Class Overiew or Class Website
Class Overview or Class website
This course is the entry point for Bob Goldberg's Teaching Program and is incorporated into the General Education Curriculum of the UCLA College Honors Collegium. HC70A is designed to provide non-science majors and entering life science students with a foundation in molecular biology and genetics as it applies to genetic engineering, and addresses the social, legal, and ethical issues that arise from emerging new genetic technologies in medicine, agriculture, and law. A major goal of this class is to put genetic engineering into a scientific, historic, and social perspective so that students can make objective decisions about how this technology should be used in the future. HC70A is highly interactive, team-oriented, problem-based, and teaches students how to think critically about experimental science and the societal issues raised by advances in genetic engineering, genomics, and human reproduction. HC70A is organized into four parts: (1) an interactive, media-oriented lecture section that includes hands-on "experiments" and demonstrations (2) an undergraduate seminar that focuses on Scientific American articles and is taught by undergraduate teaching fellows, (3) an all-class film and guest-speaker section that brings real-life societal issues into the classroom, and (4) a weekly class dinner that allows students to interact in an informal setting with Bob Goldberg and discuss science, educational issues, what it is like to be a professor, and other topics that arise spontaneously around the dinner table.
The HC70A discussion section is taught as an undergraduate seminar, and focuses on Scientific American articles, plays, and debates that simulate "real-life" genetic engineering situations. The articles expand on topics covered in lectures and teach students how to read and think about science. These topics include: (1) the origins of genetic engineering, (2) how genetic engineering is used in agriculture, medicine, and the law, (3) gene therapy, (4) bioweapons, (5) use of genetic engineering to treat cancer, and (6) DNA testing, among others. Students are asked to read the articles critically and focus on four general questions: (1) What is the question being addressed by the article? (2) What are the technologies and approaches being discussed? (3) What is the significance of the technology, and how does it apply to real-life situations? (4) What ethical issues arise as a consequence of the new technology? The plays and debates challenge students to apply the scientific knowledge they have learned in simulated "real-life" situations. They include: (1) a court trial using DNA evidence, (2) a debate on using transgenic animals and plants in medicine & agriculture, and (3) potential environmental problems brought about by the use of genetic engineering. A novel aspect of the discussion section is that it is taught by undergraduate teaching fellows who use the Socratic method to maximize interactions in the class. Teaching fellows call on students by name and ask them to discuss and interpret the experimental results presented in the article(s) read each week. The teaching fellows also moderate lively student discussions and debates on the impact of emerging new genetic technologies on society.
The lecture section is fast-paced, media oriented, highly interactive, and makes extensive use of group learning to teach students how to problem solve and think critically about how major scientific discoveries are made. A variety of unique methods and approaches are used to teach students how to think critically about the questions addressed in lecture.
Making Science Come "Alive" In the Classroom
Students Visit Crime Lab
Students visit crime lab at Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center. They were able to experience what happens in a forensics lab, analyzing evidence taken from a crime scene such as DNA sampling and narcotics analysis with findings used in a court of law.
HC70A Students ask guest speaker Harry Klann, LAPD Criminalist, questions during his lecture
Genotyping Students in the Class
A cheek swab is taken from each student during class and each student's DNA is isolated using a commercial DNA kit. PCR reactions are carried out using D1S80 alpha VNTR primers to describe the range of D1S80 allelic diversity in the HC70A class. Students analyze the gel patterns, describe the range of D1S80 alleles, and calculate their own allelic frequencies relative to the whole class. Click on the link to download the protocol and see sample all-class gel results.
Student demonstrating how to prepare a cheek swab for genotyping
Searching For Bacteria With Specific Genotypes
Students carry out a simulated "cloning experiment" and select for bacteria with different antibiotic markers and genotypes. Students streak bacterial strains with different genotypes in class - no antibiotics, one antibiotic, or two antibiotics - and then take the plates home and observe the results. Students write up a "lab report" on their results, construct hypotheses to explain their results, and propose experiments to test their hypotheses. Click on the link to download the protocol for this experiment.
Student using a sterile toothpick to pick up bacteria cells to place on a media plate
Students precipitate and spool DNA out of solution in class. Students discuss what the DNA "looks like," what tissue the DNA came from and how it was extracted, and propose hypotheses to explain its viscosity and ability to wind around a rod.
Students extract DNA from the ethanol solution
| HC70A Winter 2012 Mock Trial
Click on the picture to view clip
| Docudrama Play "The Dominic Problem"
Docudramas That Put Students in Situations That Deal With Science and Society
Students Write, Produce, & Film an All-Class Science Video Project on "Science and Society"
The science video project enables the students to take what they've learned throughout the course (genetic engineering, cloning, ethical and social issues, etc.) and present the material in a "fun" way. Furthermore, this project encourages student-student interactions and team work.
