Study Abroad and Exchanges



BIO2012 : Molecular Genetics and Mammalian Biochemistry

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


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.
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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
PC Examination901A70N/A
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
BIO2023Cellular Biochemistry1N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M15Report on computer practical & gene expression data interpretation
Written exercise1M15Biochemical problems
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment1MBlackboard self-test quizzes
Written Examination1MPractice exam question
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The exam tests knowledge and understanding and ability to integrate knowledge and explain relevant principles. The computer practical and gene expression data interpretation report 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 tests ability to carry out specific forms of biochemical analysis and to interpret the results. The Blackboard self-test quizzes help students evaluate their progress. The exam practice question gives students the opportunity to develop their exam technique in a situation with minimal pressure on them.

Study Abroad students may request to take their exam before the semester 1 exam period, in which case the format of the paper may differ from that shown in the MOF. Study Abroad students should contact the school to discuss this.

Reading Lists