Skip to main content

Module

MMB8011 : Biology of Ageing

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Daryl Shanley
  • Lecturer: Professor Thomas von Zglinicki, Dr Joanna Elson, Dr Gabriele Saretzki, Dr Viktor Korolchuk, Professor David Young, Professor John Mathers, Prof. Thomas Kirkwood, Professor Mary Herbert
  • 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 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. Measurement of ageing

13. Human population studies

14. Systems biology of ageing

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 materials131:0013:00Non-synchronous online
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00Preparation and submission of first essay
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00Preparation and submission of second essay
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Preparation of Presentation and Presentation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching51:005:00Present in person - assessed presentations
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching21:002:00Present in person: seminar - discussion/journal clubs
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching11:001:00Present in person: wk 7 introductory session
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching11:001:00Present in person: wk 21 summary/revision session
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity118:0018:00Additional Reading and Reflective Learning
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study150:0050:00Preparing Notes from Lectures and Reading
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lecture materials 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.

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
Essay1M401500 words
Prof skill assessmnt1M20Oral presentation (15 minutes)
Case study1M401500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

he in-course 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. The summative written assignment will provide an assessment of broad knowledge and understanding of the biology of ageing.

Reading Lists

Timetable