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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 to the study of specific human diseases will be discussed 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 be able to:
- Explain current concepts concerning the molecular bases of genome structure and the regulation of gene expression in eukaryotic organisms (yeast, animals and plants)
- Discuss the role of genome structure and regulatory networks in controlling metabolic and developmental pathways
- Describe the role of signalling pathways to convey information between and within cells to regulate gene function
- Explain the theory behind recombinant DNA technology and how it is applied in biomedicine and biotechnology
- Compare and analyse genome sequences using bioinformatic techniques
- Devise experimental approaches to probe molecular and cellular function using recombinant DNA techniques and genetic manipulation of cell lines and whole organisms
- Describe how functional genomics can be applied to the study of human diseases.
- Critically analyse current scientific literature concerning genomic and bioinformatics.
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: 24 January 2023