Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sorry, I forgot to look at the wait list!

I've taken down the post that said there were three openings in this section.  I had forgotten to check the wait-list, which turned out to have 10 names on it.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Will I need a clicker?


What textbook(s) will this course use?

BIOL 234 does require that you have a recent genetics textbook, but it doesn't require any specific textbook.  We recommend that students use the 4th edition of Genetics: from Genes to Genomes, by Hartwell et al.  New and used copies are available in the UBC Bookstore, at Discount Textbooks, and online.  However this book is quite expensive, and students are welcome to choose a less expensive textbook from the list below.  (This book offers online resources to students who purchase it new or pay a separate fee; these will not be required for BIOL 234.)

Each week's Reading Guide will specify topics to read about, including key words and concepts that students should cover.  Although suitable pages in the above textbook will usually be indicated, students are free to use any textbook for these readings.

Because BIOL 234 has open-book tests, purchasing only an e-book may not be suitable because students will not be able to bring it to the quizzes, midterm or final exam.  (In principle students should not need a textbook for these tests but most prefer to bring theirs 'just in case'.)  However the e-book version of the recommended textbook does allow students to flag sections and pages for printing as a Study Guide, so this may be sufficient.

Any of the textbooks listed below would also be suitable, and they are likely to be available used, either locally or through Amazom.   Many originally came with CDs and access to special web sites maintained by the publisher, but these will not be needed.

Introduction to Genetic Analysis, 9th Ed. (Griffiths et al., 2007)
This will be widely available locally, as it's used by BIOL 334.  The previous edition would be fine too.
Modern Genetic Analyses, 2nd Ed (Griffiths et al. 2002)
This book's approach to genetics comes closest to that of BIOL 234.  It may be available locally, and is very cheap through Amazon.   Unfortunately there isn't a newer edition.
Genetics: analysis of genes and genomes (Hartl and Jones 2008)

Concepts of Genetics (Klug et al. 2008)

Essentials of Genetics (Klug et al. 2009)

Genetics: a conceptual approach (Pierce 2004)

The books below are not suitable as your sole textbook, though you might find them helpful or at least entertaining:

The Cartoon Guide to Genetics (Gonick 1991)

Genetics for Dummies 2nd Ed. (Robinson 2010)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Eligibility questions

Two students sent questions about their eligibility for this section.

Question 1:
I am currently a second year student in Chemistry and looking to possibly switch into Biology. I'm planning on taking Bio 200 and Bio 201 next year and I'm curious if I would also be able to take this new course, even though I would be in my third year at UBC.  It sounds like a great idea and I would love to take it, if possible!
Question 2:
There is a chance that I wont have enough credits to be promoted into 2nd year in September. So my status will still be 1st year. Does this mean that I won't be able to take this course if I wanted to?
This section is restricted to second-year students only because it's not intended for upper-level (3rd and 4th year) Biology students.  So the first student is certainly eligible to take this section.  The second student would be eligible provided they had the prerequisites (at least BIOL 112 and 121, and preferably also BIOL 200).

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Email sent to students: New Genetics course for UBC Biology students

(This is the text of the email that was sent to students in BIOL 112 and BIOL 121 last Spring.)

To UBC students who are presently taking first-year Biology courses,

This email is to let you know about a one-time opportunity to take your required genetics course next year instead of in your third year.

As part of the ongoing revision of the Biology Program, a special section of the third-year genetics course BIOL 334 will be offered to second-year students (that will be you) in January 2011 (Term 2).  Although this section will give you credit for BIOL 334 (Basic Genetics), the material will be that being prepared for the new second-year course BIOL 234 (Fundamentals of Genetics).  At present BIOL 334 is required for all Biology Program options.  In later years BIOL 234 will replace BIOL 334; it will be required of all biology students in the years after yours.

You will see this section listed with the other BIOL 334 sections when you are registering for next year's courses.  It  will be numbered BIOL 334-202, and it will be open only to second-year students.  The important prerequisites are BIOL 112 and BIOL 121.  BIOL 200 is also listed as a pre-requisite and BIOL 201 as a co-requisite, but one of these could be waived.

Classes for this special section will meet MWF 9:00 - 10:00 am in Scarfe 201.  Students will also be expected to attend one tutorial each week; these are scheduled Monday and Wednesday from 2:00 - 4:00 pm in Math 103.

Why might you choose to take this course now?
  • The material will be appropriate for second-year students, and will reflect our best ideas of how to help students succeed with this challenging subject.
  • The material will nevertheless prepare you well for upper-level courses that presently require BIOL 334.
  • The class size will be small - only 40 students rather than the 300 or more in typical BIOL 334 sections.
  • Your third-year class schedule will be more open and flexible.
I've created a blog where I'll post additional information about this section; it's at  If you have questions that aren't answered here, please check the blog first.  If your question isn't answered there please email it to me and I'll post the question and answer there.

Dr. Rosemary Redfield, Professor, Zoology

Purpose of this blog

This blog is a place where UBC Biology students can find information about the special pilot section of the genetics course BIOL 334.  If you have a question that isn't answered here, please email it to me at this email address: redfield "at" (replace the "at" with the @ sign).  I'll post the questions and answers here so everyone can read them.

Dr. Redfield