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Module

BGM2063 : Approaches to analysis of genes and genomes

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jeremy Brown
  • Lecturer: Dr Simon Whitehall, Dr Andreas Werner, Dr Elizabeth Veal, Dr Nick Watkins, Professor David Elliott
  • Owning School: Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Scien
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0

Aims

1. To provide insight into modern genetic approaches to analysis of gene expression and its regulation.

2. To consider current research methods for identifying regulatory interactions in gene expression.

3. To develop understanding of resources available to the modern geneticist in terms of datasets describing different levels of information available on genes – sequence, expression, interactions, function, pharmacogenetics etc. and the links between them.

4. To provide information on epigenetic mechanisms & post-transciptional control of gene expression

Outline Of Syllabus

What is modern genetics? The field of genetics has changed dramatically over recent years, with the availability of extensive genomic sequence making new approaches to genetic analysis possible. Allied to this a number of new technologies and understandings have also opened up significant opportunities in studying expression of genes and interaction of gene products. This module aims to broaden and deepen understanding of gene expression through both taught (lecture/seminar), practical and computer-based exercise making use of databases, datasets and bioinformatic tools.

The syllabus will cover:

epigenetic & long range regulation of gene expression

the complexity of RNA expressed in cells, post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression, and specifically alternative splicing, regulation of mRNA use and determinants of mRNA fate

practical uses of microRNA-mediated silencing

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials81:008:00Non-sync online - Key route for knowledge transfer. Some direction for additional reading provided.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion23:006:00Sync online in-course presentation 2x3hr sessions on same day, total time dependent on student numbr
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical23:006:00PIP - Lab based practical session.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching13:003:00PIP (W01) Key background info on methods aimed at prep for enhancing the practical & workshop
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops22:004:00PIP x 1 Sync online x 1 PC Cluster based database searches and information complilation.
Guided Independent StudyProject work18:008:00Completing /writing up work based on workshops.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study165:0065:00Writing up lecture notes, revision and general reading
Total100:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lecture materials will be used to introduce basic knowledge, and also a number of key genetics methodologies. Seminars will expand significantly the emphasis of the module on method, and will be geared towards the practical and workshop sessions.

The practical will give the students an opportunity to generate data from the analysis of genes by RNAi and epigenetics, whereas the workshops will be focused on gathering data about specific genes. The oral presentation will provide opportunity for the students to investigate a specific topic related to the module, increasing their learning and to present this to the cohort.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research paper2M35Write up on information compiled in workshops and independent study. (2000 words)
Case study2M65Presentation (5mins + 5 mins questions)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Practical/lab report2MPractical observation proforma and pre-set questions. All sections must be answered.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The oral presentation will afford students an opportunity in presenting before an audience of peers. It shall require each student to deliver a short 5 minute presentation and then answer questions from the audience. Each student will be given a different genetic topic randomly allocated.

The ‘Research paper’ assessment will be based on work initiated during the workshops and small group teaching which will provide familiarity with databases and interpreting complex genetic datasets, students will build on this in their independent study. This will provide a foundation for work in third year modules, where specific genes and conditions are discussed, frequently with reference to databases and information within them. As the write up of this part of the module will be in the form of a research paper, it will also provide relevant experience for the third year project modules, which are also written up in this form.

The practical write up will be formative, with feedback provided. Other practicals within the curriculum are assessed.

Reading Lists

Timetable