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Module

BMS2014 : The Biology of Ageing

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Viktor Korolchuk
  • Lecturer: Dr Laura Greaves, Professor John Mathers, Dr Antoneta Granic, Prof. Thomas Kirkwood, Dr Daryl Shanley, Dr Annette Pantall, Dr Laura Maringele, Dr Gordon Strathdee, Professor Mary Herbert, Dr Elizabeta Mukaetova-Ladinska, Professor Thomas von Zglinicki, Professor Raj Kalaria
  • Owning School: Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Scien
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

This module is designed to offer students an overview of the key biological mechanisms that effect ageing. It draws on evidence from the latest developments in a rapidly changing research base. It will also make reference to wider aspects of ageing in relation to society and medicine. The specific aims of the module are:

1. To consider why ageing occurs in almost all organisms and why ageing is particularly slow in humans
2. To consider the essential mechanisms of ageing
3. To explain the role of intrinsic and extrinsic stress in ageing
4. To consider aspects of ageing in health and disease

Outline Of Syllabus

The module covers the following subjects:

Understanding ageing including:
1. Current theories of ageing
2. Evolution and ageing
3. Epidemiology of ageing
4. Healthy ageing
5. Future of ageing

Molecular biology of ageing including:

1. How to understand senescence
2. The genetics of ageing
3. Oxidative stress
4. DNA repair and damage
5. Epigenetics
6. Protein homeostasis
7. Age-related molecular diseases

Cellular biology of ageing including:

1. Cell biology of ageing: senescence and apoptosis
2. Mitochondria in health and disease
3. Cell signalling

Organs and organisms including:

1. Hormonal control and ageing
2. Nutrition and ageing
3. Reproductive ageing
4. Brian ageing
5. Biology of motor function and mobility
6. Biomarkers
7. Systems Biology

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
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00Poster preparations and PIE practice and revision for online exams
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:301:30PIP - group presentations of students' posters
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials261:0026:00Non-sync online delivered via recaps/short recordings/formative acts/quizzes/problem solving quests
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching31:003:00PIP - Instructions & Q&A for course workshops and assessments. Paper interpretation assmt feedback
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops11:001:00PIP -workshop focused on skill development of scientific paper interpretation. Includes PIE practice
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery61:006:00Sync online drop in session. Weekly Q&A seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1112:30112:30This includes reading and writing up lecture notes
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lecture materials will introduce the majority of the knowledge base. Students will have an opportunity to consider and discuss current research in the two seminars. The lectures should stimulate the students to reflect and do further reading and the seminar should stimulate the students to reflect and critically consider the subject and the societal challenges in the ageing population. The interpretation workshop will help prepare the students for the final examination. The poster will encourage the students to read and to apply their knowledge. The poster will also allow the students to work in groups and to develop their presentation skills.

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

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A80Online 24hr take home paper 50% short answer (answer 2 quests, 400 words each) 50% scientific paper interpretation exer (1250 words)
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M10Guided interpretation of a primary research paper (max 1200 words)
Poster2M10Poster presentation in groups (10 minutes) team present poster summarising experimental data from a scientific research paper
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The short answer section of the examination will asses the students' breadth of knowledge and understanding; the scientific paper interpretation section of the examination will asses the students' ability to use their knowledge and understanding of the topics to interpret data presented in a scientific research paper.

The poster enables the students to develop and demonstrate their presentation and writing skills and their ability to prepare and organise work independently and in groups. Presentations in particular help the students to develop their personal confidence. The report help the students develop their writing skills and encourage them to read. The feedback on the short report will help the students to further develop their writing skills and prepare for the scientific paper interpretation element of the examination.

Reading Lists

Timetable