Question by fishing4squirrels: How important is genetics for a neuroscience degree?
For my degree course my first year of neuroscience is basically the same as a first year biology student. So I was wondering how important the different segments of biology will be for my second and third year. I do an entire module based on genetics, and another one giving a general human biological overview starting from cells working up to organs and systems. Are these actually going to be beneficial in my later years or do they simply want me to have a general overview? Should I focus mainly on action potentials, cell signaling, and the brain? (or other areas – open to suggestions) and just get enough knowledge to pass the rest? My theory is that they want me to have an overview of human biology and also don’t have enough information/money (not sure which) to bother teaching separate neuroscience and biology lectures. Any help, hints, or suggestions are very welcome.

Best answer:

Answer by Emily M
Considering the genetic basis of certain neurological diseases (Huntington comes to mind), I would think that knowledge of genetics and molecular biology would be essential for neuroscience. Also, the nervous system interacts with just about all other parts of the body, so, for example, you will need to know how muscles work in order to really understand the neuromuscular junction.

IMHO, you will need basic biology, cell physiology, mammalian anatomy and physiology, pharmacology if offered (particularly drugs affecting the CNS and peripheral nerves), immunology, biochemistry (for which you need general and organic chemistry), biophysics (for which you need physics), and psychology. In math, you will definitely need statistics and probably need calculus and maybe some computer science, particularly if you are also interested in cognitive science. Developmental biology and endocrinology would be useful too.

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