Human Genetics (Non-laboratory course)

I.     Course Prefix/Number: BIO 104

       Course Name: Human Genetics (Non-laboratory course)

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course introduces basic genetic principles and applications in human populations.  Content includes the cell cycle; structure, function, mutation and transmission of the genetic material; role of genetics in health care and biotechnology; and ethical, psychological and social implications of gene-based medicine.

IV.   Learning Objectives

After successfully completing this course, students should understand and be able to:

  1. evaluate advances in genetics
  2. report the basis of DNA replication, transcription, and translation
  3. explain the regulation of gene expression
  4. describe mutations, mutagenic origins and agents and their effect on cells, individuals and populations, including inborn errors of metabolism
  5. identify and describe the stages of the cell cycle
  6. identify and describe the stages of mitosis and meiosis
  7. analyze the genetic significance of meiosis
  8. work monohybrid and dihybrid Mendelian crosses and sex linkage problems
  9. explain human cytogenetics, including the normal karyotype and chromosome abnormalities
  10. describe the genetic basis of gender
  11. describe the effect of mitochondrial inheritance and multifactorial genetics
  12. clarify the role of genetics in cancer
  13. discuss the importance of genetic considerations in risk assessment, prevention, diagnosis, management and treatment of human disease
  14. review the medical applications of genetic technologies including reproductive technologies
  15. examine contemporary issues in genetics, including ethical, legal and social implications


By the completion of your biology courses at Oakton, you will have gained the experience to.....

  1. Think critically – identify, define, analyze, interpret, and evaluate ideas, concepts, information, problems, solutions, and consequences. This includes the ability to compute and comprehend quantitative informati
  2. Communicate – communicate ideas, concepts, and information through written and oral means. Collaborate with people of diverse backgrounds and abilities.
  3. Demonstrate literacy – demonstrate the ability to read critically within content areas. Use technology to locate, evaluate, and communicate data, information, ideas, and concepts. Assess, critique, and select from a variety of information resources.
  4. Demonstrate responsibility – demonstrate an understanding of personal responsibility and ethical behavior in one’s own academic and civic life.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

Lecture Schedule, Topics and Readings

The topics in bold indicate science topics related to society.
In a given semester the following breakdown will take place:

A quarter of the semester will cover the following topics:

Introduction to Genes
Levels of Genetics
Genes and the Environment
Application of Genetics
Introduction to Cells
Cell Components
Cell Division and Death
Cell-Cell Interactions
Stem Cells
The Reproductive System
Gamete Maturation
Prenatal Development
Birth Defects
Maturation and Aging
Mendelian Inheritance
Pedigree Analysis

A quarter of the semester will cover the following topics:

Exception to Mendelian Genetics
Mitochondrial Genes
Sexual Development and Determination
Traits Inherited on Sex-Chromosomes
Sex-limited and Sex-Influenced Traits
X inactivation
Genomic Imprinting
Genes and the Environment Molding Traits
Polygenic Traits
Genome-Wide Association Studies
DNA Structure and Replication
Science History of the Discovery of Genetic Material

A quarter of the semester will cover the following topics:

Gene Expression and Regulation
Processing a Protein
Gene Mutation
Gene Expression During Development
Control of Gene Expression
Non coding RNAs
Gene Mutations
Causes of Mutations
Types of Mutations
DNA repair
DNA repair disorders
Parts of Chromosomes
Visualizing Chromosomes
Abnormal Chromosome Number
Abnormal Chromosome Structure
Uniparental Disomy

A quarter of the semester will cover the following topics:

Genetics of Cancer
Characteristics of Cancer Cells
Origins of Cancer Cells
Cancer Cells and MicroRNAs
Genes contributing to cancer
Environmental Causes of Cancer
Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
Genetic Technologies
Patenting DNA
Amplifying DNA
Modifying DNA
Silencing DNA
Genetic Testing and Treatment
Genetic Counseling
Genetic Testing
Treating Genetic Disease
Reproductive Technologies
Infertility and Subfertility
Assisted Reproductive Technologies

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Lecture material is presented in lecture-discussion format.  Students are expected to participate by asking questions, by responding to questions asked of them, and by performing problem-solving exercises.  Visual aids are often used.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

May vary depending on instructor, but may include:

  • active participation in class and satisfactory completion of written assignments
  • satisfactory performance in written lecture tests or quizzes

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Lewis, Human Genetics - Concepts and Applications, McGraw Hill, 2015, 11th ed.

Supplemental readings may be assigned by the instructor.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

May vary depending on instructor, and may include:

  • objective and/or essay lecture exams
  • written assignments or projects
  • lecture quizzes

XI.   Other Course Information

Additional course information may vary but may include:

  • information concerning group and/or individual reviews scheduled during class time or outside of class time
  • information concerning biology tutors
  • suggestions for success in class (i.e. careful note-taking by students)
  • use of study sheets to aid in preparation for lecture or laboratory exams

Course may be taught as on-site or hybrid course

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.