Beloit College > Chemistry > Seminar

Chemistry seminar provides an opportunity for professional development and to hear and discuss current scientific research. We shall dedicate a significant portion of class to recent scientific literature. This type of presentation is something most research groups do. The remainder of the course involves planning your future, defining and finding internship and post-college opportunities, as well as some sessions devoted to computer-based tools.

CHEM 280. Professional Tools for Scientific Careers (.25). Planning your future, defining and finding internship and post-college opportunities, locating useful technical literature, discussing scientific ethics and issues, and participating in peer review. One 1-hour period per week. Graded credit/no credit. Offered each semester. Prerequisite: Chemistry 230 or sophomore standing.

CHEM 380. Chemistry Seminar (.5). Presentation and discussion of issues in chemistry, biochemistry, health, environment, and technology using current articles from the scientific literature as well as participation in professional development activities and engagement in peer review. The culminating project is a departmental presentation that includes synthesis of a body of work selected by the student. One 2-hour period per week. Offered each semester. (CP) Prerequisite: Chemistry 280 and senior standing. The overall learning goal of the capstone course is to provide seniors an opportunity to develop and demonstrate the ability to comprehend a body of knowledge, to organize it, to extract from it what is most important, and to present a discussion of it that is logical and comprehensible. Seniors will be expected to use their prior knowledge and experience in chemistry and to provide a scientific perspective on the subject that is appropriate for the sophomores in the course.

This course meets on land that is located on the traditional territory of Indigenous peoples, and we respectfully acknowledge the Potawatomi, Peoria, Miami, Meskwaki, and Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) people who have stewarded this land throughout countless generations. We pay respects to their elders both past and present and, as we gather here for class, we consider the legacies of violence, displacement, and settlement that they have faced. We are always on Indigenous land, and here on the campus we have a constant reminder in the form of the mounds. To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those on whose territory you reside, and a way of honoring Indigenous people. Land acknowledgments do not exist in a past tense, or outside historical context: colonialism is an ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation.

Student Evaluation: Students are expected to attend class each week. Students missing more than two class periods will automatically fail this course. Hardcopies (printed) of student-prepared material will be collected during each class period. Late work is not accepted. Conscientious completion and submission of at least 73% of course assignments is required to earn credit for students enrolled in CHEM 280. In addition to regular course assignments, students enrolled in CHEM 380 will be graded on the prepartion and delivery of an oral presentation.

Fall 2019 Schedule

Chem 280 and Chem 380 (1:00-2:00 p.m.) Chem 380 only (2:00-3:00 p.m.)
August 29
Introduction to CRISPR/Cas9
Before class, listen to Radiolab Update: CRISPR and watch Genome Editing with CRISPR-Cas9
Presentation Topic Selection
Development and Applications of CRISPR-Cas9 for Genome Engineering
(i) Structure and Diversity of Cas-9;
(ii) Editing Eukaryotic Cells using CRISPR/Cas-9;
(iii) Specificity and Target Recognition of Cas9;
Advancements and Obstacles of CRISPR-Cas9 Technology in Translational Research
(iv) Targeting Duchenne muscular dystrophy;
(v) Targeting Sickle cell disease;
(vi) Targeting beta-thalassemia;
(vii) Targeting hematoligical malignancies
September 5
Mechanistic Overview of CRISPR/Cas-9
Before class read pages 1262-1267 of Development and Applications of CRISPR-Cas9 for Genome Engineering and pages 359-362 of Advancements and Obstacles of CRISPR-Cas9 Technology in Translational Research. Bring a typed response with three paragraphs explaining (i) what did you already know that was presented in the readings; (ii) what did you learn from the readings; (iii) what are you still confused about from the readings?
Managing Figures in Presentations
Bring electronic pdf-format versions of all of your references for your presentation.
September 12
Ethics of CRISPR/Cas-9
Before class, read What are the Ehtical Concerns of Genome Editing? and Statement on Genome Editing Technologies and Human Germline Genetic Modification; Gene-edited babies: What went wrong and what could go wrong? and What is Ethics in Research and Why is it Important?
Developing a Presentaion Narrative
Prepare a three minute talk discribing your presentation to a non-science person. No slides or written materials are needed.
September 19
Skills Inventory
Before class, print ten current "dream-job" advertisements.
Refining a Presentation Narrative
Prepare a five minute talk discribing your presentation to a science person. No slides or written materials are needed.
September 26
CV Workshop
Before class prepare and print a draft of your CV. Basic Guide to Writing a CV.
Background Section Presentations
Prepare to walk the class through each of your background slides.
October 3
Applying for a job or internship
Prepare and print a cover letter (Basic Guide to Writing a Cover Letter) and resume (Basic Guide to Writing a Resume) for a currently advertised job or internship. Bring your printed cover letter, resume, and advertisment to class.
Student Practice Talk: Structure and Diversity of Cas-9
October 10
Student Presentation: Structure and Diversity of Cas-9 [Paper] Student Practice Talk: Editing Eukaryotic Cells using CRISPR/Cas-9
October 17 Midterm Break Midterm Break
October 24
Student Presentation: Editing Eukaryotic Cells using CRISPR/Cas-9 [Paper] Student Practice Talk: Specificity and Target Recognition of Cas9
October 31
Student Presentation: Specificity and Target Recognition of Cas9 [Paper] Student Practice Talk: Targeting Duchenne muscular dystrophy
November 7
Student Presentation: Targeting Duchenne muscular dystrophy [Paper] Student Practice Talk: Targeting Sickle cell disease
November 14
Student Presentation: Targeting Sickle cell disease [Paper] Student Practice Talk: Targeting beta-thalassemia
November 21
Student Presentation: Targeting beta-thalassemia [Paper] Student Practice Talk: Targeting hematoligical malignancies
November 28 Thanksgiving Day Thanksgiving Day
December 5
Student Presentation: Targeting hematoligical malignancies [Paper] and Course Evaluation No meeting

Last updated November 22, 2019 by Ted Gries

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