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BIOL 341 is an introductory human genetics course that introduces students “to the laws of heredity as they apply to humans and to the study of inherited traits. The course covers a number of other related topics, including sex determination, the composition and function of genes, the causes and effects of mutation, population genetics, the genetics of immunity and cancer, the contribution of heredity to behaviour and intelligence, genetic counselling, and genetic technologies.” This course is a three-credit science course with pre-requisites of BIOL 204 and BIOL 205 or BIOL 207 that is required. The course is also available for challenge.
Who Should Take This Course and Why
I personally have taken this course as an option course during my undergraduate degree as I was interested in exploring how genetics works in humans. I was interested in learning the risks of mutations and how they were passed on through generations and, potentially, the causes and effects of these mutations. This course explores human genetics in more detail than the other introductory biology courses, therefore if you wonder if you would like to take further human genetics courses, this is the one you should try first!
I recommend this course for all science students and students interested in pursuing a career in health or medicine, and anyone interested in learning more human genetics in general. This course will teach students a lot about how our genes works, causes and effects, how our chromosomes work, and much more!
Course, Assignments and Exam Details
The course consists of sixteen units ranging from an overview of human genetics, cells and the individual, human reproduction, development, aging, chromosomes, laws of heredity, matters of sex, multifactorial and behavioural traits, DNA structure and replication, gene expression, mutation and repair, population genetics, human ancestry and evolution, genetics of immunity, cancer genetics and genomics, and technologies and applications.
The course consists of four assignments each worth either 10% or 15% each. There is also a midterm and a final exam each worth 25% each that must be done online.
How to Be Successful in the Course
Student’s Advice for the Course
For this course, I found it can be overwhelming in the beginning with the amount of detail to cover and study for the exams. I personally had to read the content twice before being able to grasp the content. Therefore, I recommend spreading out the readings to ensure you have adequate amount of time to re-read the content. Using cue cards, Quizlet, and making short summary notes are also very helpful. I found these great ways to help memorize information. To test whether you understand the goals of each unit, I recommend using the study objectives as target to pull the key information from each chapter.
The assignments are a bit long, so I recommend following the study plan and do them after each assigned reading unit to ensure students do not accumulate all the work at the end. Overall, like all science courses, understanding and reviewing the material regularly is key to ensuring success in the course!
If you have any further questions regarding the course, please do not hesitate to contact the Course Coordinator at Fst_success@athabascau.ca. Happy learning!