EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY AND HUMAN HEALTH (BIO 228), Spring Term, 3 Credits
Evolutionary perspectives are important in modern medicine, public health and lifestyle choices. Biology 228 explores a wide range of questions about health and disease filtered through the lens of evolution, including: Why is Ebola so virulent? What happened when Europeans arrived in the New World, and why? Why do we have sex? Why do people have anxiety attacks? How does evolutionary thinking help develop flu vaccines? How do we know HIV-1 came from chimpanzees? How can evolutionary theory help minimize rates of cancers worldwide? Why are Americans prone to having so many allergies nowadays? Should we eat like people 50,000 years ago to fight diseases of civilization?
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HUMAN POPULATION GENETICS (BIO 436/BIO 680), Spring Term, 3 Credits
Genomes and genetic data have become a central component of every branch of the biological sciences. Biology 436/680 surveys population genetics theory as applied to studies of micro-evolutionary changes. We will examine the fores of evolution - mutation, selection, inbreeding, gene flow, genetic drift - and how they can (and cannot) change allele frequencies in populations over time. We will also examine current literature on population genomics that emphasizes, but is not limited to, humans.