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This subject introduces students to the excitingly diverse world of microbes and discusses the roles they play not only in causing infectious disease but also in both creating and maintaining life as we know it. Various types of microbes and their basic life processes are described, with the focus mainly on bacteria and viruses. Cell biology principles and roles of organelles in protein trafficking will be discussed. Bacterial genetics and metabolism are explored, with the emphasis on how these areas determine observed behaviours and activities. The components of the immune system are outlined and their interactions and functions described.
A central part of this subject is outlining some of the strategies used by microbes to cause disease, and the counter strategies employed by the immune system to prevent disease. Other ways of controlling microbes, including antibiotics and vaccines are also discussed. The key roles played by microbes and the immune system in medical and biotechnological research is described. This subject provides students intending to specialize in the biological sciences with an understanding of the basic concepts in the disciplines of both Microbiology and Immunology.
Intended learning outcomes
Upon completion of this subject, students should:
LO 1: be familiar with the terminology used by microbiologists and immunologists and have acquired a broad foundation for future subjects in microbiology and immunology;
LO 2: appreciate the importance of microbiology and immunology in the fields of medicine, genetics and biotechnology;
LO 3: have insight into the type of investigations fundamental to the development of basic microbiological concepts;
LO 4: be able to describe simple microbial life processes; and understand how these processes are involved in infectious disease and interactions with hosts' immune systems, adaptation and survival of microorganisms and the promotion or control of microbial growth;
LO 5: understand the different properties of Bacteria, Archaea and eukaryotic microbial cells and viruses and the significance of all these microorganisms in the environment;
LO 6: be able to describe the basic principles of the microbial life cycle (both bacterial and viral), identifying the key steps and proteins (both microbial and host) utilised during this process.
Upon completion of this subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:
- An enhanced ability to seek information from textbooks and computer based sources;
- The ability to comprehend a question, evaluate the relevant information and communicate an answer in writing; and
- The ability to manage time effectively to ensure attendance at lectures and examinations.
Last updated: 12 May 2020