This course was both one of the most interesting and one of the hardest courses I've taken! If you're at all interested in stem cells or recent transgenic techniques I highly recommend it! However, be prepared for a significant level of difficulty.
The content covered transcription, gene regulation, RNA silencing, but the main focus was on stem cell history, biology, and applications. It's really on the cutting edge of research, so the specifics will likely change from year-to-year.
The marks came from two midterms and a final exam (the bulk from the final). The course covered a huge range of concepts, techniques, and involved a fair amount of memorization. The midterms were multiple choice, while the final was mostly application involving long written answers and some multiple choice.
The toughest part was to remember all the details of the experiments discussed in lecture, and then to apply the findings. This involved remembering the names and functions of about a dozen genes, a variety of developmental and transcriptional pathways, some lab techniques and then applying them.
It was a real challenge but it served to show just how intricate the field of stem cells is, and the difficulties associated in using them. Cool stuff!
The profs certainly made the course tolerable, despite cramming in a huge amount of information. Their expertise and enthusiasm as well as some of the discussions were great.
I really recommend this course if you're up for the challenge, especially if you'd like to know more about the newest areas in stem cell research.