resource Center (DRC) Accommodations

If you qualify for classroom accommodations because of a disability, please get an Accommodation Authorization from the Disability Resource Center (DRC) and submit it to me in person outside of class (e.g. during office hours) within the first two weeks of the quarter. Contact DRC at 459-2089 (voice), 459-4806 (TTY), or for more information on the requirements and/or process

Academic Integrity

Behaviors considered to constitute academic misconduct (cheating, plagiarism, or aiding others in cheating) will be taken very seriously and will result in anything from a zero score on the assignment to failing the class. The "Official University Policy on Academic Integrity" can be found at

Note that plagiarism means the act of presenting someone else's words/ideas as your own. This involves not only taking text, word-for-word from another source but also includes moving words around to make a "new" set of sentences based on someone else's text. Failing to reference the source of findings described within a publication is another form of plagiarism.

Excellent information regarding plagiarism, what it is and how it can be avoided can be found at: Indiana University Writing Tutorial Services. I urge you all to visit this site.

Tutoring Services

Tutoring is available for this class. For more information, please go to the "tutoring" module on the course menu on the course eCommons site.

Lecture Schedule

(subject to change with fair notice) Reading assignments for each lecture are noted at the start of each lecture outline (available on the eCommons course website)

3/28 (Mon): L1 Course Introduction, History of Human Genetics, Future Perspectives

3/30 (Wed): L1 continued

4/01 (Fri): L2 Mendelian Genetics I


4/04 (Mon): L3 Mendelian Genetics II

4/06 (Wed): L4 Introduction to Genomes, Chromosomes, and Genes

4/08 (Fri): L4 continued


4/11 (Mon): L4 continued

Homework #1 due

4/13 (Wed): L5 Exceptions to the Rules

4/15 (Fri): L5 continued


4/18 (Mon): L5 continued

4/20 (Wed): L6 Pedigree Analysis, Following Traits in Humans

4/22 (Fri): L6 continued

Homework #2 due


4/25 (Mon): 1st Midterm Exam (covers information through Wed, 4/20 lecture)

4/27 (Wed): L7 Polygenes and Multifactorial Inheritance

4/29 (Fri): L8 Cytogenetics, Chromosomal Aberrations and Human Disease


5/02 (Mon): L8 continued

Homework #3 due

5/04 (Wed): L8 continued

5/06 (Fri): L9 Development and Sex Determination


5/09 (Mon): L10 The Structure of DNA and Chromosomes

5/11 (Wed): L11 DNA Replication and Gene Expression

Homework #4 due

5/13 (Fri): L11 continued


5/16 (Mon): 2nd Midterm Exam (covers information from 4/22-5/11 lectures)

5/18 (Wed): L12 Recombinant DNA Technology and Molecular Techniques

5/20 (Fri): L12 continued


5/23 (Mon): L12 continued

Research Paper due

5/25 (Wed): L13 Gene Therapy, Genetic Engineering, Cloning and Stem Cells

5/27 (Fri): L13 continued

5/30 (Mon): Memorial Day Holiday

6/01 (Wed): L13 continued,

6/03 (Fri): L14 The Human Genome Project and Beyond


6/08 (Wed): Final Exam (covers information from 5/13 lecture on) from 4:00-7:00pm in Media Theater M110

eCommons Login Instructions and Support Resources

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