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MB5009/MB5509
Molecular Biology Basics
CREDIT POINTS 10

Course Co-ordinator: Professor Duncan Shaw

Pre-requisite(s): None

Co-requisite(s): None

Note(s): MB5509 is the code for students starting their programme in January.

Twelve lectures on the basics of genome structure/genetic mapping, gene expression, analytical methods such as cloning and PCR, and protein structure and function. Two tutorial/problem solving sessions covering topics related to the lectures.

12 x 1 hour lecturing
2 x 2 hours tutorial/problem solving

50% coursework (problem-solving assignment), 50% MCQ exam

MB5010
Molecular Biology Practicals
CREDIT POINTS 10

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Allison Carrington

Pre-requisite(s): Entry to MSc programme in CLSM

Cloning practical: use restriction enzymes to digest DNA, analyse using gel electrophoresis, ligate into appropriate vector and transfect competent cells to amplify DNA and plasmid. Use appropriate selection methods to select successfully transfected cells. Analyse structure of recombinant DNA isolated from clones.

7 x 4-hour practical classes

Continuous assessment (100%): lab book (10%) and lab write-ups (60%); essay under examination conditions (30%).

MB5011
Molecular Biology Methods
CREDIT POINTS 12.5

Course Co-ordinator: Henning Wackerhage

Pre-requisite(s):

After an introduction to wet lab work, students will learn to perform a PCR reaction, protein extraction and a Western blot.

On-line teaching: Students will receive a comprehensive presentation that details the background to each method once a week.
Seminar: The material of the on-line presentation and the practical will be discussed during a weekly one-hour seminar.
Practicals: The backbone of this course is a weekly practical which may range from 3 hours to 1.5 days.
1. Introduction to wet lab work (3 h)
2. PCR for a human polymorphism (relevant assay for each cohort; 2 h + 4 h)
3. Protein extraction (relevant samples for each cohort: 6h)
4. Western blotting (relevant antibodies for each cohort: 6 h + 3 h)

Continuous assessment (30%): Lab book (10%); Lab report (20%)
Examination (70%): 1 two-hour examination

MB5012
Core Molecular Technologies for Microbiologists
CREDIT POINTS 30

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Kath Shennan and Professor Graeme Paton

Pre-requisite(s): None.

This course describes and explains the theory and practice of the 'tool kit' that modern molecular biology uses to derive information about how biological systems function and interact. Detailing a wide and comprehensive range of molecular techniques, the course covers basic molecular biology, manipulation of DNA and RNA, gene closing and gene expression analysis, studies of gene functions, and proteins. The use of antibodies as molecular tools is also considered.

4 one-hour lectures per week, 8 three-hour practicals, and 3 one-hour tutorials.

Continuous assessment consisting of a practical report (60%), a practical-related exercise (15%) and an essay (25%); no written examination.

MB5013
Genetic Techniques
CREDIT POINTS 5

Course Co-ordinator: Mr A. M. Cumming

Pre-requisite(s): A degree or equivalent qualification, at the prescribed standard, in Genetics or other relevant discipline.

This 12 week course will include lectures, tutorials and practicals. The curriculum provides a range of molecular technologies for the study of genetic phenomena including the cloning and expression of genes using vector systems; the application of molecular information and genetic linkage analysis to locate genes; the utilisation of transgenic mice as disease models; practical experience in the cloning and analysis of a gene; searching for genetic variants using DNA technologies.

Five 1 hour lectures per week, 1 tutorial and seven 2 hour practicals.

One 1.5 hour written examination (70%) and continuous assessment (30%)

MB5014
Independent Subject Study
CREDIT POINTS 10

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Heather Wallace

Pre-requisite(s):

Is subject dependent but will be directed by the MSc Programme Co-ordinator in the subject. For example Clinical Pharmacology - Dr Heather Wallace.

Directed student learning. 3 meetings with tutor.

90% continuous assessment (1 major essay); 10% oral presentation.

MB5015
Molecular Biology Basics and Cloning Lab
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Professor Duncan Shaw, Dr Allison Carrington

Pre-requisite(s): None

Twelve lectures on the basics of genome structure/genetic mapping, gene expression, analytical methods such as cloning and PCR, and protein structure and function. One tutorial/problem solving session covering topics related to the lectures.

Cloning practical: use restriction enzymes to digest DNA, analyse using gel electrophoresis, ligate into appropriate vector and transfect competent cells to amplify DNA and plasmid. Use appropriate selection methods to select successfully transfected cells. Analyse structure of recombinant DNA isolated from clones.

12 x 1 hour lectures; 2 hours tutorial/problem solving; 5 x 4 hours laboratory sessions.

1st attempt: 30% coursework (practical lab report); 70% MCQ exam.
Resit: 100% MCQ exam for students taking MSc in Cell and Molecular Systems Biology (conversion course).

MB5016
Advanced Molecular and Functional Genomics
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Ian Stansfield

Pre-requisite(s): A BSc Hons at class 2.2 or above in a science subject.

This course focuses initially on an understanding of how modern-day genome sequencing, and comparative genome analysis is carried out. Computer workshops will illustrate how comparative genome analysis can be carried out. Following this, courses on functional genomics show how high throughput techniques aid in the identification of gene function on a genome-wide basis. The vast datasets that result are challenging to analyse and integrate; through computer workshops, genome-wide data analysis will be carried out to show how information from multiple data sources can be integrated in the study of gene function.
Optional sections of the course will focus on either one of the following:
1. transgenics
2. the use of computer programming to rapidly process genome sequence to analyse gene function.

