Useful Genetics is taught in two parts, Part 2 has 5 weekly modules plus a final exam week. Students may want to also sign up for the separate course Useful Genetics Part 1.
Part 1. Genes and their effects (taught as the separate course Useful Genetics Part 1)
Module 1. How different are we? Introduction to DNA, genes and chromosomes and the relationships between human populations.
Module 2. How DNA molecules change. The causes and immediate consequences of mutations.
Module 3. DNA differences and gene functions. How mutations that change gene activity or function affect the properties of organisms.
Module 4. Mutations in regulatory genes. How mutations cause cancer. Sex determination and genes on sex chromosomes.
Module 5. Natural genetic variation. How natural genetic variation is studied, and how it differs from classical alleles. Heritability and genome-wide association studies. Genetic variation for cancer risks.
Module 6. Personal genomics. Kinds of DNA typing and genome analysis, and what can be learned from them about health risks, personal attributes and ancestry.
Part 2. Inheritance (5 weekly modules plus a final exam week)
Module 7. The mechanics of inheritance. How genes and chromosomes are transmitted through the generations (including the molecular mechanisms of mitosis and meiosis).
Module 8. Genetic analysis. Using genetic crosses as a research tool to investigate how genes work and what they do. Sex-linkage, pedigree analysis, and hypothesis testing.
Module 9. All about breeding and inbreeding. More about heritability and GWAS. Inbreeding in humans, crops and livestock, and evolution. Hybrids and genetically modified organisms.
Module 10. Chromosomal changes. Polyploidy and aneuploidy, chromosome rearrangements, and genome evolution.
Module 11. Selected advanced topics. The origin of life, mitochondrial genes and mutations, genetic mosaicism, fetal DNA in mothers, epigenetic inheritance, and other topics students may suggest.