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Department of Biology & Biochemistry, Unit Catalogue 2004/05


BB10001: Skills & techniques 1 (basic laboratory & communication skills)

Credits: 3
Level: Certificate
Semester: 1
Assessment: CW50PR50
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide students with an opportunity to acquire basic laboratory skills (general microbiological practice and biochemistry techniques) and communication skills delivered by directed tutorial assignments and computer practical sessions). Tutorial sessions will develop group discussion and presentation skills. Computer sessions will introduce students to Windows, MS Work and BIDS. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* present reasoned arguments and analyses in the form of a word-processed document
* to cite references (in recognised format) which they have obtained form an on-line bibliographical database
* possess skills of accurate autopipetting and spectrophotometric determinations.
Content:
Practical skills: Basic quantitative laboratory skills; micro-organism handling. IT skills: Introduction to IT and campus IT facilities; word-processing, BIDS. Presentation skills: Essay writing. Small group discussion work. These skills will be developed during tutorial sessions which have the additional aim of identifying and rectifying weaknesses in subject background.

BB10002: Skills & techniques 2 (quantitative skills)

Credits: 3
Level: Certificate
Semester: 2
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10001

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide students with an opportunity to develop data analysis and mathematical skills through statistics workshops, directed tutorial assignments and computer session with Minitab. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* decide on an appropriate statistical test for the analysis of scientific data
* execute basic statistical tests using Minitab and interpret the outcome of such tests
* manipulate and transfer data from one software application to another.
Content:
Introduction to quantitative biology, including elementary statistics. Use of Minitab. Numerical calculation workshops. Small group discussion work. Verbal and written presentation. Radioisotope techniques.

BB10003: Biochemistry 1

Credits: 6
Level: Certificate
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX80PR20
Requisites:
While taking this unit you must take BB10001
Pre-requisite: A-Level Chemistry
Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To teach the students the pathways of central metabolism and to relate the regulation of these pathways to the homeostasis of the whole organism. In order to appreciate and understand metabolism, the students are taught the fundamental aspects of enzymes and their regulation, and this in turn is necessarily preceded by lectures on protein structure. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* know the pathways of central metabolism
* understand the way in which the cell degrades nutrients in small steps to allow the energy to be trapped and converted to a useful form
* appreciate the way in which central metabolism connects catabolism and anabolism
* understand the regulation of central metabolism with respect to the needs of the organism in relation to its environment
Content:
Proteins: amino acids - structures, ionisation and physical properties; primary structure and an overview of protein folding and conformation. Enzymes: catalysis, kinetics, regulation. Metabolism: chemistry of monosaccharides, glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, citric acid cycle, glyoxylate cycle, regulation of central metabolism.

BB10004: Biochemistry 2

Credits: 6
Level: Certificate
Semester: 2
Assessment: EX80CW20
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10003

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To introduce the central pathways of fatty acid metabolism and mitochondrial oxidation and integrate these into overall cell function. To inculcate appreciation of the metabolic pathways into function at the organ and tissue level. To teach the implications of stereochemistry into the biochemistry of key metabolic intermediates. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* appreciate the principles of mitochondrial oxidative function
* understand lipid structure and the pathways of fatty acid oxidation and synthesis
* understand the mechanisms of neurotransmission and muscle contraction
* comprehend the stereochemistry of small organic molecules of biological importance
Content:
The course is a direct follow on from BB10003. Topics studied are
1) mitochondrial bioenergetics, respiration, oxidative phosphorylation and the chemiosmotic theory;
2) lipid metabolism structure of lipids, catabolism and anabolism of fatty acids, ketogenesis and coordination with other metabolic pathways;
3) biochemistry of animal tissues and organs, such as mechanisms of neurotransmission and muscle contraction;
4) stereochemistry of simple carbohydrates and citric acid cycle intermediates with applications of biochemical mechanisms.

BB10005: Cell biology 1

Credits: 6
Level: Certificate
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX100
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To introduce the techniques available for determining the structure and function of cellular components and processes, to describe the structure and function of cells and cell organelles and to show the diversity of cells. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* describe the structure of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells
* describe the structure and explain the function of cell organelles
* make comparisons between related structures and functions
* critically appraise methods available to determine the nature and function of cellular processes
* understand the dynamic nature of cell behaviour.
Content:
Introduction: eucarya, eubacteria and archaea; microscopical techniques; cytochemistry; cell fractionation and autoradiography. The structure and function of cell membranes, plant walls, intercellular channels. Cellular processes such as cell signalling, cytoskeleton and cell movement, secretion and absorption. Organelles involved in energy metabolism: chloroplasts and mitochondria, plant microbodies. Nucleus, chromosomes, cell growth and proliferation, mitosis and meiosis.

BB10006: Cell & molecular biology

Credits: 6
Level: Certificate
Semester: 2
Assessment: EX100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10005

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To introduce the structure and function of nucleic acids; To introduce the concepts and methodology of genetic modification. To introduce the processes of animal and plant development. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* understand how the structure of nucleic acid determines their biological function
* understand the power of the techniques of genetic modification for studying and manipulating organisms, especially micro-organisms, for fundamental and applied science
* appreciate the role changing patterns of gene expression play in modulating development during animal embryogeny
Content:
The structure and function of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) in relation to organisms, genes, gene expression and protein synthesis. How organisms, genes and gene expression can be altered and studied via the technology of genetic modification. How the changing patterns of gene expression in cells and tissues can lead to the development of an egg into an animal, using examples from Xenopus, Drosophila and mouse.

BB10007: Genetics

Credits: 6
Level: Certificate
Semester: 2
Assessment: EX60PR30OT10
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To introduce the principles of inheritance, to describe the chemical nature of inheritable material and the molecular basis of mutagenesis, to describe the structure and expression of genes and genomes in cells, to enable the student to appreciate how genetic data are generated and interpreted, to show basic genetic techniques in a wide range of organisms. After taking the course the student should be able to:
* explain Mendelian principles and their underlying concepts
* explain and create a genetic map
* describe how the chemical structure of DNA accounts for information encoding and its change
* appreciate the structure and dynamic nature of the genome
* understand the basis of the gene transfer in prokaryotes.
Content:
Topics: Principles of inheritance in eukaryotes; chemical nature of the gene; structure of genomes; gene expression; mutagenesis; non-Mendelian genetic systems. Practical sessions cover: Random assortment of two genetic markers in the fruit fly (Drosophila); sex linkage in Drosophila; tetrad analysis in a fungus (Sordaria); complementation testing in the yeast Saccharomyces; genetic mapping in the fungus Aspergillus; mutagenesis in the bacterium Salmonella; genetic polymorphism in Homo sapiens.

BB10008: Biodiversity I (introduction & bacteriology)

Credits: 6
Level: Certificate
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX100
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To introduce students to the diversity of living things and in particular to the study of bacteria. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* describe the characteristics, level of organisation and relatedness of protists, viruses, fungi, plants, invertebrate and vertebrate animals;
* describe in details the size and anatomical features of typical bacterial cells;
* show a clear understanding of the structure and function of important cellular components
* discuss bacterial growth in terms of nutritional requirement and the influence of physicochemical factors on growth and survival;
* demonstrate the acquisition of aseptic manipulative skills and accuracy, stain techniques, microscopic examination methods and observational and interpretative faculties.
Content:
The properties and life cycles of viruses; an outline of form and function in fungi and plants; diversity of invertebrate and vertebrate animals in relation to level of organisation and evolutionary relatedness; classification of life - how many kingdoms? Bacteria: relationship to the other domains of cell-based life; bacterial cell shapes and size, ubiquity and adaptability; methods for their visualisation; anatomy, from chromosome to capsule, via ribosome's, cytoplasmic inclusions, cell membrane, cell wall, pili, flagella and endospores; growth/cultivation; nutritional requirements, modes of energy-yielding metabolism, influence of physical factors.

BB10009: Biodiversity II (the diversity of animals & plants)

Credits: 6
Level: Certificate
Semester: 2
Assessment: EX100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10008

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To demonstrate the diversity of invertebrate animals and to explore the evolutionary relationships of various groups of the Phylum Chordata, using comparative anatomy, functional morphology and embryology. To become more familiar with the diversity of form, function and structure in the Plant Kingdom, and to deepen understanding of how this diversity is dynamically related to the environmental and evolutionary context. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* define commonly used anatomical names and terms;
* describe aspects of structure and function which contribute to the success of animals at different levels of complexity;
* give an account of the defining features of the major groups of plants within the context of evolution.
Content:
Animals: Protists and the evolution of multicellularity; simple metazoans (sponges and coelenterates); 3-types of worm-like animal (nematodes, flatworms and annelids); shell bearing animals (molluscs); Invertebrates with an external skeleton (arthropods) - why are insects so successful?; what features do all chordates share?; modifications of the primitive chordate morphology; characteristics of vertebrates, tetrapods, amniotes and the consequences of their adaptation. Plants: What it means to be a plant - constraints and opportunities of converting sunlight into growth; diversity of algal life in relation to aquatic context; evolution of land plants; plant life cycles; vascular systems; leaf form and function; underground organs and clonality; formation of wood and trees; symbiotic associations; sexual reproductive structures and how they relate to the diminution and retention of the gametophyte.

BB10011: The biosphere

Credits: 6
Level: Certificate
Semester: 2
Assessment: EX100
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide a global perspective of the communities and ecosystems of the world and the role of these systems in the flow of energy and matter. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* identify the main flows of energy through the biosphere
* understand how minerals cycle in the environment and how soils form
* appreciate the main features of aquatic environments and terrestrial biomes
* have an awareness of the effects that humans have on the environment
Content:
The flow of energy through the biosphere; the global biogeochemical cycles; soils and aquatic environments; the major terrestrial biomes(tundra, northern coniferous forests, temperate deciduous forests, temperate grasslands, and tropical forests). The impact of humankind on the environment, with particular emphasis on pollution.

