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  • Gabriel Wu 20:15, 21 January 2013 (EST): I like how last year's topics are grouped together by week. I know this may not work as well with the format of the class this year, but should we try to organize weeks in some meaningful way? For example, this week's topics include the iGEM registry, DNA assembly and Bioethics. It's hard to connect Bioethics and DNA assembly into a coherent topic.
    • Jeffrey E. Barrick 20:37, 21 January 2013 (EST):I had a hard time coming up with a system to do that with the topics I wanted to cover this year, but if you have an idea about how to rearrange the syllabus so it's more of a logical progression of topics, it would be great to hear it.
      • Gabriel Wu 16:46, 22 January 2013 (EST): Well, I guess it depends on how much you want/need the syllabus to be coherent. Certainly some topics have an order like learning what pcr and restriction enzymes are before learning about cloning techniques and MAGE, but other topics are less strictly ordered like selectable genetic markers and origins of replication. These latter topics are best described as beginner or introductory topics that just need to be covered in the "first half" of the course. I guess what I'm thinking is that the topics covered each week don't need to fall under some umbrella topic, as long as each page is coherent. Maybe on another page or for future reference, you can rewrite history a little bit and rearrange topics as you think appropriate. Things can be a little out of order. It's not like we're writing a textbook here (although, maybe not a bad idea after a few more rounds of this class).
        • Jeffrey E. Barrick 11:09, 23 January 2013 (EST):It seems like we may need a quick intro to molecular biology for some class participants. Maybe I should invest in a few copies of The Cartoon Guide to Genetics. Any other resources out there for this purpose?
      • Jeffrey E. Barrick 11:09, 23 January 2013 (EST):A textbook/master index organization would be nice once there is a little more content built.
        • Gabriel Wu 20:15, 23 January 2013 (EST): Agreed. Just throwing it out there.
    • Jeffrey E. Barrick 11:09, 23 January 2013 (EST):I like the idea of adopting a common part (like GFP or pBAD) and really delving into the history and details. Last year a lot of the introductory topics (promoters) were a bit too generic and all-encompassing which made them vague and unsatisfying. Maybe focusing on a particular part/paper within the category this year is a way of fleshing those out.