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Principal Course Distribution Requirement

Principal courses offer introductions to the breadth of disciplines in the College. They acquaint students with the subject matter in an area, with the types of questions that are asked about that subject matter, with the knowledge that has been developed and is now basic to the area, and with the methods and standards by which claims to truth are judged.

Students must complete courses in topical groups in three major divisions (humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, and social sciences). For the B.A., three courses are required from each division, with no more than one course from any topical group. The B.G.S. requires two courses from each division, with no more than one from any topical group. To fulfill the requirement, a course must be designated as a principal course according to the codes listed below.

These are the major divisions, their topical subgroups, and the codes that identify them:

Humanities

  • HT: Historical studies
  • HL: Literature and the arts
  • HR: Philosophy and religion

Natural Sciences and Mathematics

  • NB: Biological sciences
  • NE: Earth sciences
  • NM: Mathematical sciences
  • NP: Physical science

Social Sciences

  • SC: Culture and society
  • SI: Individual behavior
  • SF: Public affairs

No course may fulfill both a principal course distribution requirement and a non-Western culture or second-level mathematics course requirement. Laboratory science courses designated as principal courses may fulfill both the laboratory science requirement and one of the distribution requirements. No free-standing laboratory course may by itself fulfill either the laboratory science requirement or a principal course requirement. Students should begin taking principal courses early in their academic careers. An honors equivalent of a principal course may fulfill a principal course requirement.

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Non-Western Culture Requirement

A non-Western culture course acquaints students with the culture, society, and values of a non-Western people, for example, from Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Middle East, or Africa. Students must complete one approved non-Western culture course.

One approved non-Western culture course is required. Occasionally courses with varying topics fulfill the non-Western culture course requirement. See the Schedule of Classes for details. These courses are coded NW.

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Transfer and Earned Credit Course Codes

These codes are used to evaluate transfer credit and to determine which academic requirements a course meets.

  • H: Humanities
  • N: Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • S: Social Sciences
  • W: World Civilization and Culture
  • U: Undesignated Elective Credit (course does not satisfy distribution requirement)