BB10012: Ecology & evolution

Credits: 6
Level: Certificate
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX100
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide a broad introduction to key concepts in ecology and evolution. To approach issues in ecology and evolution in a rigorous, cohesive way that will provide the students with a conceptual framework that will help them to examine other areas of biology in a fuller context of evolution and ecology. To provide a firm foundation for more detailed study within the specific fields of evolution and ecology later in their course. It aims to introduce students to the unique position of ecology and evolution in the biological sciences; why these disciplines pose unusual challenges such as huge time scales and an attendant paucity of experimental information; why ecology and evolution tend to be analytical rather than experimental sciences; reasons why these are theory driven sciences and the special role of mathematical models in these disciplines. After taking this course the student should be able to:
*outline certain key principles in evolution and ecology
*demonstrate an understanding of the unique position of evolution and ecology in the biological sciences
*demonstrate an understanding of the logic of the arguments used in the construction of simple mathematical models for population growth, competition and predator prey relationships
*synthesise evidence of many kinds that animal, fungal and plant communities have evolved in highly structured ways
*show some appreciation of the role of ecological and evolutionary thinking in areas such as conservation and biodiversity
*have some basics skill in obtaining, processing and evaluating ecological data in laboratory and field based practicals.
Content:
Key concepts in evolution, including the nature of evolutionary selection, including kin-selection, sexual selection and natural selection. Dynamics of ecological populations including field and laboratory examples and mathematical models. Population growth, intraspecifc and interspecific competition and predator/prey relationships. The structure and development of plant, animal and fungal communities are also examined and evidence is described from studies of the limits of similarity, island biogeography and food webs.

BB10089: Biochemistry

Credits: 6
Level: Certificate
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX80PR20
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To introduce students to the fundamentals of central metabolism and to relate the regulation of these pathways to the homeostasis of the whole organism. In order to appreciate and understand metabolism, the students are taught the fundamental aspects of amino acid, carbohydrate and lipid structures. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* know the pathways of central metabolism & energy conversion of the cell
* appreciate the way in which central metabolism connects catabolism and anabolism
* understand the regulation of central metabolism with respect to the needs of the organism in relation to its environment
* appreciate the principles of mitochondrial oxidative function
* understand lipid structure and the pathways of fatty acid oxidation and sythesis
* understand the mechanisms of neurotransmission and muscle contraction
* comprehend the stereochemistry of small organic molecules of biological importance
Content:
1) Proteins: amino acids - structures, ionisation and physical properties; primary structure and an overview of protein folding and conformation
2) Enzymes: catalysis, kinetics, regulation
3) Metabolism: chemistry of monosaccharides, glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, citric acid cycle, glyoxylate cycle, regulation of central metabolism.
4) Mitochondrial bioenergetics: respiration, oxidative phosphorylation and the chemiosmotic theory.
5) Lipid metabolism: structure of lipids, catabolism and anabolism of fatty acids, ketogenesis and coordination with other metabolic pathways.
6) Biochemistry of animal tissues and organs, such as mechanisms of neurotransmission and muscle contraction.

BB10147: Human & animal physiology

Credits: 6
Level: Certificate
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX80PR20
Requisites:
While taking this unit you must take BB10001 and in taking this unit you cannot take XX10044 or take XX10045
Aims: The aim of this unit is to provide an overview of human and mammalian physiology, with particular emphasis on how the major systems of the body are integrated and controlled. There will also be some comparison with invertebrates and lower vertebrates.
Learning Outcomes:
After taking this unit, the student will be able to: (a) demonstrate an understanding of the structure and function of the major physiological systems of the human body; (b) demonstrate knowledge of how the functions of major organs and systems are integrated and regulated.
Skills:
Written Communication T/F/A, Data Acquisition, Handling and Analysis T/F/A, Problem Solving T/F/A, Working as part of a group F.
Content:
1. Animal structure and function: anatomy, physiology and functional genomics; bioenergetics; body plans; size and shape; homeostasis and feedback control.
2. Animal nutrition: food types and feeding mechanisms; food processing; mammalian digestive system; evolutionary adaptations.
3. Circulation and gas exchange: diffusion and mass transport systems within animals; simple systems; evolution of heart and circulation in vertebrates; structure, function and control of the mammalian heart; physical properties of blood vessels; exchange of materials at capillaries; lymph; blood pressure and how it is regulated.
4. Homeostasis - regulation of the internal environment: regulation of body temperature; water balance and waste disposal; filtration systems; comparative kidneys; modification of tubular filtrates in mammalian kidney; water conservation in human kidney; hormones that regulate the kidney; adaptations in animals that live in dry environments.
5. Hormones and other kinds of chemical signalling: hormones, neurotransmitters, etc - types of signal and nomenclature; cell surface and intracellular receptors; intracellular second messengers; hypothalamic and pituitary hormones; pineal and biorhythms; insulin and other hormones that regulate nutrient levels. Overview of other hormonal systems.
6. Nervous systems: neurons; electrical and chemical neuronal signalling; general organisation of nervous systems; structure and function of the vertebrate brain.
7. Sensory and motor mechanisms: principles of sensory perception; photoreception; audition; chemoreception; movement and locomotion.

BB20013: Directed studies 1

Credits: 3
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 1
Assessment: OT100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10001 and take BB10002 and After taking this module you must take BB20014

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To give each student experience in the study of biological information and in its written and verbal presentation. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* make appropriate use of the various forms of biological publication;
* carry out searches for information using suitable tools and databases;
* write and word-process a substantial essay on a biological topic, with appropriately listed references to published literature.
Content:
The course consists of a series of small group sessions with a lecturer and about 6-8 students.

BB20014: Directed studies 2

Credits: 3
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 2
Assessment: OT100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20013

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To give each student experience in the study of biological information and in its written and verbal presentation. After taking this course the student should have further developed the learning objectives of BB20013.
Content:
The course consists of a series of small group sessions with a lecturer and about 6-8 students.

BB20015: Biochemical problems

Credits: 6
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 2
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20018 and take BB20020

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To develop students' abilities to assimilate compilations of experimental data and to draw valid conclusions from them. After taking the course, the student should be able to:
* study a collection of biochemical observations, such as the Results Section of a publication or simply a series of related observations compiled specifically for the exercise, and assess their significance. Indications of this ability could be, eg answering particular questions or writing the Discussion section of a paper. It is especially important that the student learns to draw only such conclusions as are fully justified by the data.
Content:
Several members of academic staff will participate in the Course, each providing a particular problem. This will be handed out and explained to the class, who will then have some 4 days to provide written answers. These will be marked and returned.

BB20016: Professional training in Biochemistry 1

Credits: 30
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 2
Assessment: RT100
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims:
* to provide experience of the application of biochemistry;
* to promote understanding of the principles and practices of working in a professional environment. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* undertake and report on a piece of work in an agreed programme
* integrate into a commercial or academic environment.
Content:
Laboratory or other professional experience which is deemed suitable by the Department.

BB20018: Enzymology A

Credits: 6
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX80PR20
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10003 and take BB10004

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide a fundamental basis for understanding the action of enzymes as catalysts, mainly at a physical level, and also those properties of enzymes arising from their nature as proteins. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* understand the nature of steady-state kinetics of simple enzyme-catalysed reactions
* appreciate the influence that protein structure and organisation has on the catalytic and regulatory functions of enzymes.
* understand the requirements of reliable assay procedures, including practical ability.
* discuss the purpose of studies of the transient phase of enzyme-catalysed reactions.
* from simple mechanisms, to derive steady-state rate equations.
* appreciate the role of coenzymes and their underlying basis in heterocyclic chemistry.
* understand reversible inhibition and covalent modification, and the effects of pH on catalytic activity.
Content:
Ligand binding; steady-state and transient kinetics; theories of catalysis; allostery; multienzyme complexes; chemical modification; effects of inhibitors and pH; isoenzymes; heterocyclic chemistry and coenzymes; purification and assay

BB20020: Physical biochemistry & proteins

Credits: 6
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX80PR20
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10003 and take BB10004 and take CH10087 and take CH10088

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide understanding of protein conformation in terms of noncovalent interactions between amino acid side chains, the thermodynamic principles underlying the protein folding problem. Also to provide understanding of the various physical methods available for the characterisation of biological macromolecules and their application to the study of protein conformation. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* give a qualitative description of the interactions that maintain the native conformation of a protein and determine the stability of the native conformation
* appreciate the structural information that various spectroscopic techniques can give
* understand the structural information that various scattering and diffraction techniques can give.
Content:
Polypeptide chain folding, the role of non-covalent interactions, the protein folding process, denaturation and renaturation, protein conformational change, spectroscopic techniques (UV/visible/IR, Raman, circular dichroism, nmr, esr), scattering techniques (X-ray diffraction, solution scattering), Microscopy (optical and electron)

BB20021: Protein purification

Credits: 6
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 2
Assessment: EX80CW20
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20020

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide understanding of the principles and application of the various methods for the purification and characterisation of proteins. To provide understanding of the principles and application of the ultracentrifuge in the biochemistry laboratory. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* plan a purification scheme for the isolation of a protein from various starting materials, taking account of requirements for both purity and yield of the product
* design experiments that involve the use of ultracentrifugation techniques.
Content:
Protein separation by column chromatography based on differences in molecular size, charge, hydrophobicity and specific affinity for ligands; electrophoretic methods for the purification and characterisation of proteins; theory and practise of preparative and analytical ultracentrifugation

BB20023: DNA (making, breaking & disease)

Credits: 6
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 1
Assessment: RT20EX40OT40
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10006

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide an in-depth understanding of the relationship between DNA synthesis, damage & repair mechanisms in relation to cell cycle and apoptosis. Also provides an understanding of how disruption of normal cellular function leads to disease processes, especially cancer. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* give a detailed account of DNA replication, damage and repair in prokaryotic (bacterial / viral) and eukaryotic systems;
* understand the cross talk between cell cycle and apoptosis in relation to oncogenesis;
* understand the rationale behind cancer therapy, either conventional approaches of radio/chemotherapy or newer approaches of genetherapy, immunotherapy, angiotherapy etc.
Content:
DNA replication and repair in relation to disease. Role of cell cycle and apoptosis in oncogenesis. Various modes of cancer therapy.

