With the year-long curriculum, students explore molecular biology (Fall term), genetics (Winter term), and genomics (Spring term). The Fall term focuses upon molecular biology; however, Winter and Spring terms are a mix of genetics and genomics throughout.
Note: When the course is offered for winter/spring term only, the course is not a compressed or accelerated version of the academic year-long offering. The course emphasizes molecular biology and genetics. Student understanding and prior knowledge determine what portion of the genomics lessons are taught.
Students begin exploring key concepts in Molecular Biology by examining DNA and recreating and participating in elements of biomedical engineering taking place in professional research labs today! This includes labs that actively use PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and gel electrophoresis.
Ti2 maintains several of each of the newest PCR and Gel Electrophoresis technologies on the market specifically for learning and for "use in the field" today. Most young people do not have an opportunity to use this equipment until college.
Students are introduced to Watson and Crick's "central dogma" of molecular biology: how DNA is replicated, transcribed into RNA, and translated into protein. They investigate transcription and translation with molymods and by visualizing pairings of amino acids by doing a temperature linear ramp lab.
During the Winter term, students extend and apply what they have learned in molecular biology to genetics. They consolidate their understand of genetics using simulations that are a definite favorite. Students run genetics-focused labs that make transcription and translation palpable and others.
During the Spring term, students are ready to investigate key ideas and challenges in genomics including (but not limited to:
- a deeper understanding through discussion and PCR labs (polymerase chain reaction) and how it can and is being applied in labs today to achieve genomic outcomes for improving human health and legal verdicts.
- leading edge research (e.g., CRISPR) and its medical and ethical implications.
- synthetic biology research and investigations.
- computational genomics and its application to disease.
Site visits or visiting specialists! The Innovation Institute's team engages area research institutions and industries to help our students understand how and why real people are investigating the science behind and developing innovative solutions to the topics covered in this course.
Prerequisite: Microworlds: Introduction to Micro and Molecular Biology unless student has permission from Ti2 staff. Not sure whether it is the right fit? Contact us at 617 340-9907.