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Module

MMB8011 : Biology of Ageing

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Daryl Shanley
  • Lecturer: Dr Laura Greaves, Dr Viktor Korolchuk, Professor David Young, Professor John Mathers, Prof. Thomas Kirkwood, Professor Mary Herbert, Dr Satomi Miwa, Professor Thomas von Zglinicki, Dr Joanna Elson
  • Owning School: FMS Graduate School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

The module aims to:

1. To provide a framework to understand why ageing occurs in almost all organisms and why ageing is particularly slow in humans

2. To present details of the essential mechanisms of ageing as a basis to understand how organisms age

3. To inform students on the role of intrinsic and extrinsic stress in ageing

4 To provide a critical platform to judge the efficacy of potential interventions which include pharmacological, nutritional and physical

Outline Of Syllabus

This module aims to provides an overview on current thinking on why ageing is observed in almost all organisms, what factors influence the rate of ageing and the key mechanisms of ageing. The module will include an introduction to the role of intrinsic and extrinsic stresses in generating molecular damage within cells, the broad principles defining the network of cellular defences against stress-induced damage, and the current understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of ageing. As ageing involves multiple biochemical and cellular mechanisms affecting multiple tissues, the emphasis will be on building a thorough understanding of why adopting an integrative, systems approach is essential. The module aims to provide a critical platform to judge the efficacy of potential interventions which include pharmacological, nutritional and physical.

The module contents include:

1. Definitions of longevity and ageing

2. Ageing and the life cycle

3. Evolutionary theories of ageing

4 .Genetics of ageing and longevity

5. Stress, damage and repair

6. Mechanisms of stress

7. Mechanisms of ageing: damage to protein, lipid and DNA molecules; the associated maintenance and repair systems; and the consequences of the accumulation of un-repaired molecular damage.

8. A special focus on cellular senescence: the maintenance of telomeres; the role of mitochondria and oxidative stress; and stem cells

9. The insights gained from detailed study of caloric restriction

10. Age-associated changes in human organ/tissue integrity and function

11. Use of cell and animal model systems for ageing research

12. Measurement of ageing

13. Human population studies

14. Systems biology of ageing

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture71:007:00Present in person (PIP) lecture sessions
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00Preparation and submission of essay
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00Preparation for the examination
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Preparation of Presentation and Presentation
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials71:007:00Non-Synchronous online
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching31:003:00Present in person (PIP): seminar - discussion/journal clubs
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching11:001:00Present in person (PIP): wk 1 introductory session
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching11:001:00Present in person (PIP): wk 11 summary/revision session
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching51:005:00Present in person (PIP) - formative presentations
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity126:0026:00Additional Reading and Reflective Learning
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study140:0040:00Preparing Notes from Lectures and Reading
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures and lecture material will provide the students with expert presentations of key information and as a platform for private study. Seminars (small group teaching) will build on the lecture materials to help consolidate the information gained and encourage a critical understanding.

Should public health circumstances dictate that it is necessary, in person sessions will be moved to online alternatives.

Assessment Methods

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

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination601A60Present in person Examination: Essay, 1 question from 3
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M401500 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Prof skill assessmnt1MOral presentation (15 minutes)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The in-course written assignment will provide an in depth assessment of a student’s ability to extract essential information from diverse sources, and present a clear, well structured and well supported argument. The formative oral presentation will provide an opportunity for the student to enhance their ability to think on their feet and present ideas to peers and the public. The summative written examination will provide an assessment of broad knowledge and understanding of the biology of ageing. Should public health circumstances dictate that it is necessary, the exam would be moved to an online alternative (24 hour open book assessment).


Should public health circumstances dictate that it is necessary, the exam would be moved to an online alternative (24 hour open book assessment) and the oral presentation would be synchronous online.

Reading Lists

Timetable