BB20024: Cell biology 2

Credits: 6
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10005 and take BB10006

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To familiarise students with the concepts and vocabulary of key aspects of cell biology. To give students an understanding of current models of how cells attach to and move upon their substrate, how they maintain their composition and shape, how they communicate and how they grow. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* outline and distinguish the roles of carrier proteins and ion channels, and describe current models of their functional mechanisms;
* describe the major components of the cytoskeleton and their function in cell integrity, in intracellular trafficking and in cell motility;
* differentiate the various types of animal cell-cell junctions;
* summarise the major extracellular matrix components in plant and animal tissues and how cell attach to them;
* discuss the key signals and mechanisms permitting targeting of protein components to various subcellular locations;
* demonstrate knowledge of the major inter cellular signalling systems and intracellular signalling pathways, and also the ways that these are studied;
* understand the principles of cellular signal generation, control, recognition, integration and interpretation to generate a response;
* extend their knowledge in these areas by reference to primary research articles;
Content:
Cell adhesion and the extracellular matrix; membrane transport (carrier proteins and ion channels); intracellular trafficking; cytoskeleton; cell signalling: growth factors and regulation of vertebrate cell proliferation and differentiation; tyrosine kinase receptors and the MAP kinase intracellular signalling pathway; G-protein coupled receptors and the cAMP and Ca2+ second messenger systems; hormone signalling via the intracellular receptor family.

BB20025: Practical molecular biology

Credits: 6
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 2
Assessment: PR80OR20
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10005 and take BB10006

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide practical experience of some commonly used molecular biology techniques and to evaluate these in comparison with other available methods so that the students are aware of a range of techniques used for the characterisation of gene structure and gene expression. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* understand how and why these techniques have been applied when they encounter them in journal articles
* consider these methods when they design their own experiments
* develop planning and organisational skills in carrying out a scientific project
* develop data handling and interpretation skills
Content:
The course involves a series of linked experiments that form a mini-project. This begins with the preparation of cellular RNA, its conversion to cDNA and the amplification of gene fragments using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Specific fragments are cloned in a bacterial plasmid, these screened by restriction enzyme digestion and one or two are subject to DNA sequencing. Data interpretation involves DNA sequence analysis and the interrogation of remote nucleic acid databases, chromosome physical maps and mutational databases. A demonstration of various methods for analysing gene expression is included.

BB20027: Infection and immunity

Credits: 6
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 2
Assessment: EX80CW20
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10005
Aims: The course AIMS to provide the student with an understanding of how animals defend themselves against invading microorganisms, and how pathogenic microbes overcome these defences. The Unit aims to give an account of the immune systems of mammals, with some comparisons to the simpler defence systems of lower animals. A number of well studied microbial and viral diseases are used as examples. The approach will stress the methods by which knowledge has been gained, and the integrative features of cellular and systemic immunobiology. Lectures will be supported by a number of laboratory sessions that aim to develop practical and interpretative skills in these areas of biology.
Learning Outcomes:
After taking this unit, the student will be able to:
(a) demonstrate knowledge of the topics given in the outline of the course and the ability to integrate such knowledge through answering factual multiple-choice questions on any of these topics, and discussing them in integrative exam questions.
(b) analyse, display, interpret and draw conclusions from the experimental data obtained in the practical sessions.
Skills:
Written Communication T/F/A, Data Acquisition, Handling and Analysis T/F/A, Problem Solving T/F/A, Working as part of a group F.
Content:
The course is in three parts:
1. Non-specific defences; barriers; skin; innate immunity; secreted antimicrobials; cellular defences; classes of leukocytes; innate immune responses; phagocytosis; cell killing; acute inflammation; complement; humoral defences, haemostasis. Invertebrate (especially Drosophila) innate immune responses to microbial invaders, and the phylogeny of the mammalian immune system.
2. Antibodies and acquired immunity; immunoglobulins, Ig classes; genetic basis of Ab diversity; MHC; T-cell receptors; development of B and T-cells; immunity mediated by B and T cells.
3. Case studies of interactions between pathogens and the immune system: meningitis, AIDS.

BB20028: Cellular neurobiology

Credits: 6
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 2
Assessment: EX80PR20
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10006

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide an introduction and broad overview of cellular neurobiology which should serve as a basis for more in-depth study in final year courses. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* give a general description of the organisation of the nervous system including the basic anatomical subdivisions
* relate neuronal cell structure with function
* discuss the similarities and differences between receptor classes and their association with various signalling cascades
* describe the principles of electrical signalling in neurons including the properties of ion channels
Content:
A brief description of basic aspects of neuronal development and anatomy: the cells of the nervous system; the subcellular architecture of neurons including features in common with other cells and unique aspects such as axons, dendrites, synaptic vesicles and the neuronal cytoskeleton; synaptic transmission and intercellular communication; and signalling in the nervous system including the electrical properties of neurons, resting and action potentials and ion channels.

BB20029: Insect biology

Credits: 6
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX80PR20
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10009

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide an introduction to the biochemistry, physiology, morphology and behaviour of insects, particularly in relation to their role as crop pests and the development of methods of control. After taking this course the student should be able to:
*define the elements of structure and function that have contributed to the diversity and numerical success of insects
*identify aspects of insect biochemistry, physiology and behaviour that provide or potentially could provide targets for exploitation in pest control.
Content:
Insect classification and types of post-embryonic development; characteristics of the major orders of insects; polymorphism as found in aphids and locusts; biochemistry and physiology of some major life systems; insect plant relations; a survey of chemical pesticides - chemical classes, mode of action and mechanisms of resistance; biological pest control.

BB20030: Plant physiology & biochemistry

Credits: 6
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX80PR/CW20
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10006

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To introduce some important aspects of plant metabolism and their role in the functioning of the whole plant. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* understand how plants (by definition static) are able to utilise light energy for the biosynthesis of important biomolecules, respond to the quality of light in order to maximise energy capture and simultaneously cope with extremes of temperature and water availability.
* Understand how plants, through the action of signalling pathways, respond not only to internal developmental cues but also to external stimuli.
* Understand why and how plants produce such a vast and diverse array of complex chemical compunds (secondary metabolites) a great many of which are of great importance to humankind.
Content:
Utilisation of light energy in photosynthesis; CO2 incorporation; carbohydrate synthesis, storage and breakdown; nitrogen fixation and metabolism; function and metabolism of lipids; plant growth regulators (hormones); plant signal transduction; secondary metabolism, its role in plant defence and biotechnological importance; photomorphogenesis. Practical sessions provide experience in the use of a variety of techniques for the study of plant processes and will complement topics covered in the lecture course.

BB20031: Plant biotechnology

Credits: 6
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 2
Assessment: EX80PR20
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10006

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To introduce the techniques used in Plant Biotechnology, discuss their applications in Crop Production and Protection, and consider public debate over GM plants. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* Understand the role that biotechnology and recombinant DNA techniques play in the development of novel plants and crop production methods.
* Actively participate in the debate over the deployment of GM crops.
Content:
This unit introduces the techniques and targets of plant Genetic Modification and provides background to conventional agricultural practices against which to judge this new technology. The process of GM plant production from construction of recombinant plant genes to their transfer to plants via Agrobacterium - mediated and direct transformation e.g. particle bombardment is described. Applications of plant genetic engineering are discussed with examples drawn from a wide range of Crop Production and Protection situations e.g. insect and herbicide resistance; manipulation of floral development; fruit ripening; golden rice and the synthesis of novel products such as pharmaceuticals. The role of patents and other intellectual property protection devices is also considered. The socioeconomics of Plant Biotechnology and the debate over the deployment of GM crops are discussed. Practical sessions provide experience in the use of tissue culture and transformation techniques in the study of Plant Development and Biotechnology.

BB20032: Plant symbiosis & pathology

Credits: 6
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX80PR20
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10009

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To understand how plant health and disease are influenced by the way plants interact with microorganisms, with one another and their physical surroundings in natural and cultivated environments, with a view to developing sound management practice. To understand the biology and control of the major groups of fungal and bacterial plant pathogens. To introduce the physiological, biochemical and molecular basis of host-parasite interactions. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* develop a balanced, all-round perspective of plant health and disease that can inform practical approaches to environmental and crop management
* name the major groups of fungal and bacterial plant pathogens and describe their key biological features and methods of control
* understand the molecular and biochemical basis of host-pathogen interactions
* describe the modes of action of key fungicides.
Content:
"Ecological relationships" including: concepts of plant health and disease, modes of interactions between plants and other organisms as complex systems, epiphytes and endophytes; patterns and process of decay in trees; mycorrhizas; parasitic plants; human influences on plant health. Pathogen major groups and life cycles. Epidemiology. Control strategies to include, biological control, resistant host genotypes, fungicides; fungicide groups and modes of action. Strategies for pathogenicity and modes of nutrition: necrotrophy, biotrophy, microbial pathogenicity and virulence factors. Host resistance mechanisms: constitutive and induced structures and antimicrobial compounds; resistance genes and hypersensitive reactions.