All Liberal Arts & Sciences courses

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An advanced course designed to expose students to evolutionary change in the developmental patterning of plant and animal form. This course integrates multiple biological disciplines including phylogenetics, comparative morphology, molecular evolution and developmental genetics to explore biodiversity at a mechanistic level. Topics range from issues surrounding homology assessment to empirical examples of how changes in gene expression or function may have shaped morphological diversity. Prerequisite: BIOL 350 or equivalent. LEC
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Basic elements of systematic theory and practice; discussion of the needs and aims of taxonomy; species and speciation; principles of nomenclature and classification; phylogenetic reconstruction; evolutionary processes and patterns of species diversity; analysis of systematic evidence; construction of keys, synopses, monographs, and revisions. Prerequisite: BIOL 152 or BIOL 153. Not intended for graduate students planning to specialize in systematics. LEC
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The principal physiological processes of higher plants including photosynthesis, respiration, water relations, mineral nutrition, and factors associated with morphogenesis. Prerequisite: BIOL 408 or consent of instructor. LEC
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Study of detailed microscopic anatomy of cells, tissues, and organs of mammals. Examples are drawn from normal and abnormal tissue, histochemistry, and electron microscopy. Lecture and demonstrations. A course in anatomy and physiology is highly recommended. Prerequisite: BIOL 152 or BIOL 153. LEC
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Training in the preparation of tissues for study with the light microscope. Both paraffin and plastic embedments will be used. Prerequisite: Concurrent or prior enrollment in BIOL 560. LAB
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Statistical concepts related to biological problems. Topics include the scientific method, data representation, descriptive statistics, elementary probability distributions, estimation and hypothesis testing, emphasizing the analysis of variation. Prerequisite: College algebra and ten hours of natural science. LEC
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Introductory statistical analyses on microcomputers. Data entry and export; simple graphs and exploratory data analysis; descriptive statistics; sampling; point and interval estimation; one and two sample t-tests; Chi-square; regression and correlation; analysis of variance; and nonparametric methods. Prerequisite: BIOL 570 or equivalent (may be taken concurrently). LAB
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An introduction to the study of the distribution of life on earth. Covers geographical patterns of species diversity and the processes that give rise to those patterns: speciation, extinction, dispersal, vicariance, continental drift, ecological interactions, and phylogeny. Topics are presented within the framework of evolutionary history and include discussion of the biology of species on islands, terrestrial biomes, altitudinal zonation of species, latitudinal species gradients, historical factors governing species distributions, macroevolutionary trends in the fossil record, and application of modern molecular techniques for testing biogeographical hypotheses. Prerequisite: BIOL 152 or 153 and past or concurrent enrollment in BIOL 412, 413, 414, or 550; or permission of Instructor. LEC
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A study of amphibians and reptiles. This lecture course will explore the taxonomic diversity of amphibians and reptiles, and current areas of active research in herpetology. Topics will be considered within a phylogenetic framework, and include discussion on systematics, biogeography, tetrapod origins, skeletal systems, growth, circulatory system, locomotion, thermal and water regulation, hibernation, ecology, sexual behavior, parental care, and mimicry. LEC
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An introduction to the general principles underlying invertebrate and vertebrate development plus a consideration of the major features of vertebrate organogenesis. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 408. LEC
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A study of fishes. Lecture topics include the structure and adaptations of fishes to the aquatic environment and a survey of major fish groups with emphasis on their evolution and biogeography. Laboratory topics include a survey of fish diversity using specimens and the use of keys to identify fishes, with emphasis on the Kansas fish fauna. This course meets with BIOL 792. Students taking this course at the 700 level will have additional work required of them. Prerequisite: BIOL 152 and/or BIOL 413. LEC
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A lecture and laboratory course on the biology, evolution, and diversity of birds. Prerequisite: BIOL 412 (or BIOL 413), or permission of instructor. LEC
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Students learn basic concepts of forest productivity, forest water relations, forest hydrology, nutrient cycling, through soils and vegetation, nutrient uptake, carbon cycling, decomposition, linkages to aquatic ecosystems, and agents of disturbance to these cycles. The class spends a significant part of the semester exploring forest soil profiles and the challenges they present to different forest ecosystems. We discuss the function of forested ecosystems in a global context and identify and understand smaller-scale processes that drive forest function. Prerequisite: CHEM 188 and BIOL 414. LEC
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A lecture course providing balanced coverage of Mendelian and molecular genetics of humans; includes discussions and presentations on current issues in human and medical genetics. Prerequisite: BIOL 350. LEC
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An introduction for pre-service teachers to the tools used by scientists to solve scientific problems. Topics include design of experiments and interpretation of their results, use of statistics, mathematical modeling, laboratory safety, ethical treatment of human subjects, writing scientific papers, giving oral presentations, and obtaining data from the scientific literature. Open only to students in the UKanTeach program. LEC
