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This subject provides an overview of:
- methods used to identify and characterise infectious microbial agents;
- methods for studying the replication, gene function and evolution of pathogenic microbes and the interactions between infectious agents and their mammalian hosts;
- strategies used in constructing and presenting scientific reports, both oral and written.
Laboratory techniques covered include molecular methods and functional assays used for the identification and characterisation of bacteria and viruses, such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), gene expression following DNA transfection, flow cytometry, enzyme immunoassays, protein electrophoresis, western blotting, bioinformatics and immunofluorescence assays. Non-Laboratory sessions will be used for the introduction of practical topics, data analysis, critical discussion of scientific research publications and discussion of strategies used in constructing and presenting scientific reports, both oral and written.
Upon completion of the subject students will have:
- used molecular methods and functional assays to identify important characteristics of microbial agents;
- used common bioinformatics methods to analyse DNA and protein sequence data;
- experience in numerous methodologies used to understand host-pathogen interactions;
- developed skills in constructing and presenting scientific reports, both oral and written;
- participated in group work activities, both within and outside the Laboratory; and
- developed safe scientific work practices.
Intended learning outcomes
Upon completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- Describe and apply the use of molecular methods and functional assays to identify and characterise microbial determinants associated with disease;
- Describe and apply the principles and procedures involved in the identification and characterisation of infectious microbial agents;
- Describe and design an experimental approach, including appropriate controls, to test a hypothesis and interpret the resulting scientific data;
- Keep clear and accurate laboratory records to enable critical analysis of scientific data, formation of evidence‐based conclusions and effective communication of scientific ideas and findings, in both oral and written forms;
- Demonstrate safe scientific work practices.
- Demonstrate a high level of professional integrity, and conform to ethical requirements regarding plagiarism and accurate data reporting;
- Effectively work in group work activities to generate, analyse and communicate scientific findings within and outside the Laboratory; and
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: 18 November 2019