George T. Davis, PhD. 50-333 
Associate Professor Molecular Biology


Location: Room HSC 257, Lecture and Lab

Instructor: George T. Davis Telephone: x4120 (office) or 389-1627 (home)

Office: HSC 272,  Email:

Text: Malacinski and Freifelder 2003 Essentials of Molecular Biology, Fourth Edition

Other readings may be assigned throughout the semester.

Office Hours: TBA


GOALS AND OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this course is to provide the students with an introduction to molecular biology and its application, both from a practical and a theoretical perspective. Upon completion of the course students will have the basic skills necessary to work in a molecular biology lab, and the theoretical foundation necessary to design and carry out experiments using the tools of molecular biology.



A. A Brief History---Chapter 6, pp 99-109

B. Structure and Characteristics of Macromolecules

            The major classes and the importance of weak interactions—Chapter 2

            Nucleic acids—Physical and Chemical Properties—Chapter 3

            Proteins---A Brief Review---Chapter 4

            Macromolecular complexes---Chapter 5, pp 77-87

C. Essentials: Flow of genetic information    

            DNA as the Basis of Inheritance                   

EXAM I                            

            DNA Replication




            DNA Mutagenesis and Repair mechanisms  

            Regulation of Gene Transcription  (prokaryotes, eukaryotes)                       

                        Regulation of Gene Activity in Prokaryotes  

                        Regulation of Gene Activity in Eukaryotes  






Class Policies—BIO50.333, section 1

To avoid confusion and misunderstandings, the following policies will be in place in this class.

1. Cheating: Defined as "nonauthorized use of books or notes, use of crib sheets, copying from another student’s papers, exchanging information with another student orally or by signals, obtaining a copy of the examination illegally, and other similar activities". A student suspected of, or caught, cheating will be given a failing grade for this course, and may be expelled from school. 

2.  Examinations: Exams will consist of objective questions, (multiple choice, True/False, matching, labeling, etc.) essay, and problems. All formats are possible.
NOTE: in order to pass the course you must pass the examination portion. In other words, if your cumulative score on the exams is indicates an "E", you will fail the course regardless of average in the laboratory portion of the course.

3. Final Exam: The final exam will be comprehensive in nature. It will be worth 20% of your final grade. The final will be administered at a time and place TBA.

4.  Lab reports: Each lab report will be worth 10 points. Lab reports will be due within 1 week of completion of the laboratory investigation unless otherwise noted. The laboratory notebook will be the equivalent of one hourly exam.
NOTE: Laboratory notebooks must be handwritten, not typed. The first time you use a protocol it must be transcribed to your laboratory notebook by hand.

5.  Final grading: The final grade for the course will be determined as a straight-scale percentage of the total maximum points. Assignment of letter grades will be as follows:

                    90-100% of maximum A

                    80-90% of the high score B

                    70-80% of the high score C

                    60-70% of the high score D

                    Below 60% E