A Genetic Approach to Laboratory Research using the Roundworm, C. elegans

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Course registration will be available once courses are confirmed and scheduled.

Course Description

Have you ever wondered how scientists study human diseases? The nematode (roundworm) Ceanorhabditis elegans is an outstanding genetic model to study biological problems related to human disease.

In this project-based laboratory course, students will be introduced to one of the most widely used model organisms in research laboratories, the free-living microscopic roundworm. Using basic and fluorescent microscopy, accompanied by readings from the WormBook (online review of C. elegans biology) students will study the anatomy, development, life cycle and reproduction in worms through a hands-on approach. Students will gain an in depth understanding of DNA, RNA, and proteins in the context of genetics. The course will particularly emphasize the use of RNA interference, a new technology that has revolutionized the way researchers investigate the function of genes. Additionally, students will visit a C. elegans research laboratory on campus. In small groups, students will design, conduct and analyze experiments to understand biological processes that relate to human diseases using the worm as a model system.

This course will promote a greater understanding of using the scientific method to address real-world biological questions. In addition, students will appreciate the power of using a genetic model system to study evolutionarily conserved cellular and organismal processes relevant to humans, to develop new ways to treat human diseases.

Prerequisites: One year of biology (in junior high or high school) is recommended, but is not required.


Course Information

  • Course Code: CEBI0617
  • Length: 2 weeks

Program Information

STEM for Rising 9th and 10th Graders

Two-week, non-credit residential program focused on STEM subjects and taught on Brown’s campus. For students completing grades 8-9 by June 2020; minimum age of 14 and maximum age of 15 by the start of the program.

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