BIO2012 : Molecular Genetics and Mammalian Biochemistry

  • Module Leader(s): Dr Ethan Hack
  • Owning School: Biology
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0

Aims

To develop concepts of genome organisation and of prokaryotic and eukaryotic gene expression, to discuss how gene expression is regulated, and to illustrate the significance of this regulation for cell function and development. To revise important metabolic pathways studied in Stage 1 biochemistry and to consider their activities in the liver, muscle and adipose tissue; to introduce mechanisms by which these activities are controlled and coordinated both within and between the tissues.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module develops concepts of molecular biology and metabolic integration that are essential for the application of modern biology to understanding and improving human and animal nutrition. It deals with genome organisation and prokaryotic and eukaryotic gene expression, discusses how gene expression is regulated, and illustrates the significance of this regulation for cell function and for development. It considers the specialised metabolic activities of major mammalian tissues and the mechanisms by which these activities are regulated.

Review of fundamentals of gene expression.
Transcription in eukaryotes and prokaryotes: mechanisms of transcription, structure and function of promoters, RNA polymerases, transcription termination.
Operons and mechanisms of operon regulation.
Sensing of the environment: prokaryotes as a model.
The organisation of eukaryotic genomes; chromatin structure and its significance for transcription.
Introduction to transcription regulation in eukaryotes and its significance for cell differentiation.
Regulation of gene expression by external signals such as hormones.
Introduction to metabolic integration.
Allosteric proteins; allosteric control of energy metabolism; oxygen-carrying proteins.
Hormonal control of energy metabolism.
Muscle structure and contraction; control of muscle contraction by nerve impulses.
The Cori cycle, the glucose-alanine cycle.
Practical Exercise: computer-based analysis of DNA sequences; interpretatiom of gene expression data.
Biochemical problems.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion31:003:00Computer practical assessment and preparation for biochemical problems assessment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00Includes 1hr class test, 1hr exam practice, 1hr introduction to biochemical problems
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:301:30Final exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion210:155:15Class test revision
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion210:3010:30Exam revision
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical12:002:00Computer practical
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical11:001:00Biochemical problems
Guided Independent StudySkills practice61:006:00Computer practical follow-up and biochemical problems homework
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study211:0021:00Lecture follow up
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study125:4525:45Study of lectures, ReCap, Blackboard etc.
Total100:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures explain key concepts, outline illustrative examples, and introduce the computer practical and biochemical problems. In two lectures, progress is assessed and feedback given through short quizzes. In one lecture, progress is assessed and feedback given through marking the biochemical problem assignment. The final lecture is a review session. The class tests provide further opportunities for progress assessment and feedback through an essay exam practice question and a short-answer/multiple-choice test. In the computer practicals, students use computers to analyse DNA and protein sequences with supervision and guidance and interpret data on gene expression regulation. Private study is necessary for students to absorb information presented in lectures, to deepen their knowledge and understanding through reading supporting references, to write up the computer practical, and to do the problems.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
PC Examination901A72Short answers and essay
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
BIO2023Cell Biology 21N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M10Report on computer practical & gene expression data interpretation
Written exercise1M18Practice exam (2%); quizzes (2 X 2%); Biochemical problems (7%); In-course test (5%)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The exam uses short answer questions (50%) and one essay question (50%) to test knowledge and understanding and ability to integrate knowledge and explain relevant principles. The computer practical and gene expression data interpretation report (deadline week 6) tests students' ability to use computer programs to obtain information about DNA and proteins and to interpret this information and data on gene expression in relation to their knowledge of molecular genetics. Assessment of the problem assignment (deadline week 10) tests ability to carry out specific forms of biochemical analysis and to interpret the results. The quizzes (TW 3 and 5) and more substantial in-course test (week 11) indicate progress and provide an incentive for sustained study. The exam practice question (week 11) gives students the opportunity and incentive to develop their exam technique in a situation with minimal pressure on them.

Reading Lists

Timetable

Disclaimer: The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver modules in accordance with the descriptions set out in this catalogue. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, however, the University reserves the right to introduce changes to the information given including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of modules if it considers such action to be necessary.