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BI 20M3

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Alasdair MacKenzie

Pre-requisite(s): SM 1001, SM 1501

Co-requisite(s): None

The course is divided into 4 main modules as follows;
1. Nucleic Acids: this module will provide an overview of nucleic acid biochemistry with emphasis on the dynamic structure of DNA and the way in which it is replicated and packaged into chromosomes. The basic principles of modern recombinant DNA technologies will also be introduced.

2. Peptides and proteins: this module will provide a comprehensive introduction to protein biochemistry, building on the basic chemistry of amino acids and peptides. The properties of proteins will be described, using a number of specific examples. The final lectures in the module will consider the methods used to study proteins. These provide the information that underlies our current understanding of protein structure and function.

3. Gene regulation: one of the most important questions within modern biology centres on how one- dimensional information held within the DNA is turned into healthy living 3-dimensional organisms that are able to interact with their environments. This module will describe how this information is decoded by transcription and translation to form proteins and how organisms control these processes to ensure that the correct proteins are produced in the correct cells at the correct times and in the correct amounts.

4. Genetic disease: this module will explain how genomes can be compromised by mutation and chromosomal rearrangements leading to disorders such as Downs syndrome, cystic fibrosis, fragile-X syndrome and cancer.

4 modules. Each module has 9 lectures, 1 one hour tutorial and a 3 hour practical.

1st Attempt: 4 x 50 minute on-line QMP based assessments each worth 5% of mark (20%), 4 x 3 hour practical each worth 5% of mark (20%). 1 x 2 hour final exam in essay format (60%).

Resit: 1 x 2 hour final exam in essay format (60%) plus previous continuous assessment (40%).