BB20033: Bacteriology

Credits: 6
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 2
Assessment: EX80PR20
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10008

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide the students with a foundation of knowledge about bacterial: biology, cellular & molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, diversity, ecology, and evolution. An underlying theme will be the different types of strategies and mechanisms bacteria use to adapt to their specific niches and exert their particular effects on the biosphere and the inanimate environment. The unit also provides training and quantitative experimental/investigative experience in mainstream bacteriology. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* Know the identity and functions of the main structural features of bacteria
* Understand the dynamics of bacterial population growth, how this can be quantified, and some of the biological implications for bacteria
* Be familiar with the main genetic elements found in bacteria and with the mechanisms for transferring genetic information between individual cells
* Know some of the primary and secondary metabolic processes carried out by bacteria
* Be familiar with the different procedures for isolating, characterising and recognising bacteria
* Have an outline knowledge of the 'Bergey' system of bacterial classification
* Have an appreciation of the diversity of ecological niches that bacteria can inhabit, how they have adapted to these niches, and how they can interact with other organisms.
Content:
Cellular structures; population growth dynamics (with emphasis on batch liquid cultures); genetic systems (genomes, promoters, operons, plasmids, transposons, recombination, transformation, transduction, conjugation, restriction/modification systems); bacteriophage; bacterial specific energy metabolism; secondary metabolism; methods for bacterial isolation, cultivation, characterisation and classification by the 'Bergey' system; diversity; extremophiles; ecology; evolution.

BB20034: Virology

Credits: 6
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 2
Assessment: EX80PR20
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10006

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To introduce students to the basic characteristics of viruses, both as microorganisms and as agents of disease of animals and plants. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* define the main characteristics of plant and animal viruses
* know how to detect and identify viruses
* understand the role of viruses in disease
* recognise the importance of new and emerging virus infections
* appreciate how some viruses spread and are controlled
Content:
The physical, chemical and biological properties of viruses; the life cycle and replication strategies of representative viruses; the effects of viruses at the whole organism, cellular and biochemical levels; principles of virus detection and disease diagnosis; virus transmission, ecology and control; emerging viruses and novel virus-like agents. Practical sessions introduce common methods for identification and characterisation of viruses.

BB20040: Concepts in evolution

Credits: 6
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10012

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To develop an understanding of the nature of evolution; the history of evolutionary thought from Darwin to the present day; evolutionary change through geological time; the evolution of higher taxa; ecological genetics; population genetics; population dynamics and conservation; behavioural ecology and optimisation theory. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* utilise concepts from evolutionary theory, optimisation theory, behavioural ecology and ecological genetics in understanding ecological and evolutionary issues
* Discuss key concepts in macroevolution and the evolution of modern biodiversity
* Demonstrate an understanding of the role of biological and physical factors in shaping macroevolutionary patterns
* Understand the key research methods in animal behaviour.
Content:
The maintenance of sex and the evolution of asexual reproduction; kin selection and reciprocal altruism; units of selection; recent developments in evolutionary theory, including the neutral theory and genetic conflict; natural selection in action, including the evolution of insecticide resistance, melanism and mimicry, and bacterial virulence; foraging behaviour; social behaviour; predation and competition; migration; sexual selection; mating strategies and parental care; human behaviour; concepts of macroevolutionary change, including punctuated equilibrium versus phyletic gradualism, patterns of diversity through time, modern biodiversity, mass extinctions, adaptive radiations, the origins of higher taxa, and the Red Queen hypothesis.

BB20041: Field course

Credits: 6
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 2
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10012 and take BB20040 and take MA20108

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To introduce the student to natural habitats in ways that enable the students to recognise patterns of distribution and behaviour of organisms and to question the basis of these patterns and behaviours. To introduce the student to the use of appropriate sampling patterns, experimental design, data gathering and statistical analysis. After taking the course the student should be able to:
*appreciate how aspects of behavioural ecology and of community structure can be investigated
*understand how these behaviours and structure may have arisen and how they are maintained
*design and perform a short field-based investigation; analyse and graphically present data
*prepare a written report of field-based investigations.
Content:
Visit to ecosystem types of varying complexity and subject to different kinds of selection process, such as rocky shore, sand dune, coastal grassland, salt marsh, woodland, moorland and fresh water. Investigation of components of these ecosystem types including spatial distribution, size and age distributions, reproduction and behaviour. Each student designs and carries out a half-day and a two-day field-based investigation; a preliminary report of the two-day investigation is presented as a short talk on the last day of the field trip; the data from the investigations are analysed and graphically presented using University computing facilities after the field trip. Students are required to make a financial contribution to the field course (currently 140), and are requiredto be available for any of the scheduled field courses which will be held out of term-time (usually the first two weeks of the Easter vacation and if numbers require, the first week of the summer vacation).

BB20058: Microbial genetics

Credits: 6
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 2
Assessment: EX80ES20
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20023

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide an overview of prokaryotic and eukaryotic genetic systems, to relate the genetics of microorganisms to their wider biological role, and give an indication of the diversity of genetic systems. After taking this course the student should be able to:
*compare critically methods of mapping genes in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes
*understand the unity and diversity amongst bacterial plasmids
*explain the mechanism and implications of transposition
*provide a critical understanding of the molecular basis and types of recombination
*provide an account of the development of bacteriophage lambda with an understanding of the regulation of promoters and the nature of a genetic switch
*relate the possible evolutionary relationships between different replicating genetic elements.
Content:
Topics: Advanced Mendelian genetics; recombination and repair; functional genomic analysis; extranuclear genetics of yeasts; genetics of bacterial plasmids; genetics and development of bacteriophage lambda; genetics of Archae.

BB20075: Professional training placement

Credits: 60
Level: Intermediate
Academic Year
Assessment: RT100
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
The placement period aims to provide experience of the application of Biological Science in the world. By the end of the placement year, the student should be able: To take individual responsibility for a piece of work within an agreed programme; To organise a personal work schedule, including setting of targets and objectives; To carry out practical work accurately and to appropriate specifications; To take the necessary steps to learn a new technique; To analyse, interpret and report scientific information; To produce a substantial report on the institution and on the personal work programme undertaken.
Content:
The placement period consists of 12 months, undertaken in an establishment, in the UK or abroad. The establishments include government-funded research institutes, commercial research establishments, public health laboratories, agricultural, food science and educational establishments. The majority of placements involve laboratory and/or field experimentation. A small number involve administrative and/or journalistic activities.

BB20096: Biochemical problems & bioinformatics

Credits: 3
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 2
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:
In taking this unit you cannot take BB20015 and before taking this unit you must take BB20018 and take BB20020

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To develop students' abilities to assimilate compilations of experimental data and to draw valid conclusions from them. After taking the course, the student should be able to:
* study a collection of biochemical observations, such as the Results Section of a publication or simply a series of related observations compiled specifically for the exercise, and assess their significance. Indications of this ability could be, eg answering particular questions or writing the Discussion section of a paper. It is especially important that the student learns to draw only such conclusions as are fully justified by the data. Additionally a student should be able to use current methods to understand sequence data from the human and other genome projects.
Content:
Several members of academic staff will participate in the Course, each providing a particular problem. This will be handed out and explained to the class, who will then have some 4 days to provide written answers. These will be marked and returned. Bioinformatics.

BB20097: Protein purification [For MBiochemistry students]

Credits: 3
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 2
Assessment: OT100
Requisites:
In taking this unit you cannot take BB20020 and before taking this unit you must take BB20021

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Please see the catalogue entry for BB20021.
Content:
Please see the catalogue entry for BB20021. This unit covers the content of BB20021 for the first few weeks of semester 2 before students leave to take up their placement.

BB20099: Cellular neurobiology [For MBiochemistry students]

Credits: 3
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 2
Assessment: OT100
Requisites:
In taking this unit you cannot take BB20028

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Please see the catalogue entry for BB20028.
Content:
Please see the catalogue entry for BB20028. This unit covers the content of BB20028 for the first few weeks of semester 2 before students leave to take up their placement.

BB20110: DNA (making, breaking & disease) [NS]

Credits: 6
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX40ES20OT40
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10006
This unit is for Natural Science students only
Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide an in-depth understanding of the relationship between DNA synthesis, damage & repair mechanisms in relation to cell cycle and apoptosis. Also provides an understanding of how disruption of normal cellular function leads to disease processes, especially cancer. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* give a detailed account of DNA replication, damage and repair in prokaryotic (bacterial / viral) and eukaryotic systems;
* understand the cross talk between cell cycle and apoptosis in relation to oncogenesis;
* understand the rationale behind cancer therapy, either conventional approaches of radio/chemotherapy or newer approaches of genetherapy, immunotherapy, angiotherapy etc.
Content:
DNA replication and repair in relation to disease . Role of cell cycle and apoptosis in oncogenesis. Various modes of cancer therapy.

BB20144: Techniques in cell biology

Credits: 6
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX50PR50
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10005 and while taking this unit you must take BB20024

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To give an overview of some of the commonly used techniques in cell biology and to provide an understanding of how these techniques are being applied to address current cell biological problems. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* Describe and explain the basic principles involved in each technique;
* Determine and explain when a technique should be used;
* Assess the strengths and weaknesses of each technique;
* Plan their time during the course of an experiment for maximal efficiency and optimal outcome.
Content:
Lectures will cover the basic principles underlying the techniques of light and electron microscopy including immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy, immunoblotting, immunoprecipitation, cell culture, transfection of mammalian cell lines including considerations of types of promoters and cell type specific expression, subcellular fractionation and metabolic labelling. The practical content will include projects focused on transfection of mammalian cell lines, immunofluroescence, immunoblottting, and subcellular fractionation.

