Working with Molecular Genetics

Category: Medical

Posted on 2007-05-16, updated at 2008-08-22. By anonymous.


This online textbook covers major topics in molecular genetics in a problems-based approach. It grew out of teaching a course for upper level undergraduates and graduate students at the Pennsylvania State University (BMB400).

The copyright is held by the author, Ross C. Hardison. Anyone is free to read and use this information for any purpose EXCEPT for profit. I make it freely available, so keep it free. For instance, if you are teaching a class and want to point students to it, please do so. If you want to use this material to learn some molecular genetics, please do so. If you want to use some of the figures in a report, do so, just list this page as your source. If you want to take any or all of this material and publish it as a book for your profit - DON'T!

The material was current as of fall, 2002. Most of the material is relatively "stable", so hopefully it will be useful for some time to come. I do not intend to update it very often, if at all. However, feedback is always welcome, and may inspire me to edit this some more.

Various guest lecturers have added important material to this course and book. In particular I thank Tracy Nixon (Dept. BMB, PSU) for his contributions to Chapter 16 and Jerry Workman (formerly in BMB at PSU, now at the Stowers Institute) for his contributions to Chapter 20. Some of the images are derived from other books, articles and websites. I have tried to cite all those sources; please forgive me if I have overlooked any.

You can access both html and pdf versions of the chapters. The pdfs are more accurate representations, but html is provided for convenience. The original material was generated in Microsoft Word, and the html is generated by the "Word to html" conversion facility within Word. I know that some things (like arrows, exponents, and even positions of figures with respect to text) are not rendered accurately, so beware of this problem. Some of the images were made years ago in MacDraw (pict files), and are not rendered all that well. A small number are hand-drawn and scanned in; these are hard to read. However, most of the figures should be legible, especially in the pdfs.

Ross Hardison, January 12, 2005

  • Part One: Genes, Nucleic Acids, Genomes and Chromosomes. Overview html pdf
    • Chapter 1. Fundamental properties of genes html pdf
    • Chapter 2. Structures of nucleic acids html pdf
    • Chapter 3. Isolating and analyzing genes html pdf
    • Chapter 4. Genomes and chromosomes html pdf
    • Answers to questions in Part One html pdf
  • Part Two: Replication, Maintenance and Alteration of the Genetic Material
    • Chapter 5. DNA replication I: Enzymes and mechanism html pdf
    • Chapter 6. DNA replication II: Start, stop and control html pdf
    • Chapter 7. Mutation and repair of DNA html pdf
    • Chapter 8. Recombination of DNA html pdf
    • Chapter 9. Transposition of DNA html pdf
    • Answers to questions in Part Two html pdf
  • Part Three: The Pathway of Gene Expression
    • Chapter 10. Transcription: RNA polymerases html pdf
    • Chapter 11. Transcription: Promoters, terminators and mRNA html pdf
    • Chapter 12. RNA processing html pdf
    • Chapter 13. Genetic code html pdf
    • Chapter 14. Translation: Protein synthesis html pdf
    • Answers to questions in Part Three html pdf
  • Part Four: Regulation of Gene Expression. Overview html pdf
    • Chapter 15. Positive and negative control of gene expression html pdf
    • Chapter 16. Transcription regulation via effects on RNA polymerases html pdf
    • Chapter 17. Transcriptional regulation of bacteriophage lambda html pdf
    • Chapter 18. Transcriptional regulation after initiationhtml pdf
    • Chapter 19. Transcriptional regulation in eukaryotes html pdf
    • Chapter 20. Transcriptional regulation via chromatin alterations html pdf
    • Themes in Regulation html pdf
    • Answers to questions in Part Four html pdf

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