Biol 540 Syllabus
Email Kathy

Dr. Kathleen A. Marrs

IUPUI, Fall 2009

Room: IT 252, T Th 6:00 - 7:15 pm
Office: SL 330

Course Objectives:
In this course, we will explore the fundamental issues of biotechnology. What is biotechnology and how did it come about? How is biotechnology done and how is it being used today? What are the consequences of biotechnology applications to the lives of humans and other animals, plants, and to the environment? Finally, what are some of the issues that biotechnology raises about the role of science and technology in society??

Web Page: There is no required text for this course, however, the class schedule contains all lecture notes and links to readings, assignments, and biotechnology companies. Web notes, readings and assignments will be available the Saturday before the next week's lectures; in addition, a WarmUp short assignment is due every Thursday by noon (see below). I will provide handouts from textbooks where necessary. Individual speakers may provide papers or other information relevant to the course.

Lecture Discussions: Since the readings and notes are available on the web prior to each week's class, I will come into class expecting that you have read the assigned material. I ask you to come prepared to class ready to participate, ask questions and offer comments. You are expected to attend all classes. Many evenings, we will have invited speakers from area biotechnology companies or from other departments at IUPUI. This is a great opportunity to make contacts with area scientists.

Readings and WarmUp Assignments:
Each lecture will be preceeded with a series of readings (usually 3-5). Readings will be available on Saturday of the week preceeding the lectures and must be read before coming to class. Every Thursday, by noon, (with the exception of exam and presentation days) a short WarmUp assignment will be due. The WarmUps questions are on material not yet discussed in class to encourage you to consider real world scenarios and analyze them in terms of the material we are learning. Each WarmUp is worth 5 points if answered on time. There is no penality for an 'incorrect' answer. Because they are pre-lecture assignments, they will not be accepted after noon Thursdays.


Overview of Key Issues in Biotechnology

Food and Agriculture

Bioethics and Genethics:

Genome Gateway

Investing in Biotechnology

Now you try it! Biotechnology Team Projects



Course Grades: The breakdown of points is as follows:

Exams 1&2 (125 points each), Exam 3 (final; 150 points)

400 points

WarmUps (10 @ 5 points each)
50 points
Biotech Stock Project
50 points
Biotech Team Project
100 points
600 points


As a graduate class, it is expected that you will be putting in the effort to do A or B level work. The grading scale will usually fall as follows:

Copyright The articles and websites I assign as course readings are a fundamental part of the course objectives, and as such, their use is educational and generally considered in the category of "Fair Use". Images are credited with a link to the original source; images that are not credited directly come from the AccessExcellence educational website, from which I have obtained permission for their use. Quotes from authors are indicated by a link or footnote; following the link will take you to the original source of the quote. The BioTechnology Logo is used courtesy of BioTrek and AccessExcellence.