Biology

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  • CAS BI 455: Developmental Neurobiology
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS BI 203 or CAS BI 325 or CAS NE 203; or consent of instructor.
    Fundamental principles of developmental neurobiology, stressing molecular mechanisms that underlie early neural development, differentiation, process outgrowth, and behavior. Three hours lecture, one hour discussion. Also offered as CAS NE 455.
  • CAS BI 471: Readings in Biology
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior or senior standing, cumulative GPA in biology of at least 3.0,and consent of instructor.
    Intensive library research on a well-defined subject, followed by individual conferences and discussion with a faculty member. May be taken as preparation for CAS BI 401, 402, 491, and 492. Does not carry major or minor credit in biology.
  • CAS BI 472: Readings in Biology
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior or senior standing, cumulative GPA in biology of at least 3.0,and consent of instructor.
    Intensive library research on a well-defined subject, followed by individual conferences and discussion with a faculty member. May be taken as preparation for CAS BI 401, 402, 491, and 492. Does not carry major or minor credit in biology.
  • CAS BI 475: Urban Ecology
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS GE 100 or CAS GE 101 or CAS GE 104; and one of the following: CAS BI 306, CAS BI 443 or GRS BI 643, CAS GE 456 or GRS GE 656, or CAS BI 530 or CAS GE 530; or consent of instructor.
    The biophysical environments and ecology of urban settlements. Key topics include the physical environment, patterns in human population growth and development, ecosystem structure and function, global change, urban environment pollution and management, and sustainable urban development. Also offered as CAS GE 475.
  • CAS BI 481: Molecular Biology of the Neuron
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS BI 203.
    Topics include electrical properties of neurons, a survey of neurotransmitters, molecular structure and function of receptors, synaptic transmission, intracellular signaling, and the molecular biology of sensory transduction. Three hours lecture, one hour discussion. Also offered as CAS NE 481.
  • CAS BI 486: Biological Design for Sustainable Development (EBE)
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS BI 107; one EBE (ecology, behavior, and evolution) course numbered CAS BI 260or higher.
    Study of biological constraints on the problem of human society's relationship with the ecosystems, terrestrial and marine, that sustain it. Case studies combining natural history, ecological theory, dynamical modeling, and experimental design in the search for workable solutions.
  • CAS BI 491: Undergraduate Research in Biology IV
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor.
    Research in biological science for students at the senior level. Students design and implement a research project with a faculty member. A minimum of 12 hours per week in lab or field work, not including preparation or evaluation time. Research topic must be defined at the time of registration. Course grade is determined by laboratory performance and written report.
  • CAS BI 492: Undergraduate Research in Biology IV
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor.
    Research in biological science for students at the senior level. Students design and implement a research project with a faculty member. A minimum of 12 hours per week in lab or field work, not including preparation or evaluation time. Research topic must be defined at the time of registration. Course grade is to be determined by laboratory performance and written report.
  • CAS BI 495: Seminar in Research
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior or senior standing and consent of instructor.
    For research students to consider issues of ethics in science and help develop methods in data gathering, analysis, and presentation of their own research activities. Students analyze research papers, grant proposals, and their own work; a written paper and oral presentation are required.
  • CAS BI 497: Honors in Biology Seminar
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS BI 107 and CAS BI 108; and at least two additional biology courses. For students currently enrolled in or intending to apply to the Honors Biology Program.
    A 2-credit weekly research seminar for students in the Honors in Biology Program. A minimum grade of B+ and a written assignment based on a research topic in one of the seminars is required to graduate with honors. Juniors enrolled in BI 497 or 498 must have a currents faculty research mentor (See the Biology website or contact the Undergraduate Program Coordinator in the Department of Biology).
  • CAS BI 498: Honors in Biology Seminar
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS BI 107 and CAS BI 108; and at least two additional biology courses. For students currently enrolled in or intending to apply to the Honors Biology Program.
    A 2-credit weekly research seminar for students in the Honors in Biology Program. A minimum grade of B+ and a written assignment based on a research topic in one of the seminars is required to graduate with honors. Juniors enrolled in BI 497 or 498 must have a currents faculty research mentor (See the Biology website or contact the Undergraduate Program Coordinator in the Department of Biology).
  • CAS BI 504: Advanced Evolutionary Analysis (EBE)
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS BI 309; or permission of instructor.
    Modern concepts, controversies, and analytical approaches in evolutionary biology. Topics include adaptation, natural and sexual selection, species and species formation, phylogenetics, origin of evolutionary novelty, adaptive radiation, basic population and quantitative genetics, development and evolution. Three hours lecture, one hour discussion.
  • CAS BI 506: Phenotypic Plasticity
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS BI 107; and either BI 303 or BI 304, or consent of instructor.
    Explores the flexible phenotype as a product of development and target of natural selection, and addresses the role of plasticity in ecological interactions and evolutionary diversity. Topics: plasticity genetics, evolution, developmental mechanisms, functional ecology, learning, and diversification of life. Three hours lecture, one hour discussion.
  • CAS BI 513: Genetics Laboratory
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS BI 203 and CAS BI 206; and senior standing, and consent of instructor.
    Genetic techniques such as mutant selection and screening, complementation, mapping, recombinant DNA, and chemical genetic screening are taught using the genetic model systems Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and Arabidopsis thaliana. Short-term and long-term projects in which students formulate and test hypotheses.
  • CAS BI 515: Population Genetics (EBE)
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS BI 206 or CAS BI 309; and Biology math requirement, or consent of instructor.
    Examines the interaction of basic evolutionary processes, including mutation, natural selection, genetic drift, inbreeding, and recombination, in determining the genetic composition of populations. Covers both classic models of the modern evolutionary synthesis and newer approaches based on coalescent theory.
  • CAS BI 519: Theoretical Evolutionary Ecology
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS BI 303 ; CAS BI 309 ; CAS MA 121; (or CASMA123), or consent of the instructor.
    Familiarizes students with the theory of evolutionary ecology. Students gain enough background to read theoretical evolutionary ecology literature, do simple modeling, and move on to more complex theory. Students gain experience through homework assignments and computer labs.
  • CAS BI 520: Sensory Neurobiology
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS BI 325 or CAS NE 203; or consent of instructor.
    A broad survey of sensory system function in model organisms and humans, focusing on fundamental principles of neural processing. Topics include basic cellular transduction, neural coding, and links between neural activity and sensory perception. Also offered as CAS NE 520.
  • CAS BI 523: Marine Urban Ecology
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: enrollment in the Marine Semester.
    Marine Urban Ecology is an emerging, interdisciplinary field that aims to understand how human and ecological processes can coexist in human-dominated systems. Topics, ecosystems, and organisms associated with urbanization in the Greater Boston area. Also offered as CAS GE 523.
  • CAS BI 525: Biology of Neurodegenerative Diseases
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS NE 102 or CAS BI 203; ; and (CASNE203 OR CASBI325).
    An in-depth look at molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases and their impact and relevance in clinical diagnosis and treatment. Topics include the molecular pathways of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's, and Creuztfeldt-Jacob Disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Also offered as CAS NE 525.
  • CAS BI 527: Biochemistry Laboratory I, II
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS CH 204 ; CAS CH 212 ; CAS CH 214; or CASCH282.
    Emphasizes the purification and characterization of proteins and DNA. Development and use of modern instrumentation and techniques. Same as CH527 and laboratory portion of CAS BI/CH421. Required for BMB students enrolled concurrently in GMS BI 555. Four hours lab, one hour discussion.