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A synthesis and discussion of current trends in a discipline or disciplines related to one of the degrees offered in the biological sciences. Emphasis is placed on providing seniors with an appreciation of the discipline's state-of-the-art and on developing skills for success in the next stage of a career in the biological sciences. Topics depend on the associated degree program. Prerequisite: Must be taken in the final year of a degree and students must have completed most of the course work required for one of the degrees in the biological sciences. LEC
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Designed to offer the essentials of the chemistry of the constituents of living organisms and the changes these constituents undergo (during life processes) in the human body and other living forms. Prerequisite: BIOL 150 or BIOL 151 and one semester of organic chemistry. LEC
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Introduction to basic concepts, focused at community and species level. Architectural ecomorphology of plants and their physiological responses to physical factors: solar radiation, climate, and soils. Plant succession as an interaction among species differing in ecomorphology and life style. Classification and ordination of plant communities: practice and theory. Other topics include: species diversity and lognormal distribution as to abundance classes; species/area relations and theory of island biogeography; allelochemic defenses; genecology; paleoecology. Prerequisite: BIOL 414 or consent of instructor. Concurrent enrollment in parallel laboratory, BIOL 607, recommended. LEC
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A lecture/laboratory course providing hands-on experience with plant identification, a history of plant classification, the principles of nomenclature and character analysis, the basics of systematics theory, and a phylogenically-oriented introduction to vascular plant diversity. Prerequisite: BIOL 413 or equivalent. LEC
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Physiological responses of higher plants to environmental factors are discussed. Major topics are: water relations, heat transfer, resistance to water and temperature stress, dormancy, photoperiodism, photosynthesis and respiration under natural conditions, and effects of environmental pollution. Prerequisite: BIOL 408 or consent of instructor. LEC
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Introduction to quantitative analysis of plant communities and correlated environmental parameters; field and/or laboratory measurements of ecophysiological traits and comparative ecomorphology of principal species. Prerequisite: BIOL 414. Concurrent enrollment in parallel lecture, BIOL 602, recommended, but not required. LAB
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A study of the anatomy of the vascular plants, using both traditional and modern techniques. The origin and structure of cell types and tissues of the various plant organs along with their ecological, phylogenetic, taxonomic and functional significance. Two one-hour lectures and 2 three-hour laboratory sessions each week. Prerequisite: BIOL 152 or BIOL 153; BIOL 413; or consent of instructor. LEC
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A seminar course which will focus on current research in microbiology. A term paper will be required of each student. May be repeated for credit. Required of all majors in the senior year. Prerequisite: Two courses in microbiology. LEC
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A comparative morphological survey of the structural diversity, life cycles, origins, and patterns of evolution in the two basic groups of the plant kingdom, the bryophytes (mosses and liverworts) and the tracheophytes (ferns, gymnosperms, and flowering plants). Three one-hour lectures and one three-hour laboratory each week. Prerequisite: BIOL 152 or BIOL 153 and BIOL 413 or consent of instructor. LEC
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An introduction to the use of molecular data in systematics and population biology. Topics include: evolution of genes and proteins; properties of mitochondrial DNA, chloroplast DNA, ribosomal RNA genes, protein-coding genes, and repetitive DNAs; laboratory methods for data collection; and data analysis. Prerequisite: BIOL 350. BIOL 550 or equivalent is recommended. LEC
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Lectures. Fundamental principles of microbiology with emphasis in physical and chemical properties of the bacterial cell; microbial metabolism, cultivation, growth and death of bacteria; microbial genetics; pathogenesis and immunity, industrially important microorganisms. Meets with BIOL 400, but students will be given additional and more advanced assignments, and will carry higher expectations. Prerequisite: BIOL 150 or BIOL 151 and two semesters of college chemistry, or consent of instructor. LEC
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Social organization, evolution, behavior, morphology, communication, pollination biology, and ecology of honeybees. Experience will be gained with colony dynamics and behavior while working with bees in the field. Prerequisite: BIOL 152, BIOL 153, or consent of instructor. LEC
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A study of the major human diseases transmitted by arthropods with emphasis on the biology and ecology of vectors, vector feeding mechanisms as related to disease transmission, epidemiology of arthropod-borne diseases, and the impact of arthropod-borne diseases on humans. Laboratory work on recognition of vector species, information sources, and use of taxonomic keys. Prerequisite: BIOL 152 or BIOL 153 and a course in microbiology or consent of instructor. LEC
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Ecological consequences of physiological characteristics of animals. Topics include water balance, temperature regulation, energy utilization, physiological variation, life histories, historical factors, and body size. Prerequisite: BIOL 408 or equivalent. LEC
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A study of the structure and evolution of ancient life; the nature and diversity of life through time; the interactions of ancient organisms with their environments and the information that the study of fossils provides about ancient environments; the use of fossils to determine the ages of rocks and the timing of past events in earth history; and the patterns of extinction through time. (Same as GEOL 521.) Prerequisite: BIOL 100, BIOL 101, BIOL 152, BIOL 153, GEOL 105, or GEOL 304. LEC
