FALL 2015 CORE-UA 303, Natural Science II: Human Genetics
Prof. Rockman (Biology) syllabus
We are currently witnessing a revolution in human genetics, where the ability to scrutinize and manipulate DNA has allowed scientists to gain unprecedented insights into the role of heredity. Beginning with an overview of the principles of inheritance such as cell division and Mendelian genetics, we explore the foundations and frontiers of modern human genetics, with an emphasis on understanding and evaluating new discoveries. Descending to the molecular level, we investigate how genetic information is encoded in DNA and how mutations affect gene function. These molecular foundations are used to explore the science and social impact of genetic technology, including topics such as genetic testing, genetically modified foods, DNA fingerprinting, and the Human Genome Project. Laboratory projects emphasize the diverse methods that scientists employ to study heredity.
FALL 2015 CORE-UA 306, Natural Science II: Brain and Behavior
Prof. Fenton (Neuroscience) syllabus
The relationship of the brain to behavior, beginning with the basic elements that make up the nervous system and how electrical and chemical signals in the brain work to effect behavior. Using this foundation, we examine how the brain learns and how it creates new behaviors, together with the brain mechanisms that are involved in sensory experience, movement, hunger and thirst, sexual behaviors, the experience of emotions, perception and cognition, memory and the brain's plasticity. Other key topics include whether certain behavioral disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder can be accounted for by changes in the function of the brain, and how drugs can alter behavior and brain function.
Note: Handling of animals and animal brain tissue is required in some labs.
FALL 2015 CORE-UA 310, Natural Science II: Molecules of Life
Prof. Jordan (College Core Curriculum) syllabus
Our lives are increasingly influenced by the availability of new pharmaceuticals, ranging from drugs that lower cholesterol to those that influence behavior. We examine the chemistry and biology of biomolecules that make up the molecular machinery of the cell. Critical to the function of such biomolecules is their three-dimensional structure that endows them with a specific function. This information provides the scientific basis for understanding drug action and how new drugs are designed. Beginning with the principles of chemical bonding, molecular structure, and acid-base properties that govern the structure and function of biomolecules, we apply these principles to study the varieties of protein architecture and how proteins serve as enzymes to facilitate biochemical reactions. We conclude with a study of molecular genetics and how recent information from the Human Genome Project is stimulating new approaches to diagnosing disease and designing drug treatments.
FALL 2015 CORE-UA 313, Natural Science II: The Brain — A User's Guide
Prof. Azmitia (Biology) syllabus
A non-textbook introductory science course aimed at non-science students interested understanding and caring for their own brains. The course provides new ideas of brain evolution, drug action and mental disorders. Core neurobiological ideas are developed into complex topics such as addiction, violence, memory, homosexuality and obesity. Each lecture provides current insights confronting students. The important subjects of drugs and alcohol introduce current mechanism of action for abuse of illegal (e.g. marijuana and ecstasy) and prescription (e.g. Xanax, Oxycodone, and Adderall) drugs. The course ends with coverage of clinical topics such as depression, suicide, anxiety, autism and ADHD. A weekly laboratory is included in this class which consist of brain dissections, microscopy, and computer assisted morphometry as well as exercises to cover topics such as alcohol measurement, calorie determination, photosynthesis and gender differences. Students are also expected to learn to use DSM-5 psychiatric handbook. The course grade is based on 5 test, a final, laboratory grade and two papers. The course is not recommended for juniors or seniors. All lectures are available as PowerPoint presentations before class and students are encouraged to use their computers or smartphones during class to facilitate discussions and questions. In summary, this class attempts to provide college students with the background to understand how the brain is structured and how it functions.
Note: Handling of animal brain tissue is required in some labs.
FALL 2014 CORE-UA 315, Natural Science II: Human Reproduction
Prof. Naftolin (NYU Medical School) syllabus
Reproduction is a major presence in daily life. This introductory course covers the basic development, anatomy and function of the reproductive systems in men and women, including the human sexual response and the sexual development of differences in the brain. The course also includes special topics such as sexually transmitted diseases, family planning, in vitro fertilization, and reproductive ethics. We will examine the relationships between reproduction and societal, medical and global issues. The laboratory provides hands-on experience with fundamental processes in reproduction.
1. The laboratory sections for this course will be located at 180 Varick Street.
2. Some laboratories require animal dissection and/or handling live animals.