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Makkuni Jayaram


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T C 358 • Impact Of Genomics On Soc

41740 • Spring 2020
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM CRD 007B

IMPACT OF GENOMICS ON SOCIETY

DESCRIPTION:

This seminar course will focus on how large DNA sequencing projects, most notably the human genome project, have led to rapid advances in genomics, biotechnology and medicine. The main goal is to raise awareness of what impact this genome revolution will have on society, positive as well as negative. On the bright side, biotechnology and genome engineering will lead to progress in agriculture, pharmaceuticals and medicine, yielding potentially considerable economic benefits and improved human health. The inevitable dark side of the genomics era includes the unforeseen effects of genetic modifications in plants and animals, the danger of crossing the ethical limits on cloning, the possibility of genocidal bio-terrorism or bio-warfare, and economically debilitating shift in demographics toward the elderly.

These topics will be explored through collective reading and open discussions. The relevant scientific basis of individual topics will be covered in stand up lectures before their broader ramifications are considered by the class as a whole. A subset of the topics will be selected for more in depth debate through seminar presentations by students organized into two groups, for and against a given proposition.

The human genome project and prospects of personalized medicine

Genetically modified organisms-can they solve world hunger and malnutrition?

Anti-ageing and increased life span-how desirable a goal?

Genome editing technologies-a cure all for human genetic disorders?

Texts/Readings:

There will be no specific text books. Reading assignments will be chosen from among the most relevant books, papers and other publications available at the time that the course is offered. Video presentations by scientists and experts in scientific ethics will be viewed in class. A sample is given below.

1. Human Genes and Genomes: Science, Health, Society. Diane D Rosenberg and Leon E Rosenberg (2012). Academic Press.

2. Eating in the Dark: America’s Experiment with Genetically Engineered Food. Kathleen Hart (2007). Vintage Books.

3. Sir Richard Roberts (2015). ‘A Crime against Humanity’

Assignments/grading:

Two term papers: a) Long (8-10 pages) (35%); b) Short (4-6 pages (25%).

Oral presentation (20%); Class participation (20%)

Biography:

Makkuni Jayaram obtained his PhD degree in biochemistry from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He did post-doctoral training with Professor Max Delbruck at Cal Tech, Pasadena and with Dr. James Broach at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He was Assistant Member and Associate Member at the Scripps Research Institute before joining UT Austin. He is currently Professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences.

T C 358 • Impact Of Genomics On Soc

42300 • Spring 2019
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM CRD 007B

IMPACT OF GENOMICS ON SOCIETY

DESCRIPTION:

This seminar course will focus on how large DNA sequencing projects, most notably the human genome project, have led to rapid advances in genomics, biotechnology and medicine. The main goal is to raise awareness of what impact this genome revolution will have on society, positive as well as negative. On the bright side, biotechnology and genome engineering will lead to progress in agriculture, pharmaceuticals and medicine, yielding potentially considerable economic benefits and improved human health. The inevitable dark side of the genomics era includes the unforeseen effects of genetic modifications in plants and animals, the danger of crossing the ethical limits on cloning, the possibility of genocidal bio-terrorism or bio-warfare, and economically debilitating shift in demographics toward the elderly.

These topics will be explored through collective reading and open discussions. The relevant scientific basis of individual topics will be covered in stand up lectures before their broader ramifications are considered by the class as a whole. A subset of the topics will be selected for more in depth debate through seminar presentations by students organized into two groups, for and against a given proposition.

The human genome project and prospects of personalized medicine

Genetically modified organisms-can they solve world hunger and malnutrition?

Anti-ageing and increased life span-how desirable a goal?

Genome editing technologies-a cure all for human genetic disorders?

Texts/Readings:

There will be no specific text books. Reading assignments will be chosen from among the most relevant books, papers and other publications available at the time that the course is offered. Video presentations by scientists and experts in scientific ethics will be viewed in class. A sample is given below.

1. Human Genes and Genomes: Science, Health, Society. Diane D Rosenberg and Leon E Rosenberg (2012). Academic Press.

2. Eating in the Dark: America’s Experiment with Genetically Engineered Food. Kathleen Hart (2007). Vintage Books.

3. Sir Richard Roberts (2015). ‘A Crime against Humanity’

Assignments/grading:

Two term papers: a) Long (8-10 pages) (35%); b) Short (4-6 pages (25%).

Oral presentation (20%); Class participation (20%)

Biography:

Makkuni Jayaram obtained his PhD degree in biochemistry from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He did post-doctoral training with Professor Max Delbruck at Cal Tech, Pasadena and with Dr. James Broach at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He was Assistant Member and Associate Member at the Scripps Research Institute before joining UT Austin. He is currently Professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences.

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