BB20148: Developmental concepts & systems

Credits: 6
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 2
Assessment: EX80PR20
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10006
Aims: To introduce the study of animal development, making use of two important animal models: Xenopus and Drosophila, to demonstrate basic embryological concepts and the functions of developmentally important genes.
Learning Outcomes:
After taking this course the student should be able to:
* demonstrate a knowledge of the embryology of the model species;
* describe the major features of the embryos as seen through a dissecting microscope;
* discuss how information from anatomy, molecular biology and genetics can be integrated in the explanation of a particular developmental process.
Skills:
Learning & studying (T/F/A), Written communication (T/F/A), Data acquisition, handling & analysis (T/F/A), Laboratory skills (T/F), Problem solving (T/F), Information handline & retrieval (T/F/A), Working independently (T/F).
Content:
Xenopus development covering normal development, fate mapping, specification map, induction, morphogen gradients, DV patterning in egg, mesoderm induction, dorsalisation, neural induction, AP patterning. Drosophila development covering normal developmental genetics, dorsoventral and anteroposterior patterning. Brief introduction to chick and mouse embryology. Vertebrate limb development as an example of organogenesis.

BB20149: Molecular genetics of vertebrate development

Credits: 6
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX60PR40
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10006
Aims: To introduce the study of comparative animal development and to acquaint students with molecular basis and genetics of animal devleopment. The genetic pathways and regulation of gene expression during embryonic development and methods to study these will be covered.
Learning Outcomes:
After taking this course the student should be able to:
* demonstrate a knowledge of the developmental processes across a wide range of species;
* demonstrate an understanding of the genes and pathways regulating development;
* demonstrate a knowledge of the current approches in the study of gene expression, overexpression and ablation and their relevance to development carry out cytochemical, immunohistochemical and in situ hybridisation procedures.
Skills:
Learning & studying (T/F/A), Written communication (T/F/A), Data acquisition, handling & analysis (T/F/A), Laboratory skills (T/F), Problem solving (T/F), Information handling & retrieval (T/F/A), Working independently (T/F).
Content:
Animal development covering gametogenesis and fertilisation, early development, mammalian preimplantation development, stem cells, embryonal carcinoma cells, transgenesis and targeted mutagenesis, extraembryonic membranes, X-chromasome inactivation, imprinting, regulation of gene expression, comparative genomics, large scale mutagenesis, cell adhesion, cell movement, morphogenesis and gastrulation. 5 laboratory practical sessions covering, cytochemistry, in situ hybridisation and immunohisochemistry of mouse and fish embryos.

BB30042: Investigative project

Credits: 12
Level: Honours
Semester: 1
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide students with experience and skills in planning and undertaking a scientific investigation, analysing and interpreting findings and reporting the outcomes. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* identify the intellectual, time- and resource-management and technical requirements for productive, rigorous and responsible scientific investigation and reporting;
* undertake scientific writing at the level of a primary research paper;
* demonstrate technical, analytical, interpretative and literature-accessing skills in the undertaking and presentation of the project.
Content:
Selection and definition of a problem that can be investigated effectively within constraints of safety, time and resources; strategic planning; gathering, processing, analysis and interpretation of information; literature searching and reviewing; scientific writing and presentation.

BB30042: Investigative project

Credits: 12
Level: Honours
Semester: 2
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide students with experience and skills in planning and undertaking a scientific investigation, analysing and interpreting findings and reporting the outcomes. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* identify the intellectual, time- and resource-management and technical requirements for productive, rigorous and responsible scientific investigation and reporting;
* undertake scientific writing at the level of a primary research paper;
* demonstrate technical, analytical, interpretative and literature-accessing skills in the undertaking and presentation of the project.
Content:
Selection and definition of a problem that can be investigated effectively within constraints of safety, time and resources; strategic planning; gathering, processing, analysis and interpretation of information; literature searching and reviewing; scientific writing and presentation.

BB30043: Biological data interpretation

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX80OT20
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide experience of the interpretation of biological data. After taking this course the student should be able to:
*understand and interpret information on biological phenomena, using quantitative (numerical) and qualitative (text or image) sources
*make logical statements and reach sound conclusions from biological data
*be aware of the limits of interpretation and be capable of selecting suitable statistical tests
* interpret the outcome of a statistical test on biological data.
Content:
The course comprises a series of assignments and problems which are undertaken by the students and then analysed and discussed in weekly workshops. Using examples which illustrate different types of biological information, the course covers the interpretation of simple data sets, data transformation, graphical presentation, interpretation of trends, selection of appropriate statistical tests for particular data sets. As far as possible, the examples are generic, designed to be capable of interpretation without a requirement for in depth understanding of any particular area of biology.

BB30044: Molecular & medical neuroscience

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX80PR20
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10003 and take BB20028 or take BB20099

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: An advanced review of the molecular and cellular processes underlying intercellular communication in the nervous system to provide an understanding of the neurochemical basis of brain disorders, their causes and treatments. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* understand the properties of the various classes of receptors and ion channels present in the CNS, and how these molecules interact to co-ordinate neuronal activity.
* describe a number of brains disorders in terms of their neurochemistry.
* comprehend the gross regional anatomy of the human brain
* read and comprehend the relevant scientific literature
Content:
Lectures: Receptors and ion channels- the existence of families and super-families. The structure of these various families of polypeptide. The functional consequences of this diversity and how it might be regulated at the gene and protein levels. Synthesis, release and uptake of neurotransmitters. Methods of studying human brain dysfunction. The altered neurochemistry of selected neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases will be reviewed, with respect to neurochemical aspects of their causes, symptons, diagnosis, treatment and prevention. Video presentations will illustrate some of the clinical conditions.

BB30045: Cell membranes

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX80PR20
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20024

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To introduce the student to the principles governing the structure and function of biological membranes. To introduce the principles governing the structure of the lipid bilayer and the topological arrangement of proteins in the membrane. To introduce the principles and mechanisms involved in the transport of solutes across cell membrane. To introduce the student to mechanisms involved in sorting membrane proteins to specialised subcellular compartments. To provide an understanding of the overall importance of membrane processes in cellular function. After taking the course the student should be able to:
* outline how membrane lipids and proteins are structurally organised in the membrane;
* describe how ions and sugars are transported across membranes;
* describe the mechanisms by which membrane proteins are sorted into specialised subcellular compartments and the routes by which membrane trafficking occurs.
Content:
Functions and common structural feature of membrane lipids and proteins. Case study of the erythrocyte membrane proteins. Lateral diffusion of membrane components. Common features of membrane transporters for ions and neutral molecules together with the specialised features that provide substrate specificity. Simple kinetic features of the membrane transport process. Mechanisms for membrane vesicle budding and fusion and the functional significance of these processes in terms of membrane protein sorting and trafficking.

BB30046: Proteins & immunochemistry

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX80PR20
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20020

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide an understanding of the molecular basis of antibody function and the principles of their application in immunochemical techniques. To provide an understanding of the significance of protein:protein interactions. To provide an understanding of the three-dimensional structure of protein molecules that play an important role in the immune system. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* understand the molecular basis for antigen:antibody interaction
* appreciate the role of antibody as a component of the immune system
* understand the basis of specific immunochemical methods and their applications.
Content:
Overview of the immune system and the biological role of antibodies, structure of an antibody molecule and its relationship to antigen-binding and effector functions, principles of immunochemical techniques, protein:protein interactions and their importance for the function of oligomeric proteins, principles of protein folding and understanding of the three-dimensional structure of immunological relevant proteins.

BB30047: Carbohydrate polymers

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX80PR20
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10003 and take BB10004

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide an understanding of the principles of carbohydrate conformation and of chemical synthesis of simple oligosaccharides as a basis for structural analysis. To teach methods of structural analysis of complex oligosaccharides. To outline the structure, biosynthesis and metabolic importance of glycogen, of glycoproteins and of mucopolysaccharides. After taking the course the student should be able to:
* understand the principles of conformational analysis as applied to monosaccharides
* appreciate the methods and applications of chemical synthesis of oligosaccharides
* give an account of the means by which glycogen metabolism is regulated by the hormones adrenalin and insulin and by metabolic substrates
* describe the structure and function of mucopolysaccharides
* understand the basic structural pattern of glycoproteins and how these may be determined
* outline the pathways of glycoprotein biosynthesis and discuss their function
Content:
Topics: Conformational analysis; simple chemical approaches to oligosaccharide synthesis, glycogen structure, biosynthesis and catabolism; regulation of glycogen metabolism by hormones; inborn errors of carbohydrate metabolism; relationship between mucopolysaccharide structure and function and distribution; common structural patterns of glycoproteins; methods of structural analysis of carbohydrate polymers and glycoprotein carbohydrates; general distribution of glycoproteins, biosynthesis and functions.

BB30050: Biochemical problems

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 2
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20015

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To develop students' abilities to assimilate compilations of experimental data and to draw valid conclusions from them. After taking the course, the student should be able to:
*study a collection of biochemical observations, such as the results section of a publication or simply a series of related observations compiled specifically for the exercise, and assess their significance. Indications of this ability could be, e.g. answering particular questions or writing the discussion section of a paper. It is especially important that the student learns to draw only such conclusions as are fully justified by the data.
Content:
Several members of academic staff will participate in the course, each providing a particular problem. This will be handed out and explained to the class, who will then have some 4 days to provide written answers. These will be marked and returned.

BB30051: Laboratory project

Credits: 12
Level: Honours
Semester: 2
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20015 and take BB20018 and take BB20021

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide an understanding of the principles of advanced laboratory practice with emphasis on the choice of analytical systems and development of team based research. After taking this course the student should be able to:
*elucidate defined biochemical problem by designing appropriate practical experiments.
Content:
Could include molecular biology, enzymology, protein separation, immunochemistry.

BB30052: Scientific communication

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 2
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20015

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To examine good and bad practice in communicating science to a variety of professional and lay audiences using written and oral methods. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* communicate new findings in biochemistry to professional, student and lay audiences.
Content:
Students will produce a web page suitable for use by "A" level or first year undergraduate students, write a 1000 word article on a recent advance in the biochemical sciences, in the style of a broadsheet newspaper, and give a short "journal club" oral presentation explaining a recent biochemical paper to a general scientific audience. The presentation should summarise the paper and its significance and should attempt a critical evaluation. The topics communicated will be of general interest.

