Advanced Principles of Genetics and Genomics
Full course description
The genome is the fundament of life. In this course, various aspects of the composition of the genome will be addressed, such as unique vs repetitive DNA and transcribed vs non-transcribed segments. Another important aspect is the dynamic nature of the genome, especially in regard to epigenetic modification and of the various types of genetic variation. Epigenetic responses and genetic variation partly underlie complex traits and explain the individual susceptibility to influences from the environment.
In this course the molecular mechanisms of genetic and environmental influences on gene expression and protein function are addressed with special attention for deviation from Mendelian inheritance as well as complex regulatory mechanisms in case of both single-gene and multifactorial traits and disorders.
Considerable attention in this course goes to analytical methods for genomics and genetics. A technological revolution has taken place since the start of the unravelling of the human genome, leading to the development of techniques to rapidly sequence a complete genome, but also to perform functional analysis of gene expression and protein function and to incorporate the influence of genetic variation and epigenetic modification into these expression data.
These technological applications lead to huge amounts of data demanding specific algorithms for data analysis to be developed by researchers working in bioinformatics. Throughout the course students will obtain experience with several such algorithms, databases and analytical programs available in the public domain.
Finally, the large increase in knowledge on genomics and genetics together with the still growing potential of analytical possibilities impact research, society and the individual’s way of life. A time slot in the course will be reserved to discuss these developments.
In this course we address advanced principles of Genetics and Genomics according to specific Themes, which correspond with the Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs). For each Theme there will be tutorial sessions, a journal club, an expert lecture and career-related sessions, in which researchers will explain the research that they are performing. During site visits students will go to some of the laboratories for genetics and genomics to get insight into the technological requirements for genetic and genomics in daily practice. In addition, several computer sessions are scheduled to introduce and train students in data handling and analysis. Finally, students are requested to write an essay on a specific topic of genetics or genomics. The ILOs of this course are:
- Describe human genetic diversity and its dynamics based on the principles of population genetics.- ILO1
- Integrate the influence of epigenetics with the fundamental regulation of gene expression. ILO2
- Explain the impact of genetic variation on gene expression and protein function.- ILO3
- Explain deviations from fundamental genetics in eukaryotes.- ILO4
- Apply advanced analytical methods of genetics and genomics. - ILO5
- Analyze data handling in genetics and genomics. - ILO6
- Define ethical and societal issues concerning genetics and genomics.- ILO7