First Year Courses

A. Fall course:  FYSM 170 Phage Hunt.

Students carry out individual research to discover and describe a previously unknown phage (virus that grows on bacteria).  Students learn the concepts and techniques needed to isolate their own phage from environmental samples and characterize the  unique viral growth patterns on host bacteria.  Students prepare their phage for viewing with the electron microscope so that viral physical structure can be described.  Each student isolates the genomic DNA of their phage, analyzes the characteristic DNA fragment patterns, and prepares the DNA for genome sequencing.  The course serves as a first year seminar, and includes practice in writing and critical thinking.

Note:  This course is only open to students in the Genomics Research Program.  It must be taken concurrently with Biol. 182.

B.  Spring, course: Biol 175 Genome Analysis

Students learn the methods of genome analysis using the phage genome sequenced in the course, FYSM. XXX, Phage Hunt.  Students learn how to use bioinformatics software tools and gene databases to identify genes and regulatory sequences and compare them to known viral genomes.  Evolutionary relationships between the new and already known viruses may be determined by comparing amino acid sequences of encoded proteins.  New genes can be entered into the public gene databases.  Students write up and present their scientific results.

Note:  This course is only open to students in the Genomics Research Program.  It must be taken concurrently with Biol. 183.