BB30053: Professional training in Biochemistry 2

Credits: 30
Level: Honours
Semester: 2
Assessment: RT75OT25
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20016 and take BB20096

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims:
* To develop students' abilities to assimilate compilations of experimental data and to draw valid conclusions from them.
* To provide experience of the application of biochemistry.
* To provide a second placement experience, thereby building upon and extending the skills, techniques and knowledge gained in the second year.
* To promote understanding of the principles and practices of working in a professional environment. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* study a collection of biochemical observations, such as the Results Section of a publication or simply a series of related observations compiled specifically for the exercise, and assess their significance.
* undertake and report on a piece of work in an agreed programme.
* integrate into a commercial or academic environment.
Content:
Laboratory or other professional experience which is deemed suitable by the Department.

BB30055: Genes & genomes

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX80ES20
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10007 and take BB20023

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide an advanced study of genome structure and expression in eukaryotes. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* appreciate the complexities of gene regulation and the various stages at which expression is regulated;
* review the ways in which mRNA differs from the primary transcript;
* know how to use genome structural information to distinguish between individuals;
* devise a strategy for the identification and mapping of disease genes.
Content:
Genome structure and mapping (genetic & physical). Applications of genomics and genome evolution. Assembly of the eukaryotic RNA synthetic machinery and its regulation by transcription factors. Chromatin remodelling in transcription. RNA splicing, editing and other modifications and their control.

BB30059: Insect-microbe interactions

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX80ES20
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20029

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide an insight into the nature of symbioses between insects and their microbial flora - from commensal through parasitic to mutualistic association; to provide an understanding of the nature of the diseases in insects caused by bacteria, fungi and viruses; to explore the basis of immunity and host defence against microbial pathogens; to demonstrate some of the complexity of the mutualistic associations that have evolved between insects and their flora. After taking this course the student should be able to:
*discuss the concepts of pathogenesis, virulence and specificity as they relate to microbial pathogens of insects
*compare and contrast the strategies used by different types of microbial pathogen of insects
*define the strengths and weaknesses of insect immune systems
*compare and contrast insect and vertebrate immune systems
*define criteria for establishing a mutualistic role for a micro-organism.
Content:
Concepts of symbiosis; ice nucleating agents and insect cold hardiness; mechanisms of fungal pathogenesis in insects - host recognition, host invasion, role of toxins, molecular approaches to the study of virulence; entomopathogenic bacteria; endotoxins from Bacillus thuringiensis and B. sphaericus; entomopathogenic viruses - overview, baculoviruses, polyDNA viruses, host immunity - cuticle and gut barriers, cellular defence, humoral defence, immune proteins, comparison with vertebrate systems; mutualism - exogenous mutualists, cellulose digestion, intracellular mutualists.

BB30060: Systems in neurobiology

Credits: 3
Level: Honours
Semester: 2
Assessment: EX100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20028

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide an understanding of some holistic systems in neurobiology to illustrate the integrated functioning of the nervous system. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* describe a number of integrated neuronal systems in terms of their physiology and neurochemistry.
Content:
Human brain structure; lateralisation and language; examples of motor, sensory & limbic systems.

BB30063: Microbial pathogenicity

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX100
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To introduce principles of microbial pathogenicity (of humans), with particular regard to the roles of the cell envelope and bacterial toxins. To present detailed aspects of the physiological and biochemical processes involved. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* have a sound understanding of a range of physiological properties and biochemical mechanisms, particularly in relation to bacterial pathogenicity towards humans
Content:
Introduction to microbial pathogenicity; iron transport and the bacterial cell membrane; the mechanisms of cell adhesion; bacterial biofilms - their nature, formation and involvement in health problems; an introduction to bacterial toxins and their role in disease; structural properties and detection of toxins; cell envelope structural components and their role in vaccine development; E. coli H0157, an important 'new' pathogen; AIDS.

BB30067: Advanced developmental genetics

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 2
Assessment: EX80ES20
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20148 or take BB20149

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide an advanced course in developmental biology that will communicate the excitement of recent research advances. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* explain the basic principles underlying invertebrate development and organogenesis in higher organisms;
* relate the mechanisms of development to cellular and molecular events;
* describe and explain the applications and implications of research in developmental biology to human developmental defects.
Content:
This course builds on year 2 to give a comprehensive grounding in developmental biology. The vertebrate development lectures will cover HOX genes, somatogenesis, myogenesis, neural development, epithelial-mesenchymal interaction, limb development and regeneration, and developmental defects. Invertebrate model organisms are increasingly being used for molecular genetic analysis of genetic systems important in human medicine. We shall introduce the important model organism Caenorhabditis elegans and extend the analysis of Drosophila development to include the mechanism of segmentation and the patterning of the imaginal discs.

BB30071: Topics in environmental plant virology

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX80ES20
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20034

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To explore the relationship between viruses and their environment. This will include discussion of the impact of viruses and other pathogens, on human and plant health, with emphasis on those transmitted by vectors. The dynamics of viruses as disease-causing agents and the factors that have contributed to disease emergence, and pathogen spread, in the wider environment, will be examined using a case studies approach, with examples drawn from developing countries; disease management strategies will be considered. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* understand the relationship between viruses and their environment and the impact of viral and other pathogens on people, plants and countries.
Content:
Topics to be selected, include the following areas: origins and epidemiology of viruses; virus transmission and distribution; viruses within the marine environment; food and waterborne viruses; effects of viruses in agriculture; virus problems in developing countries; emergence of viral and other pathogens (e.g. BSE, SARS, influenza, geminiviruses etc.); pathogen reservoirs; disease management; bioterrorism.

BB30072: Biology as a world view

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX80ES20
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To develop an understanding of the history of biological thought in western culture. To develop an understanding of the extent to which the biological world view reflects and shapes the broader western world view. To provide an introduction to debates conducted within the philosophy of science about the potential of science to obtain an accurate picture of reality; this debate is illustrated with a case study which looks at philosophical and biological issues of the mind-brain problem. After taking this course the student should be able to:
*discuss the development of biological thought in ancient Greece, in medieval Europe and between the onset of the Scientific Revolution and the present
*debate problems associated with scientific methodology and discuss the implications for the biological world view of these problems.
Content:
Views of nature in ancient Greece, from presocratic philosophers to Plato, Aristotle and the neoplatonists, and in Europe from the medieval period to the present. Topics include: the nature of reality; what exists and why; the relationship between individuals, universals and classification. A critique of science which will include the following issues: how science is possible; how science identifies areas for study; the scientific approach, including the role of inductive and deductive reasoning, theory-ladeness and theory choice.

BB30079: Clinical biochemistry

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 2
Assessment: EX100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10006 and take BB10007 and take BB20018

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide an understanding of the principles of biochemistry as applied to medicine as described by invited clinical speakers. After taking this course the students should be able to:
*understand the molecular biology and appreciate the medical significance of various congenital and other defects in humans
*give an account of the biochemical aspects of cystic fibrosis; abnormalities of postabsorbtive blood sugar, glycogen storage diseases, plasma lipids.
Content:
Topics: ion channels, metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins.

BB30091: Data interpretation in molecular & cell biology

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 2
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide experience of the interpretation of molecular and cellular biological data. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* explain and interpret information on biological phenomena, using quantitative (numerical) and qualitative (text or image) sources;
* deduce logical statements and reach sound conclusions from biological data;
* discuss the limits of interpretation and be capable of selecting suitable statistical tests.
Content:
Using examples which illustrate different types of molecular and cellular biological information, the course covers the interpretation of biological data as presented in research publications. The examples are drawn from recent journal articles in the area of molecular and cellular biology. Five separate topics are covered with one workshop and one assessed problem in each area.

BB30101: Neurobiology - development

Credits: 3
Level: Honours
Semester: 2
Assessment: EX100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20028

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide a detailed understanding of selected examples of the origins of neural tissues and the mechanisms that control their development. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* outline the processes involved in generating a nervous system
* explain current models of the mechanisms of neural plate specification and patterning
Content:
Neural development, including neuronal specification, survival and proliferation, and axon guidance to target tissues

BB30106: Plant-animal interactions

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 1
Assessment: CW10ES10EX80
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10009

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To explore by means of lectures, directed study and student-led seminars, the biochemical, physiological, toxicological, ecological and evolutionary interactions between plants and animals, leading to an understanding of how these relationships have contributed to the evolution of these groups and of present day biodiversity. After taking this course, the student should be able to:
* Display an appreciation of the richness of interactions between plants and herbivores at the biochemical, physiological, and toxicological levels.
* Describe the host-finding and food-selection mechanisms of a number of herbivores, relating these to the properties of the plants and the environments in which they are found.
* Describe a number of named examples of plant defensive mechanisms and herbivore strategies to overcome these.
* Understand the feeding behaviour of herbivores in terms of optimal foraging and optimal digestion/nutrition strategies.
* Relate the present status of plant-herbivore interactions to the existence of past evolutionary arms races.
* Discuss other kinds of plant-animal interactions, including mutualisms connected with pollination, seed dispersal, and the trophic relations between carnivorous plants and their prey.
* Display a critical appreciation of the experimental and field ecological methods used to study these phenomena.
Content:
Various examples of plant herbivore and other kinds of plant-animal interactions, taken from the scientific literature will be presented in introductory lectures, will form the subject of directed study by the class, and will be presented as topics in student led seminars. The course will focus very largely on angiosperm plants and insects, although examples of other groups will be used as appropriate.

