Course contents *
Genetics is the basis for most biological, medical and biotechnical analyses and techniques. Consequently, in order to optimally exploit the biotechnical tools, knowledge about the basic genetics is of great importance. This part of the course aims to give a broad knowledge, from an evolutionary perspective, of how genetic variation is formed and inherited, and how it evolves.
A number of basic aspects of genetics will be studied, for example:
The origins of life, and the “Tree of Life”: the origins, development and relationships (phylogeny) of all organisms
The mechanisms of evolution
The genetic difference between organisms: differences and similarities in the architecture and function of the genomes, and how this evolved through the evolution
Inheritance of genes and traits: different modes of inheritance (e.g. Mendelian and asexual) and their effect on the “success” of individuals and species
Inherited diseases: their causes and effects
Mutations: the chemistry of DNA damage, the types of mutations, and cellular mechanisms for their repair
Mapping of genes (identification of which trait is affected by which gene)
Genetic differences between human populations: their historical origin and subsequent spread, and their medical importance
This part of the course aims to give detailed insight into the techniques and technological trends in the fields of genomics and transcriptomics, to build up the necessary foundations for further understanding of association studies, pharmacogenomics, forensics, population genetics, diagnostics, medicine and drug development. The course includes a short introduction to conventional assays used in molecular biotechnology, description of different methods for typing of genetic variations, a variety of techniques for multiplex amplification, advanced techniques and platforms for DNA sequencing and whole genome sequencing, and different techniques for transcript profiling.
In addition, the course involves a literature workshop of selected articles, which will be performed in groups. Each group presents one article and will oppose other groups’ articles. This project aims to teach critical reading, interpretation and comparison of the most advanced techniques and platforms in the fields of genome sequencing, massive parallel genotyping and transcript profiling. The project requires teamwork and planning, and participation as well as presence on the workshop days (indicated as OVN and SEM) is compulsory. The course also includes assignments that should be prepared after each lecture.