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Laboratory course in the study of fossils with emphasis on the practice of paleontology and the morphology of ancient organisms. (Same as GEOL 523.) LAB
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The role of natural selection in animal behavior, and the influence of behavior on population biology and social dynamics of animal species. Topics include: game theory and optimization as applied to animal behavior; altruism, cooperation and competition; kin recognition and interactions; group formation and dynamics, dominance, aggression, and territoriality; feeding strategies; reproductive behavior including mate choice, parental care, and mating systems. Prerequisite: BIOL 152; either BIOL 350, BIOL 412 or BIOL 414 recommended; or consent of instructor. LEC
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Examination of the concepts and processes involved in conservation of plant and animal populations and communities. Topics to be covered include conservation of endangered species, problems with invasions of exotic species and habitat fragmentation, wildlife management, and design of nature reserves. Prerequisite: BIOL 414, BIOL 412 strongly recommended. LEC
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Computational biology course designed to introduce the most important and basic concepts, methods, and tools used in biomolecular modeling and computer simulations. Topics include (but are not limited to) molecular mechanics, minimization, molecular dynamics, Monte Carlo simulation, explicit and implicit solvation, continuum electrostatics, statistical mechanics, advanced sampling techniques, and free energy calculations. The understanding of these concepts and algorithms as well as their applications to well-defined practical examples involving currently important biological problems are emphasized. The class is divided into a 2-hour lecture and 1-hour computer laboratory. (Same as CHEM 631.) Prerequisite: CHEM 184 and 188; MATH 115 or MATH 121; PHSX 114 and 115 or PHSX 211 and 212; Or permission of instructor. LEC
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First semester of a two-semester lecture course in introductory biochemistry. Emphasis upon the physical structure of macromolecules and membranes, enzyme structure/function, and enzyme kinetics. Prerequisite: CHEM 626 or consent of instructor. LEC
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The laboratory portion of BIOL 600 or 636. Experiments have been selected to introduce the student to cell constituents and biochemical reactions. One four-hour laboratory and one-hour lecture each week. Prerequisite: BIOL 600 or BIOL 636, or concurrent enrollment. LAB
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Second semester of a two-semester lecture course in introductory biochemistry. Emphasis upon the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids, proteins, and nucleic acids. Prerequisite: BIOL 636. LEC
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The laboratory portion of BIOL 638. One four-hour laboratory and a one-hour lecture each week. Experiments have been selected to familiarize students with experimental biochemical techniques using state-of-the-art methodology. Prerequisite: BIOL 637 and 638 (BIOL 638 may be taken concurrently). LAB
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A lecture course in which fossil plants, protists and fungi are examined throughout geologic time. Emphasis will be directed at paleoecology, biogeography and the stratigraphic distribution and composition of ancient floras. (Same as GEOL 528.) Prerequisite: BIOL 413 or permission of instructor. LEC
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An examination of selected fossil plants throughout geological time and the techniques used to study them; laboratory will include identification and the use of plant fossils in biostratigraphy. (Same as GEOL 529.) Prerequisite: BIOL 413 or permission of instructor. Must be taken concurrently with BIOL 640. LAB
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Lecture and discussion of the basic mechanism of organic maintenance and integration; a comparative treatment of the uniformities and diversity of animal function; emphasis on environmental adaptations and evolutionary relationships. Prerequisite: BIOL 408, five hours of organic chemistry, and one year of college physics, or consent of instructor. LEC
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Lectures and demonstrations. An intermediate course in the functions, mechanisms and interactions of mammalian organ systems. Discussions span topics from molecular to whole animal functions. Required for pharmacy students and strongly recommended for students planning advanced work in any area of physiology. The student is assumed to have the knowledge and ability to utilize their math and science background. Prerequisite: Five hours of organic chemistry, a course of college physics. LEC
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Laboratory experiments in representative areas of mammalian physiology designed to complement BIOL 646. Not open to students with credit in BIOL 306. Prerequisite: BIOL 646 or BIOL 726 or concurrent enrollment LAB
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The course builds an in depth knowledge about basic mechanisms of synaptic communication among nerve cells and their targets, and the structure and function of nervous systems. Topics include nervous system development and synapse formation, structure and function of neurons, physiological and molecular basis of synaptic communication between neurons, mechanisms of synaptic plasticity involved in learning and memory, sensory systems (vision, auditory, vestibular, motor reflexes and pain), processing of neural information at cellular and system levels, synapse regeneration and diseases of the nervous system. Prerequisite: BIOL 435 (Introduction to Neurobiology), or consent of instructor. LEC
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A comparative analysis of behavior as an adaptive mechanism; emphasis on ontogenetic and evolutionary aspects of behavior. Prerequisite: BIOL 152 or BIOL 153, and PSYC 104, or consent of instructor. LEC
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Laboratory and field phase of BIOL 652. Students may elect sections according to their special interests. Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent enrollment in BIOL 652. LAB