BB30108: Life, environment & people

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 2
Assessment: EX80ES20
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
To explore the varied ways in which people and other life forms interact with one another and their surroundings as dynamic, responsive systems to produce the conditions for environmental and cultural stability and change. To use this exploration as a basis for examining topical issues concerned with the way we perceive and manage our relationship with the living world, and how this relationship affects our 'quality of life'. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* understand the fundamental nature and complex outcome of dynamic, interactive processes affecting environmental and cultural stability and change over scales ranging from microscopic to global.
* use this understanding to think critically about the origins and underlying assumptions of various kinds of knowledge, value-judgements and assertions about the environment and environmental impacts.
* communicate this understanding in a variety of scientific and social contexts.
Content:
Lectures on pattern, process and relationship in living systems, including concepts of differentiation and integration, self and non-self, symbiosis and competition, degeneration and decomposition, chaos and complexity, life history strategies, succession. Discussion groups on topical issues, e.g. 'the relevance of biodiversity', 'biotechnology and bioengineering', 'food and food webs', 'sustainability and vitality', 'changing cultures', 'human needs and values'.

BB30111: Data interpretation in molecular & cell biology

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Academic Year
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide experience of the interpretation of molecular and cellular biological data. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* understand and interpret information on biological phenomena, using quantitative (numerical) and qualitative (text or image) sources
* make logical statements and reach sound conclusions from biological data
* be aware of the limits of interpretation and be capable of selecting suitable statistical tests
* be able to interpret the outcome of a statistical test on biological data.
Content:
The course comprises a series of assignments and problems which are undertaken by the students. Using examples which illustrate different types of molecular and cellular biological information, the course covers the interpretation of gels and autoradiographs as well as simple data sets, data transformation, graphical presentation, interpretation of trends. As far as possible, the examples are drawn from molecular and cellular biology.

BB30112: Data Interpretation in Biology

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Academic Year
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide experience of the interpretation of biological data. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* understand and interpret information on biological phenomena, using quantitative (numerical) and qualitative (text or image) sources
* make logical statements and reach sound conclusions from biological data
* be aware of the limits of interpretation and be capable of selecting suitable statistical tests
* be able to interpret the outcome of a statistical test on biological data.
Content:
The course comprises a series of assignments and problems which are undertaken by the students. Using examples which illustrate different types of biological information, the course covers the interpretation of simple data sets, data transformation, graphical presentation, interpretation of trends, selection of appropriate statistical tests for particular data sets. As far as possible, the examples are generic, designed to be capable of interpretation without a requirement for in depth understanding of any particular area of biology.

BB30113: Critical reading in biology

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Academic Year
Assessment: CW30EX70
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To acquaint students with a range of literature dealing with biology. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* Understand the social determinants of biological research
* Understand how biological ideas can impact on society.
* Understand how biological technologies can impact on society.
Content:
Students will be expected to read 5 books on biology. These will be chosen to cover a range of areas within biology and to illuminate not just the scientific results but also the social context of discovery and the impact upon society that the discovery may produce. They may deal with research, with interpretation of biological facts or with biological technologies. Students should read the books carefully and critically, so that they can discuss the content from an ethical, sociological, historical and scientific point of view.

BB30114: Critical reading in molecular & cellular biology

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Academic Year
Assessment: EX100
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To acquaint students with a range of literature dealing with molecular and cellular biology. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* Understand the social determinants of biological research
* Understand how biological ideas can impact on society.
* Understand how biological technologies can impact on society.
Content:
Students will be expected to read 5 books on molecular and cellular biology. These will be chosen to cover a range of areas and to illuminate not just the scientific results but also the social context of discovery and the impact upon society that the discovery may produce. They may deal with research, with interpretation of biological facts or with biological technologies. Students should read the books carefully and critically, so that they can discuss the content from an ethical, sociological, historical and scientific point of view.

BB30115: Professional Training Placement (MBiol)

Credits: 60
Level: Honours
Academic Year
Assessment: OT100
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims:
* to provide experience of the application of biological science.
To enable the students to:
1. understand the principles of writing and presenting a major dissertation.
2. understand the principles and application of advanced laboratory work.
3. understand the principles and practice of working in a professional research environment.
After taking this course the student should be able to:
* undertake and report on a piece of work in an agreed programme;
* integrate into a commercial or academic research environment;
* understand the need for team work, be able to keep stringently accurate and logical lab books;
* write a major report about the professional placement;
* work as a professional biologist.
Content:
Laboratory or other professional experience which is deemed suitable by the Department.

BB30123: Biological ethics

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 1
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To introduce students to moral and ethical issues relating to contemporary biology. After taking this course the students should be able to:
* discuss some of the bio-ethical dilemmas challenging modern society;
* acquire, through individual study as well as class participation, a detailed knowledge base, and
* apply critical thinking skills relating to a variety of ethical issues.
Content:
This course will consider ethical issues seleted from a range of biology-linked subject areas including: transgenics and GMOs, embryo research, pesticide use, sustainable agriculture, biodiversity, biopiracy (IPR), gene therapy, biology in the media, factory farming, animal biotechnology etc.

BB30125: Plant reproductive biology

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 2
Assessment: ES20EX80
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20031 or take BB20024

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide a broad analysis of current understanding of plant reproductive processes both from a molecular and evolutionary perspective. Flowering plants (angiosperms) now dominate the world's flora largely due to highly successful reproductive adaptions such as the advent of a protected seed, complete miniaturisation of the male gametophyte (pollen grain) and extremely efficient outbreeding mechanisms such as self-incompatibility systems and strategies that attract animal pollinators. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* Demonstrate an up-to-date knowledge of the key cellular and molecular processes in plant sexual and asexual reproduction.
* Understand the molecular genetic control of flower development in both unisexual and hermaphrodite individuals.
* Understand the significance of reproductive adaptions that have been central to the evolutionary success of plants.
* Appreciate the role of angiosperm reproduction, particularly the seed, as a major source of animal nutrition.
Content:
General coverage of reproductive life-cycles in both primitive plants and modern plant groups. Alternation of generations between gametophytic and sporophytic phases. Key reproductive adaptions for success of seed plants including extreme reduction of the gametophytic stage of the lifecycle, evolution of pollen, double fertilization and the advent of the seed. Evolution of the angiosperm flower and importance of co-evolution with pollinators. Genetic control of flower development. Sex determination. Molecular genetics of pollen-stigma recognition and self-incompatibility systems. Pollen tube guidance mechanisms and fertilization. Seed development and the role of genomic imprinting in endosperm. Apomixis -'seeds without sex'.

BB30131: Macroevolution & palaeobiology

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 2
Assessment: ES40EX30CW30
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20040
Knowledge from BB20040 (Concepts in Ecology and Evolution) is assumed. Students who have not taken BB20040 are not precluded. Some background reading will be recommended if requested.
Aims & Learning Objectives:
To develop an understanding of:
a) the history of palaeontology as a science, and its role in the development of evolutionary thinking;
b) the diverstiy of the evidence for evolution;
c) the nature of the fossil record;
d) the problems of reconstructing evolution in deep time;
e) the nature of major evolutionary radiations and mass extinctions;
f) the relationship between palaeontology, modern ecology and developmental biology.
After taking this course the student should be able to:
* utilise concepts from palaeobiology and neontology in explaining the diversification of multicellular life, the evolution of phyla, the nature of evolutionary processes, and the role of stochastic processes in macroevolution.
Content:
Why study extince organisms?; Speciation and biodiversity throughout the fossil record - are there lessons for today?; Bodyplans, fossils, development and molecular biology - is an integrated approach possible?; Reconstructing the tree of life - morphology, molecules or both?; Biomechanics - what can we deduce about function and life history from fossils; "Experiments" in the fossil record - can we find any general "rules"; How to survive 400My - what influences the success of lineages though time; Palaeobiogeography - the relationship between groups, continents and time. Students are also required to produce a 4000 word essay on a chosen topic. Each student will also conduct a brief class seminar in later weeks, with their contribution to discussion following those of their peers contributing to the mark.

BB30132: Sexual conflict

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 1
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20040

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: to develop an understanding of sexual selection, and to explore how the antagonistic interests of males and females have shaped their behaviour, ecology and evolution. After taking this course the students should be able to:
* understand the origin and the basic principles of sexual conflict;
* relate sexual conflict to a variety of behavioural strategies such as mate choice, mating systems and parental care, and;
* critically evaluate the implications of sexual conflict for behaviour, ecology and phylogeny.
Content:
This course comprises of a series of lectures, group discussions. The topics will include the origin of sexual conflict; mate choice, mating systems and parental care; the influences of natural and sexual selection on sexual size dimorphism; the implications of sexual conflict for speciation and extinction.

BB30138: Plant-microorganism interactions

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 2
Assessment: ES20EX80
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20032

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide an understanding of the processes involved in infection and colonisation of plants by parasitic microorganisms that lead to disease. To detail the chemical signals exchanged as key components of recognition events. To reveal the potential range of defences of plats: constitutive, induced non-specifically by damage, or specifically by pathogens. After taking this course, the student should be able to:
* describe and explain the biochemical and physical factors which determine the outcome of interactions between microorganisms and plants;
* explain how pathogens can avoid, negate or suppress host defences;
* explain different strategies by pathogens for obtaining nutrients from plant hosts;
* explain alternative strategies for control of plant diseases.
Content:
Resistance genes, their structure and function. Constitutive resistance based on existing structural barriers such as cuticle, secondary cell walls and on antimicrobial chemicals such as saponins and phenolics; detoxifying enzymes; toxin binding sites. Induced resistance comprising formation of physical barriers such as new or altered cell walls, vascular occlusions, de novo synthesis of phytoalexins. 'Defence-related genes'. Triggering of defence by stress or wounding, microbial elicitors or a recognition event. Infection structures of pathogenic fungi. Pahtogenicity determinants including depolymerases, toxins, polysaccarides, siderophores, detoxifying enzymes; their structure, modes of action and role. Contrasting strategies of obligate biotrophs and facultative nectrotrophs. Pathogenicity and virulence genes; molecular strategies to identify them.