Group Oral Exams
The group oral exams teaches students how to speak in public and think on their feet. Exam questions utilizes an integrative approach that emphasizes experiments, problem-solving, and connections between different subjects. The oral exam consists of groups answering questions as well as challenging other groups with questions. This format fosters student/student exchanges that challenges students to become "their own teachers".
Using Multimedia to Enhance Class Lectures
HC70A makes extensive use of state-of-the art audio-visual equipment and handouts and so that students can listen in class, interact, and participate in discussions, rather than keep their heads down and scribble notes non-stop. Each class begins with several minutes of rock-and-roll music chosen by a student or Bob Goldberg in order to get class energy levels up and have some fun. Major concepts, diagrams, and student pictures are projected using a digitized overhead camera, and handouts of all notes and figures are scanned, digitized into a PDF-formatted file, and uploaded on the class web site for student use. Click here to view and download class handouts of Winter 2018.
Lectures are digitally streamed on the class web site and can be accessed 24 hours a day. Lectures are recorded using a standard DV-capable camera with an audio line-in for direct audio feeds from a wireless hand-held microphone. Students also use microphones to ensure that class discussions are captured on video. Lectures recorded by the digital camera are simultaneously fed into an Apple Powerbook G4 laptop, and the video is encoded simultaneously into a QuickTime movie using QuickTime Broadcaster. The encoded video lectures are uploaded onto a QuickTime Streaming Server housed in the MCDB central computing office and posted on the class website. Lectures are viewable within an hour after the class has ended.
History's Harvest: Where Food Comes From (ASPB Education Foundation) (2002)
In this film, Bob Goldberg explores the controversy of genetic engineering by putting the debate in an historical perspective. The film explores the scientific evidence behind the controversy over genetically modified (GM) food, presenting a sweeping view of 10,000 years of agricultural history. Click here to view clips from the film History's Harvest.
Inherit the Wind (1960)
Based on a real-life case in 1925, two great lawyers argue the case for and against a science teacher accused of the crime of teaching evolution.
The Race for the Double Helix (1987)
Watson and Crick race to find the structure of DNA before Linus Pauling, Maurice Wilkins, or Rosalind Franklin can find the key to unlocking the secret.
Lorenzo's Oil (1992)
A boy develops a disease so rare that nobody is working on a cure, so his father decides to learn all about it and tackle the problem himself.
Biowar (Nightline) (1999)
A special five-part ABC NEWS series about a terrorist biological attack.
Kerry Mullis & PCR (Nightline) (1994)
A documentary about the inventor of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
Futuristic story of a genetically imperfect man and his seemingly unobtainable goal to travel in space.
Perfect Baby (Nightline) 2002
A family tries to create a child through a cutting edge new medical technology that could determine with only a handful of cells whether an embryo would grow to be a baby free of a genetic disorder, and also a perfect match for a transplant.
Genetic Prophesy (NOVA)
This program shows the potential benefits and explores some of the social, economic, and ethical dilemmas stemming from the human genome project.
Murder, Rape, & DNA (NOVA) (1992)
This film describes and discusses the role of DNA fingerprinting in criminal and civil investigation by focusing principally on two major criminal cases: the kidnap and rape of a nine year old child in San Diego, California and a double rape/murder of two teenage girls in England.
Planted DNA Evidence (NOVA) (1997)
Forensic scientists performed DNA test on two seed pods and proved that they come from the same tree, thereby placing the murderer at the scene of the crime.
Bioterror (Nova) (2002)
Anthrax, Smallpox, Ebola, and more -- The frightening past and lethal future of biological warfare.
Genetically Correct: Ensuring Perfect Babies (Discovery Channel) (1997)
In this program, Dr. Mark Hughes discusses his pioneering IVF techniques that diagnose potential genetic diseases in embryos only days old.
Knowledge or Certainty (The Ascent of Man) (1973)
Moral dilemmas confront todays' scientists, from nuclear energy, to the development of weaponry, to human experiments. Jacob Bronowski offers his personal views.
DNA (Educational Broadcasting Corporation and Windfall Films with Funding From HHMI) (2003)
The Lysenko Affair (Nova) (1975)
GENETIC ENGINEERING IN MEDICINE, AGRICULTURE AND LAW - HC70A
A Different Type of Education in the Classroom
One of the novel and fun aspects of HC70A is the breadth of undergraduate majors and levels represented by students in the class. For example, freshman debate seniors, entering life science students help non-science students, and classic majors exchange ideas with future biochemistry majors. A unique collective exists in which students representing the ideas, views, and backgrounds of a cross section of the UCLA campus come together to learn and discuss issues related to the impact of genetic engineering and genomics on society. During the past 15 years, 618 students took HC70A, representing 25 different majors. More than 50% of the students were non-science students, and 25% were life science students who had declared a major but were just beginning the core curriculum required of all life science students at UCLA. In addition, there was almost an even distribution between first, second, third, and fourth year students. The pie charts shown on this page summarize the HC70A student population over the past 15 years.