A total of 16 one-hour lectures and 4 two-hour computer workshops.

1st attempt: Essay exam (50%) and in-course data handling assessment (50%).
Resit: Essay exam (100%) (for students taking the MSc in Cell and Molecular Systems Biology - conversion course).

MB5018
Medical Genetics
CREDIT POINTS 20

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Andrew Schofield

Pre-requisite(s):

This 6 week course will include lectures and tutorials. The curriculum includes information on the services provided within the health service for the diagnosis of genetic abnormalities. Particular attention is focused on cytogenetics defects and pre-natal diagnosis, and the increasing use of a DNA diagnostic service in providing detailed molecular information for the genetic counselling service.

Five 1 hour lectures per week.

50% examination, 50% written essay.

MB50RP
Research Project
CREDIT POINTS

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Berndt Muller

Pre-requisite(s): 120 credits from prescribed courses making up the relevant MRes/MSc programme

Note(s): Flexibility has been introduced to the programme to allow the students to study 120 taught credits in Academic Year 1 (September - April) with the option to return in Academic Year 2 (September) or continue in Academic Year 1 from April to undertake the research project, subject to the approval of the Programme Coordinator. Students wil be advised on the process for project allocation at registration.

The topic of the project will be subject and supervisor dependent

Students will be assigned an individual supervisor with whom they should meet on a regular basis.

Lab performance (10%); Thesis (80%); Presentation (10%)

MB5510
Genetics of Common Diseases
CREDIT POINTS 10

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Andrew Schofield

Pre-requisite(s):

Note(s): This course focuses on common diseases, emphasising the variety of genetic and environmental factors that contribute to disease susceptibility.

Group work will focus on different aspects of common diseases including clinical description of disease, pathology, aetiolgy, genetic factors, non-genetic factors and potential treatment strategies. Choice of common disease topics may include cancer, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease and bone disease.

16 x 1 hour tutorials
2 x 2 hour group presentations

Two presentations (one 50% and one worth 40%); peer assessment (10%).

MB5511
HUMAN POPULATION GENETICS
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Andrew Schofield

Pre-requisite(s):

The 12 week course will include lectures, tutorials and a seminar. The curriculum will include population genetics, gene disease association; analysis of genetic disorders; genetic epidemiology; autoimmune disease in relation to the HLA complex

One or two 1 hour lectures per week, three 2 hour tutorials and four 3 hour tutorials

Examination (70%); continuous assessment (30%).

MB5512
Advanced Topics in Molecular Biology
CREDIT POINTS

Course Co-ordinator: Brendt Muller

Pre-requisite(s): Normally a BSc Hons 2.1 class degree (or equivalent) in a relevant science subject

Co-requisite(s): 60 credits from prescribed courses of the MRes Molecular Biology programme in weeks 12-22

Key concepts and theories in the field will be introduced and critically discussed in lectures. Specialised knowledge and understanding in developments at the forefront will be acquired by the study of primary literature. Supported by tutorials, the students will analyse and critically evalutate key papers and present this analysis to their peers.

A combination of lectures (10h), tutorials (6h) and self-directed learning

1 x 2hr Exam (100%)

MB5513
Clinical and Biochemical Genetics
CREDIT POINTS 20

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Andrew Schofield

Pre-requisite(s):

This 12 week course consists of lectures, tutorials and an essay assignment. The curriculum focuses on the population biochemical screening or metabolic disorders using a number of model systems e.g. phenylketonuria. The biochemical diagnosis and clinical management of a range of metabolic abnormalities are also dealt with. Also covered are ethical issues raised in the diagnosis debilitating diseases through molecular technologies. The essay will focus on the background to the topic of the research project.

Five 1 hour lectures per week.

One 2 hour examination (100%)

MB5514
Data Analysis
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Andrew Schofield

Pre-requisite(s):

Note(s): This course deals with the ways in which data is analysed in the field of molecular genetics as it relates to medicine and human disease.

Molecular laboratory practical: use PCR to analyse different genetic variants using restriction enzymes and gel electrophoresis to obtain a genotype pattern. Analyse data to produce allele, genotype and haplotype frequencies.

Tutorials will focus on specific worked-examples to cover the variety of approaches to analyse data in the field of molecular genetics including linkage analysis, association studies, pedigree analysis and risk calculations.

4 x 6 hour laboratory sessions
5 x 2 hour tutorials/problem solving sessions

1 x 2h written examination (70%); continuous assessment base on practical lab report (30%).

MB5704
Project in Molecular Genetics
CREDIT POINTS 60

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Andrew Schofield

Pre-requisite(s):

Co-requisite(s): A satisfactory level of attainment in examination and assignments within the MSc Medical Molecular Genetics programme.

Projects are restricted to research areas in the field of medical genetics. The nature of the project reflects the interest of research groups and workers within the Departments on the Foresterhill site.

Thesis (50%); 3500 word essay (20%); lab work assessment (10%); presentation (10%); viva (10%).

MB5901
Research Topic in Molecular Biology
CREDIT POINTS

Course Co-ordinator: Brendt Muller

Pre-requisite(s): Normally a BSc Hons 2.1 class degree (or equivalent) in a relevant science subject.

Co-requisite(s): 60 credits from prescibed courses of the MRes Molecular Biology programme in weeks 12-22

The focus of this course is the intensive study of primary literature, guided by the project supervisor, and the production of a research proposal.

Independant literature research and formulation of a research proposal (with assistance of project supervisor).

Research proposal 5000 words (100%).