BIOL 5102
Structural Biology Seminar
Spring 2014 

Instructor: Steven Vik  
Office 236 DLS,  (214) 768-4228
Class: Th 3:00-3:50  237 DLS

This course seeks to examine historical aspects of the development of structural molecular biology, which is now an essential component of modern biology. Some technical aspects will be discussed, in order to understand the significant advances that were made. Human dimensions of some of the scientists involved will also be examined.
Students will be able to describe and analyze historical aspects of the history of structural molecular biology

Syllabus (pdf)

Jan 23 Introduction to the Class
Jan 30 Early concepts of proteins Ch. 2 (A)
Feb 6 Cyclol theory Ch. 3 (A,B,C,D,)
Feb 13 Dorothy Wrinch, W.T. Atsbury Ch. 3 (E,F) What is a Snark?
Feb 20 Helices, Pauling & Perutz Ch. 4

(B,C) (video)

Feb 27 Continued, Pauling, Eisenberg Ch. 4 (D,E, F,G)
Mar 6 Race for the DNA double helix, Chargaff rules, Triple helix by Pauling, Fraser Ch. 5 (A,B,C,D)
Mar 13 Spring Break
Mar 20 Diffraction of a helix by Watson, Crick, Wilkins, Franklin Ch. 5 (E,F,G)
Mar 27 Publicity and Credit Ch. 5 (H,I,J,K)
Apr 3

How to solve a protein structure
(Satirical paper)

Ch. 6 (A,)
Apr 10 Hemoglobin Abstracts, Myoglobin Structure Ch. 6 (B, C, I-IX)
Apr 17 High Resolution Structures: Myoglobin, Hemoglobin Ch. 6 (A, B)
Apr 24 No Class  
May 1 History, Art, Irving Geis Ch. 7 (C), Epilogue, Appendix 3: A,B
May 8, Finals meeting at 1:00 PM, Paper due or email in advance pdf Discussion of papers

The text for the course:

Present at the Flood:  How Structural Molecular Biology Came About  by Richard E. Dickerson

Sinauer Associates, Sunderland Mass.    2005     ISBN  0-87893-168-6  

The text contains copies of the original articles that will be read and discussed.    

Publisher's Website

Other Links:

The DNA Story videos

Bruce Fraser interview 2008

Last modified April 16, 2014

Comments/questions:email me

Copyright 2014, Steven B. Vik, Southern Methodist University