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An introduction to the patterns and processes that affect terrestrial ecosystems. Emphasis is placed on understanding nutrient cycles (e.g., carbon nitrogen phosphorous), hydrologic cycles, and patterns of net primary productivity. The role of both natural and anthropogenic disturbances in structuring terrestrial ecosystems is examined in the context of global land-use patterns. Discussion of current research literature will be expected. (Same as EVRN 656.) Prerequisite: BIOL 414 and CHEM 184. LEC
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An introduction to the biological, chemical, and physics processes that characterize ponds, lakes, and reservoirs. Discussion of current research papers. Prerequisite: General ecology (BIOL 414 or equivalent) or permission of instructor. LEC
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Population, community, and ecosystem ecology of flowing water habitats from ephemeral creeks to great rivers. The course emphasizes biological phenomena, but physical and chemical processes are discussed. Prerequisite: BIOL 414 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Concurrent enrollment in Stream Ecology Laboratory. BIOL 668 is recommended. LEC
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A field and laboratory course introducing biological, physical, and chemical characteristics of lentic (ponds and lakes) and lotic (creeks and rivers) habitats. Students learn sampling and monitoring techniques and how to classify aquatic biota at higher taxonomic levels. Co- or prerequisite: CHEM 184 and either BIOL 660 or 661. LAB
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A laboratory course emphasizing principles of systematics and identification and the behavioral ecology of local vertebrate animals. Prerequisite: BIOL 152, BIOL 153 or consent of instructor. LAB
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The course focuses on the role of chemical information molecules in the interrelationships among organisms, with particular attention to interactions (a) within and between animal species, (b) within and between plant species, (c) between animals and plants, (d) between predators and prey, and (e) between parasites and hosts. Prerequisite: BIOL 100 or BIOL 101 or BIOL 152 or BIOL 153 or consent of instructor. LEC
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Emphasis will be on the themes that interface ecology and evolutionary studies. Topics will include selection theory; reproductive, foraging, and sex allocation problems; coevolution; patterns or morphological and behavioral adaptations; competition, predation, and population regulation. Special attention will be given to the philosophy and practice of resolving unanswered questions in evolutionary ecology. Prerequisite: BIOL 412 or permission of instructor. LEC
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A lecture, field, and laboratory course examining the classification, biological characteristics, and ecology of invertebrates in lotic and lentic habitats. Major groups of benthic and planktonic invertebrates will be studied, including aquatic insects, crustaceans, molluscs, and others. Prerequisite: BIOL 540, BIOL 660, BIOL 661, or BIOL 663, or permission of instructor. LEC
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A maximum of fifteen hours credit. Construction of museum exhibits; preparation of plants, animals, and fossils for research, including accessioning, cataloging, and filing. Prerequisite: Permission of director of museum. FLD
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A study of the structure and expression of genes in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Emphasis on the mechanisms of DNA, RNA, and protein biosynthesis. Prerequisite: A course in biochemistry or consent of instructor. LEC
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Mechanisms of neural function and development will be considered at the cellular and molecular levels. Synaptic mechanisms of learning and memory, modulation of transmitter release, and the molecular basis of neurodegenerative disorders will also be discussed. Prerequisite: BIOL 435, BIOL 646, or permission of instructor. LEC
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Lectures, video tape demonstrations, and laboratory dissection of mammalian nervous system with some attention to human material. Major emphasis on nervous system structure as it relates to function. For neurobiology and pre-health science majors. Prerequisite or Corequisite: A course in neurobiology (BIOL 435, BIOL 650), or permission of the instructor. LAB
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The basic concepts of molecular biology are examined and used to probe the process by which a normal cell becomes a cancer cell. The course investigates DNA damage and repair, chemical carcinogenesis, gene cloning and manipulation, the control of gene expression in eukaryotes, tumor viruses, the roles of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes in carcinogenesis, and cancer therapy. Prerequisite: BIOL 350 and BIOL 600, or consent of instructor. LEC
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The genetic control of basic developmental processes such as cell differentiation, morphogenesis and pattern formation in developing organisms will be analyzed using model systems ranging from yeast to fruit fly Drosophila to higher plants. Prerequisite: A course in genetics and in cell developmental biology. LEC
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Discusses aspects of graduate education that are directed at students entering graduate school and that focus on how to be successful in the post PhD phases of a career, but that must be initiated early in the graduate student program of study. One three hour discussion per week. Senior standing and planning on entering graduate school. LEC
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Lectures and discussion sessions. A study of the propagation and perception of olfactory, acoustic, and visual signals produced by animals in the context of communication. Both physiological and evolutionary perspectives will be treated. Prerequisite: A course in behavior or consent of instructor. LEC
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Students pursuing Honors in Biology will meet weekly to discuss, both formally and informally, their honors research. Background information and experimental approaches of the research will be examined and critiqued. Prerequisite: Enrollment in Biology Honors program and consent of instructor. LEC
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