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Knowledge of genome structures from various organisms and the rapid development of technologies that exploit such information are having a big impact in biology, medicine and biotechnology. This subject describes the structure and expression of genomes in higher organisms and provides an understanding of the technologies used to analyse and manipulate genes. Students will learn how the modification of genes in cells and whole organisms can be used to discover gene function or to modify phenotype. The structure of eukaryotic chromosomes is presented to demonstrate how genetic material is replicated and how transcription of RNA is controlled. We illustrate how pathways that regulate RNA and protein are integrated to control cell metabolism and cell fate. The content will cover the bioinformatic techniques used to interpret and extend genomic information. The approaches of functional genomics will be discussed in relation to cancer to illustrate the application of molecular biology to the study of human biology and health.
Intended learning outcomes
By the end of the subject, the student should understand:
- current concepts concerning the molecular bases of genome structure and the regulation of gene expression in eukaryotic organisms (yeast, animals and plants)
- the role of gene regulatory networks in controlling metabolic and developmental pathways
- the role of signalling pathways to convey information between and within cells to regulate gene function
- the theory of recombinant DNA technology and how it is applied in biomedicine and biotechnology
- the significance and applications of genome sequencing programs
- bioinformatic techniques and their applications
- how gene function can be investigated by recombinant DNA techniques and genetic manipulation of cell lines and whole organisms
- how functional genomics can be applied to the study of human diseases such as cancer.
On completion of this subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:
- the ability to interpret scientific literature and interpret data from electronic databases.
- the capacity to integrate knowledge across disciplines.
- the ability to comprehend a question, evaluate the relevant information and communicate an answer.
Last updated: 2 December 2019