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Allegheny College    
 
    
 
  Oct 17, 2017
 
2017-2018 Academic Bulletin

BIO 580 - Junior Seminar


Credits: 4
The following courses are sections of BIO 580:

Animal Behavior
An examination of animal behavior from an ecological and evolutionary perspective. Topics include the genetics and development of behavior, behavioral aspects of resource use and predator-prey relationships, male and female reproductive strategies, parental care, and social behavior.

Cellular Neurobiology
An examination of the nervous system at the level of single cells and molecules, with special emphasis on voltage-gated ion channels and ligand-gated receptors. The laboratory uses molecular and electrophysiological techniques to study structure and function of nervous system proteins. One laboratory per week. Recommended: NEURO 110  .

Disease Ecology
An exploration of host-parasite interactions, highlighting the diverse ecological and evolutionary outcomes of these interactions, as well as the physiological responses that hosts utilize when exposed to parasites. Students examine classic and contemporary topics in the primary literature on disease ecology, including costs of host defenses, the evolution of parasite virulence, parasite co-infections, how the environment mediates the outcome of host-parasite, and the effects of host-parasite interactions on ecosystems. In the laboratory, students learn modern ecological, molecular, and physiological techniques and approaches to studying parasitism in an ecological context. One laboratory per week.

Ecology of Freshwater Wetlands
An examination of the structure and function of local wetland ecosystems and interactions with adjacent aquatic and terrestrial habitats. The laboratory emphasizes field study of hydrologic and chemical analysis, and identification of wetlands flora and fauna. One laboratory per week.

Genetic Analysis
A study of genetic approaches to the investigation of complex biological processes, including animal development, behavior, and disease. Students consider model genetic systems such as the fruit fly, Drosphila melanogaster, and how these models can be used to analyze human genetic disorders. The laboratory involves experience with molecular biological methods, techniques of both forward and reverse genetics (e.g., mutagenesis, RNA interference), and molecular mapping of traits. One laboratory per week.

Hormone Disruption
A study of disruption of normal hormone function by known and suspected environmental pollutants. Laboratory and field studies emphasize techniques used to detect hormone disruption in cells, tissues, nerves, and behavior as well as measurement of endocrine disrupters in the environment. One laboratory per week.

Limnology
Study of the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of lakes and impoundments. The laboratory emphasizes field study of area lakes. One laboratory per week.

Molecular Evolution and Bioinformatics
Explores the fundamentals of evolutionary theory and methodologies with an emphasis on those specific to the analysis of molecular data. Advancements in molecular data collection and analysis will be emphasized, from historical techniques such as DNA-DNA hybridization through current phylogenomics research. The laboratory will provide experience in standard molecular biology techniques and bioinformatics towards the collection and analysis of molecular data in an evolutionary context. One laboratory per week. Recommended: BIO 305  or BIO 340 .

Oxidative Stress Response
An examination of biotic and abiotic stresses that produce reactive oxygen species in plants and the response mechanisms involved in sensing and reducing these toxic compounds. In the laboratory oxidative stress response is investigated at the proteomic and genomic levels using molecular biological techniques. One laboratory per week.

Pathogenic Bacteriology
An exploration of bacterial pathogens and how they cause disease. Students study principles of pathogenic microbiology, including where disease-causing organisms come from, how they are transmitted to a host, what factors they use to cause damage to the host and perpetuate their own survival, how the disease is treated, and how transmission can be prevented. The laboratory focuses on factors contributing to virulence using standard microbiology and molecular biology techniques. One laboratory per week. Recommended: BIO 305  or BIO 310 .

Physiology of Reproduction/Behavior
An examination of the physiological bases of animal reproduction and the behaviors that accompany the reproductive process. The laboratory utilizes insects as model systems to examine reproductive behaviors, effects of hormone applications, and effects of gland/organ removal (microsurgery). Additional techniques include tissue culture, as well as the biochemical, radiochemical and immunological identification and quantification of various hormones. One laboratory per week.

Physiology of Vision
An examination of the physiology of vision from the molecular to the organ level. Students focus on retinal function, metabolism, and gene expression using in vitro and in vivo laboratory methods.

Plant-Microbe Interactions
An examination of the interactions between plants and microorganisms, focusing on the molecular physiology of signal exchange in plant microbial symbioses. Laboratory investigations emphasize the modification of plant development by microbial symbionts and provide opportunities to work with genetic model systems and reporter gene analysis. One laboratory per week.

Public Health Surveys & Research Methods
This seminar will focus on research involving human subjects. Unlike work in a laboratory, human subjects research requires the investigator to take into account the behaviors, attitudes, and health status of individuals that are not the focus of the research study. Additionally, there are ethical considerations and legal requirements associated with studying humans. We will discuss these and apply them to our own research. Topics to be covered in this seminar include: development and deployment of valid and reliable surveys; coordination and conduct of focus groups; data collection and analysis; ethical considerations; and the strengths and limitations of human subjects research.

Sensory Neurobiology
An examination of the structure and function of the sensory systems of invertebrates and vertebrates with emphasis on mechanisms at the cellular level. The laboratory provides experience in electrophysiological techniques and computer simulations as they are used to illustrate the function of neurons and sensory organs in a wide variety of experimental animals. One laboratory per week. Recommended: NEURO 110 .

Signal Transduction
An examination of the central role played by signal transduction pathways in the process of cellular differentiation. Particular emphasis is placed on evolutionarily conserved pathways involved in development in a wide range of organisms, including examples of signaling defects implicated in cancer and other human disorders. The laboratory includes experience in tissue culture, histochemical staining, and fluorescence imaging techniques. One laboratory per week. Recommended: BIO 305 , BIO 320 , or BIO 325 .

The Evolution of Shape
An examination of why living and extinct animals are shaped the way they are from an evolutionary and mechanical perspective. Laboratory topics include biomechanics, functional morphology, and how shape is used to explore evolutionary and ecological relationships of both vertebrates and invertebrates. One laboratory per week.

Prerequisite: BIO 220 ; BIO 221 ; completion of FSBIO 201  with a grade of C or better; and permission of instructor.

Distribution Requirements: none.