Topics in the History of Genetics and Molecular Biology
Instructor: Craig Stillwell
Lyman Briggs School
Office: E-185 Holmes Hall
Office Hours: Mondays, 1:30-2:30 (tentative)
Wednesdays, 2:00-3:00 (tentative)
(and by appointment)
This site last updated on
If you have comments or suggestions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fall 2000 Syllabus
Description Course ObjectivesTextsCourse
New Grading Scheme!
Reading and Assignments Schedule
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9
Week 10 Week
11 Week 12 Week
13 Week 14 Week
15 Week 16
Fifth Essay Writing Assignment
Fourth Essay Writing Assignment
More Extra Credit Opportunities:
1) Attend Anne McLaren's lecture on cloning (Wed. Nov. 29): 50 bonus points
Click Here for more information.
Click Here for an Anne McLaren essay on cloning.
2) Attend the showing of GATTACA on Tuesday, Dec. 5,
and participate in a class discussion about the film on Thursday, Dec. 7: 100 bonus points.
Extra Credit Opportunity:
Ruth Hubbard, "The Double Helix: A Study of Science in Context"
Essay Format Handout Standards
of Evaluation Revising & Rewriting
Composing Essays: Some Helpful Suggestions (and Pet Peeves of Mine)
The Writing Center Plagiarism
Handout Writing Purposes
General Comments about Common Errors made on the Diagnostic Essay
J. Craig Venter Page
Pulitzer Prize-winning Harvard entomologist (and world's
leading expert on ants),
E. O. Wilson, describes James Watson at Harvard in the late-fifties and sixties:
The Molecular Wars
of Andre Lwoff (1902-1994)
Biography of Jacques Monod (1910-1976) Ode to Monod
of François Jacob (1920-- )
of François Jacob
left to right: Francois Jacob (1920- ), Jacques
Monod (1910-1976) and André Lwoff (1902-1994).
Awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in1965.
Jacques Monod was director of the Pasteur
Institute in Paris from 1971 to 1976.
High Points in the History of Bacterial Sex!
1945--Conjugation discovered in E. coli K12 by Joshua Lederberg and Edward Tatum.
1952--Existence of sexual differentiation (male
and female bacteria!) discovered by William Hayes
(and independently by Joshua and Esther Lederberg with Luca Cavilli-Sforza).
1953--High-Frequency (Hfr) strains of E. coli K12 discovered by William Hayes.
1955--Waring Blender coitus interruptus experiments
of François Jacob and Elie Wollman lead
to the "spaghetti hypothesis" and ability to map the genes of E coli measured in units of time.
1956--Thomas Anderson takes an electron micrograph of bacteria caught in the act of conjugation.
1957--Arthur Pardee, Jacob, and Monod design and
carry out the PAJAMO experiment that
mates Hfr wild type males (inducible and with gene for beta-galactosidase) with constitutive
(non-inducible) females that lacked the beta-galactosidase gene. The correct interpretation of
the results of this experiment, made a little over two years later (April 15 (Good Friday) 1960),
led to the postulation of messenger RNA.
Brief History of the Institut Pasteur (by François Jacob)
Seymour Benzer Page
Rosalind Franklin Page
James Watson's Excellent
European Adventure James
Horace Freeland Judson Website
Anne McLaren, "Cloning: Pathways to a Pluripotent Future"
November 29th, 7:30 PM,
Fairchild Theater at the MSU Auditorium,
Anne McLaren is Principal Research Associate at the
of Cancer Research and Developmental Biology at Cambridge University. Her
research has concentrated on the genetics, reproductive biology, and
developmental biology of mammals, using the laboratory mouse as a model.
Prior to joining the Institute, she was Director of the Medical Research
Council's Mammalian Development Unit and worked for the UK Agricultural
Research Council. She is a member of both the European Group on Ethics,
which advises the European Commission on social and ethical implications of
new technologies, and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority in
the UK, which regulates in vitro fertilization and human embryo research.
Among her many awards, she is a Fellow of the Royal Society, received the
Society's Royal Medal in 1990, and served as its Vice-President, the first
woman Officer in 332 years). Anne McLaren was made a Dame of the British
Empire in 1993. In addition to numerous publications, she is also the
author of the June, 2000 article on "Cloning: Pathways to a Pluripotent
Future" in the Pathways of Discovery Essay Series in the journal Science.