Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Interesting N&M Course for Summer: ANTH-B 370 Human Variation

ANTH-B370: Human Variation
Summer Session I (section 5195)
MTW 10:20-12:15
Instructor: Dr. Frederika Kaestle (

Want to learn about how and why humans are different from each other and from other animals? Why does skin color vary? Why does your mother love spinach but you hate it? Are you resistant to bubonic plague? How are you related to a Neanderthal? Did his DNA make your boyfriend ogle that waitress (or waiter)? When is it good to be fat? What does your DNA sequence look like? These and many other questions will be addressed in this course.

Need Natural and Mathematic Sciences credit? This course counts!

Want a Minor in Anthropology? This course counts!

Want a peek at your own DNA sequence? We’ll be sequencing DNA from volunteers in this course!

General Information: This course explores the variation within and between human populations in anatomy, genetics, and behavior. We will explore current hypotheses regarding human variation in a multitude of traits including skin color, body shape, blood type, response to stress, disease resistance,

IQ, and sexual orientation. The topics of this course involve profound questions facing our society, and revolve around new and constantly evolving science and technology.

Prereq: at least sophomore standing

Major themes for this course include:

o The principles underlying human variation (genetics, evolution)

o Patterns of human variation today

o The causes of these patterns

o Nature vs. nurture

o Genes and behavior

o The ethical dilemmas of this research

o A historical perspective on this research