Postgraduate

Modules

Modules

MMB8011 : Biology of Ageing

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 the maintenance of telomeres; apoptosis and cellular senescence; 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. Use of computer simulation for ageing research

13. Measurement of ageing

14. Human population studies

15. Systems biology of ageing

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Preparation of Presentation and Presentation
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Preparation ansd Submission of Essay
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00Revision for Examination
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture151:0015:00Lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching12:002:00Practical
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching11:001:00Tutorial
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching61:309:00Tutorials - Divided Class
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity113:0013:00Additional Reading and Reflective Learning
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study150:0050:00Preparing Notes from Lectures and Reading
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures 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 lectures to help consolidate the information gained and encourage a critical understanding. The tutorial and a computer based practical will be used to develop a balanced and integrative outlook.

Assessment Methods

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

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination601A60N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M201500 words
Prof skill assessmnt1M20Oral presentation
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination is an appropriate way to assess a broad knowledge and understanding of the biology of ageing. The written assignment will provide an in depth assessment of a students ability to extract essential information from diverse sources, and present a clear, well structured and well supported argument. The oral presentation will assess a student’s ability to think on their feet and present ideas to peers and the public, their critical skills and IT skills will also be assessed.

Reading Lists

Timetable