Courses of Study 2019-2020 
    
    Jan 23, 2021  
Courses of Study 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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BIOMI 1200 - Genesis


     
Fall. 1 credit. Student option grading.

Prerequisite: one semester of general biology.

L. Kaltenegger, S. Winans.

This class will explore the current theories about the chemical origins of life on earth, and will then use these insights to discuss the search for life on other planets, inside the Solar system and outside. Topics will include origin of the Sun, the Big Bang, the formation of Earth, the origin of life, from the prebiotic synthesis of amino acids, nucleobases, and other building blocks of life, the evolution of primitive protocells, the earliest RNA-based catalysts, the evolution of protein synthesis machinery, and the origins of eukaryotic cells. We will conclude with strategies and progress in identifying life on other planets in our solar system and on planets orbiting other stars.

Outcome 1: Students will be able to summarize and evaluate knowledge and theories about the formation of a stars, the Earth, planets and a temperate hydrosphere on the surface of the primitive earth.

Outcome 2: Students will be able to critically evaluate experiments and theories about the abiotic formation of biologically molecules and their polymerization into macromolecules, and will identify gaps in these theories.

Outcome 3: Students will be able to critique theories about the RNA world and the evolution of protein synthesis machinery.

Outcome 4: Students will be able to describe and critique the fundamentals of Darwinian evolution.

Outcome 5: Students will be able to examine current and future efforts to identify life on other planets and the likelihood of finding life elsewhere in the near future.



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