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COURSES and SYLLABI

BIOLOGY COURSES


BIO 103: General Biology I


Introductory course intended for science majors. Cell structure, function, and energetics are considered from the molecular and chemical viewpoints. The characteristics of the gene and reproduction are introduced as well as cell differentiation,morphogenesis, and growth. Laboratory work consists of manual and visual experience with selected areas of the topics listed. [AUSTRIACO-BIO103SyllabusFall2009.pdf]


BIO 122: Human Biology


Intended to present the principles of human biology designed to promote the understanding of the body. Subject matter will provide students with the ability to make informed decisions in their lives. The course will present cell theory, genetics, evolution, and human ecology. An analysis of the organ systems of the human body and their diseases are discussed. [AUSTRIACO-BIO122Syllabus2006.pdf]


BIO 127: Genes and Gender


This course explores the role of biological claims in current social debates surrounding the specification of sex/gender in the human species.  A foundation in both classical and molecular genetics will hep us to better understand how sex/gender is determined by both genetic and environmental causes.  This course is intended for non-science majors and for students enrolled in the Women Studies Program. It is open to science majors as a free elective only, with the permission of the instructor. Same as WMS 127. [AUSTRIACO-BIO127Syllabus2010.pdf]


BIO 308: Modern Genetics


Presents the basic principles of classical and molecular genetics with an emphasis on experimental design, data analysis, and problem solving. Recent advances in molecular and human genetics will be discussed with the use of research papers from the literature. Laboratory exercises will introduce students to the basic techniques and experimental protocols of molecular biology and genetics. [AUSTRIACO-SyllabusBIO308Fall2008.pdf]


BIO 412: Microbial Physiology


A study of the physiological mechanisms of bacteria including nutrition, fermentation,metabolism, and nucleic acid synthesis. Emphasis is placed on the synthesis and degradation of bacterial bio-polymers. Some emphasis is placed on environmental changes caused by prokaryotic cells. [AUSTRIACO-BIO412Microbial Syllabus2009.pdf]



BIO 475: Advanced Topics Seminar in the Biology of Cancer


What is cancer? In this advanced topics seminar, we will answer this question by   focusing on the six hallmarks that define cancer cells: evasion of apoptosis, insensitivity to anti-growth signals, self-sufficiency in growth signals, sustained angiogenesis, tissue invasion and metastasis, and a limitless replicative division potential (cf. Hanahan and Weinberg, 2000). The seminar will involve extensive student-led discussions based upon the very best research papers in contemporary cancer biology. As a capstone course in biology, this seminar will also strive to help students to develop those skills needed by professional biologists including the ability to read, analyze, and critique scientific papers, and the craft of writing an NIH grant.  [AUSTRIACO-BIO475 Cancer Syllabus 2009.pdf]


BIO 475: Advanced Topics Seminar in the Biology of Aging


Why do we grow old? Can we ever expect to live for two hundred years? Understanding the aging process and extending the human lifespan are two of the most cutting-edge and fascinating pursuits in contemporary biology. In this upper-level course, which will be conducted as a journal club that will involve extensive student participation, we will read, analyze, and critique recent papers published in the biology of aging. Topics will include the evolution of aging, theories of aging, and the genetics and molecular biology of aging in different model systems including S. cerevisiae, C. elegans, D. melanogaster, M. musculus, and Homo sapiens. [AUSTRIACO-BIO475Syllabus2005.pdf]


BIO 395, 396, 495, 496: Research


THEOLOGY COURSES


THL 240: Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas


A study of the principal works of St. Thomas Aquinas, the place of Aquinas in medieval history, and the development of theology, the chief elements of his method.  Special tracts of the Summa Theologiae will be read, analyzed, and discussed.  [AUSTRIACO-THL240Syllabus2009.pdf]


THL 372: Contemporary Moral Problems


Have you ever wondered why cloning is such a controversial issue today? Is there a gay gene? Do you know when it is morally permissible to refuse life-saving medical treatment?   Do you know the difference between adult and embryonic stem cells?  Why do abortion and contraception lead to much unhappiness and suffering?  Can there be a just war?  This course examines a wide range of controversial moral problems raised by our contemporary culture in the areas of social, sexual, and biomedical ethics. Some of the topics we will discuss include capital punishment, contraception, in vitro fertilization (IVF), abortion, cloning, stem cells, homosexuality, artificial hydration and nutrition (AHN), physician assisted suicide and euthanasia. We will examine and respond to these moral issues in light of fundamental Christian convictions grounded in both faith and reason regarding the dignity of the human person, the meaning of human procreation, suffering, and death, and the call to holiness in medicine and scientific research. [AUSTRIACO-THL372Final Syllabus2008.pdf]


THL 410: Contemporary Thomistic Moral Theology


In this course, we will read the major works in English translation of Fr. Servais Pinckaers, O.P., along with selections from the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas, O.P., The Meaning of Grace by Charles Journet, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church in order to better understand the major themes, major concerns, and major debates that shape contemporary moral theology in the Catholic tradition. The two questions that will focus our discussions of these readings are the following: What is moral theology?  How can moral theology help us to respond to the universal call to holiness?  [AUSTRIACO-THL470ThomisticMorals Syllabus2009.pdf]


HONORS COURSE


HON 480: Honors Colloquium -- Science and Religion


What should the relationship between science and religion be like?  Recent scholarship proposes four models for the relationship between science and religion: conflict, independence, dialogue, and integration.  In this colloquium, we will use this four-fold typology and the Catholic conviction that faith and reason work together to address the big questions raised by both science and religion.  As proposed by Professor Keith Ward, these questions include the following:  How did the universe begin?  How will the universe end? Is evolution compatible with creation? Do the laws of nature exclude miracles? What is the nature of space and time?  Is it still possible to speak of the soul? Is science the only sure path to truth?  Can science provide an explanation for morals and religious beliefs?  Has science made belief in God obsolete? Does science allow for revelation and divine action?  We will respond to these question through an intellectual engagement with the popular bestseller, The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins. [AUSTRIACO-Science&ReligionSyllabusSpring2010.pdf