I’ve created syllabi, in very rough form, for the two courses I will be teaching. Each class is to run 10 weeks, completely online. One is for a bioinformatics and genomics course. I’ve not used bioinformatics tools (Databases and Software) much over the years, though I have been peripherally aware of those such as GenBank, BLAST, ExPASy, Ensembl and so forth. Now is my chance to learn them AND get it to the point that I can teach future science teachers about it so they can take this information to their students.
Also in preparation, but also for my enjoyment, I am reading books on Genomics, including:
The $1,000 Genome by Kevin Davies
Genome by Matt Ridley
It Takes a Genome by Greg Gibson
The 10,000 Year Explosion by Cochran and Harpending
and sadly, I broke down and got one of those “for Dummies” books: Bioinformatics for Dummies by Claverie and Notredame
The other course is for Evolution and Human Health, also known as Darwinian Medicine. Many medical schools seem to have courses in this topic, which wonders WHY we have some of the poor design that causes illness and pain as well as some ingenious designs that manage to keep us alive and functioning in some ways better than other creatures on the planet.
The landmark book for this topic is Why We Get Sick By Nesse and Williams
There is a video link on my Evolution and Human Health page
Nesse is speaking with Richard Dawkins. It is a group of 5 videos meant to be watched in sequence, each about 8 minutes each. Very interesting.
Tomorrow is a day where we will be meeting about how to get these courses advertised to the public and especially to those interested in obtaining a Masters in Science Teaching from the University of Illinois (School of Integrative Biology). and another training session in how to use Elluminate for synchronous conversations between several people…I’ve heard it is like Skype on steroids. We’ll see.