BB30150: Project review

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 1
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:
While taking this unit you must take BB30151 and in taking this unit you cannot take BB30042 or take BB30051
Aims: To provide students with experience and skills in planning and researching a contemporary area of scientific investigation in preparation for an extended piece of writing.
Learning Outcomes:
After taking this course the student should be able to:
* Plan, prepare and write an extended scholarly review in an area of biosciences related to their Investigative project and set that topic in the context of what is the leading edge of current science.
Skills:
Learning & studying (T/F/A), Written communication (T/F/A), Numeracy & computation (T/F/A), Information technology (T/F/A), Information handling & retrieval (T/F/A), Working independently (T/F/A).
Content:
The project review allows students to undertake an in-depth study of a topic that is relevant to the Investigative project undertaken. The students will, during the course of completing the project review, develop an in depth understanding of the area of bioscience relating to the Investigative project. The student will put the topic in the context of the wider field of biological study. The planning stage involves defining the area of investigation. The preparation stage will involve researching the relevant literature. The writing stage will involve organising the material into a coherent and scholarly account. A number of transferable skills (process, presentational, management and personal skills), which will be of subsequent use to the student, will be developed.

BB30150: Project review

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 2
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:
While taking this unit you must take BB30151 and in taking this unit you cannot take BB30042 or take BB30051
Aims: To provide students with experience and skills in planning and researching a contemporary area of scientific investigation in preparation for an extended piece of writing.
Learning Outcomes:
After taking this course the student should be able to:
* Plan, prepare and write an extended scholarly review in an area of biosciences related to their Investigative project and set that topic in the context of what is the leading edge of current science.
Skills:
Learning & studying (T/F/A), Written communication (T/F/A), Numeracy & computation (T/F/A), Information technology (T/F/A), Information handling & retrieval (T/F/A), Working independently (T/F/A).
Content:
The project review allows students to undertake an in-depth study of a topic that is relevant to the Investigative project undertaken. The students will, during the course of completing the project review, develop an in depth understanding of the area of bioscience relating to the Investigative project. The student will put the topic in the context of the wider field of biological study. The planning stage involves defining the area of investigation. The preparation stage will involve researching the relevant literature. The writing stage will involve organising the material into a coherent and scholarly account. A number of transferable skills (process, presentational, management and personal skills), which will be of subsequent use to the student, will be developed.

BB30151: Laboratory project

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 1
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:
While taking this unit you must take BB30150 and in taking this unit you cannot take BB30042 or take BB30051
Aims: To provide an understanding of the principles of advanced laboratory practice with emphasis on the choice of analytical systems and development of team based research.
Learning Outcomes:
After taking this course the student should be able to:
* elucidate defined biological problems by designing appropriate practical experiments.
Skills:
Learning & studying (T/F/A), Written communication (T/F/A), Numeracy & computation (T/F/A), Data acquisition, handling & analysis (T/F/A), Laboratory or Fieldwork skills (T/F/A), Information technology (T/F/A), Problem solving (T/F/A), Information handling & retrieval (T/F/A), Interpersonal & teamwork skills (T/F/A), Working independently (T/F/A).
Content:
There will be a number of different topic areas for investigation, encompassing the research interests of the Department. The unit will require the students to undertake their own planning and organisation of laboratory work into a topic of biological interest.

BB30151: Laboratory project

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 2
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:
While taking this unit you must take BB30150 and in taking this unit you cannot take BB30042 or take BB30051
Aims: To provide an understanding of the principles of advanced laboratory practice with emphasis on the choice of analytical systems and development of team based research.
Learning Outcomes:
After taking this course the student should be able to:
* elucidate defined biological problems by designing appropriate practical experiments.
Skills:
Learning & studying (T/F/A), Written communication (T/F/A), Numeracy & computation (T/F/A), Data acquisition, handling & analysis (T/F/A), Laboratory or Fieldwork skills (T/F/A), Information technology (T/F/A), Problem solving (T/F/A), Information handling & retrieval (T/F/A), Interpersonal & teamwork skills (T/F/A), Working independently (T/F/A).
Content:
There will be a number of different topic areas for investigation, encompassing the research interests of the Department. The unit will require the students to undertake their own planning and organisation of laboratory work into a topic of biological interest.

BB40048: Enzymes: mechanisms, evolution and control in integrated biological systems

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 2
Assessment: EX100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20018 and take BB30046

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: The fields of Genomics, Proteomics, and the new and currently developing area of Metabolomics, active and important as they are, provide only descriptive information about biological systems. Ultimately, a true understanding of biological organisms from a functional standpoint will require a quantitative approach. This course will address the functional aspect of enzymes from the fundamental aspects of their mechanistic behaviour and its basis in structure, through their evolution and how by using Control Theory, one can learn how they act in integrated biological formats. The course aims to provide a grounding in how to understand biological events by looking at biological organisms as integrated system. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* Describe how genes and genomes have evolved to give the current plethora of enzymes.
* Recognise the existence of gene families and relatedness between families of enzymes.
* Describe how information on kinetics and protein chemistry and structure can be used to provide mechanistic evidence.
* Explain general approaches and specific types of catalysis in the context of enzyme mechanism and their evolution.
* Apply current knowledge of the relationship of protein structure, function and evolution to the engineering of enzymes.
* Understand how to analyse integrated systems of enzymes in order to explain how biological organisms function and evolve.
Content:
Syllabus:
* Chemical evolution and the origin of life. The RNA world. Evolution of enzymes: gene duplication, mutation and divergence, and adaptation and selection.
* Enzyme mechanisms: methodology of elucidating enzyme mechanisms; relationship of enzyme structure to mechanism and function; specific, research-based case studies from a variety of departmental staff.
* Control theory and regulation. How organisms maintain homeostatic states. Metabolic analysis and its application to biotechnology and disease. How metabolic systems evolve. Biochemical basis of dominance.

BB40076: Research project (MBiochem)

Credits: 18
Level: Masters
Semester: 1
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB30053

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To develop skills in planning and undertaking a scientific investigation in biochemistry at the level of advanced research. After taking this course the students should be able to:
* undertake research at the advanced level, interpret the results and report the outcome.
Content:
All stages are undertaken under the guidance of an academic supervisor. The planning stage involves defining the problem and devising an appropriate strategy to investigate it within constraints of time and resources. Risk assessment. Investigation stage involves the acquisition of (usually quantitative) data. Experimental design. Carrying out quantitative techniques, evaluating sources of error. The analysis and interpretation stage involves the use of appropriate statistical techniques and the evaluation of results in relation to published work. The final phase is to communicate the outcome of the project in the form of a written report.

BB40076: Research project (MBiochem)

Credits: 18
Level: Masters
Semester: 2
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB30053

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To develop skills in planning and undertaking a scientific investigation in biochemistry at the level of advanced research. After taking this course the students should be able to:
* undertake research at the advanced level, interpret the results and report the outcome.
Content:
All stages are undertaken under the guidance of an academic supervisor. The planning stage involves defining the problem and devising an appropriate strategy to investigate it within constraints of time and resources. Risk assessment. Investigation stage involves the acquisition of (usually quantitative) data. Experimental design. Carrying out quantitative techniques, evaluating sources of error. The analysis and interpretation stage involves the use of appropriate statistical techniques and the evaluation of results in relation to published work. The final phase is to communicate the outcome of the project in the form of a written report.

BB40078: Biotechnology

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10006 and take BB10007 and take BB20018

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide an understanding of the principles and practice of advanced Biotechnology as described by industrial speakers. After taking this course the students should be able to:
* give an account of how Biochemistry relates to Biotechnology in animal cell culture;
* describe and explain the commercial uses of extremophiles;
* describe and explain cell culture-based production methods;
* describe and explain how bioinformatics can be used in drug design and development;
* describe and explain current approaches to production of chiral compounds and their derivatives;
* describe and explain current approaches to the construction and applications of biosensors;
* describe and explain the approaches to commercial exploitation of research findings.
Content:
Animal cell culture, extremophiles, biopharmaceutical production, biosensors, viral products, computer aided drug design, entrepreneurship.

BB40079: Clinical biochemistry

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 2
Assessment: EX100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10006 and take BB10007 and take BB20018

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide an understanding of the principles of biochemistry as applied to medicine as described by invited clinical speakers. After taking this course the students should be able to:
* understand the molecular biology and appreciate the medical significance of various congenital and other defects in humans;
* give an account of the biochemical aspects of cystic fibrosis; abnormalities of postabsorbtive blood sugar, glycogen storage diseases, plasma lipids.
Content:
Topics: ion channels, metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins.

BB40081: Biochemical ethics

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 1
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10003 and take BB10004 and take BB10007 and take BB20023

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide an understanding of the ethical issues that arise from advances in the life sciences. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* give quantitative interpretation of advanced techniques which are of ethical concern;
* provide balanced argument for a particular ethical stance.
Content:
Biochemical heretics, rights to genetic knowledge; embryo research, gene therapy, genetic counselling, scientific misconduct, cell transplants, GM crops, patenting DNA.

BB40082: Neurochemistry

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 1
Assessment: ES50OR50
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB30044

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims:
* To acquire knowledge of neurochemical mechanisms underlying complex, integrated systems and processes in neuroscience;
* To gain an insight into current topics and controversies in the neurosciences;
* To develop presentation and discussion skills;
* To further develop critical reading of the scientific literature. Learning outcomes: After taking this course the student should be able to:
* Describe and explain neurochemical mechanisms that are at the forefront of current research;
* Present to and discuss with their peers these mechanisms.
Content:
Plasticity in the nervous system (learning and memory development); sensory systems (olfaction, vision etc).

BB40083: Enzymes in biotechnology & medicine

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 1
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10003 and take BB10004 and take BB20018 and take BB30048
Or you must have taken suitable degree units from another University.
Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To use our current knowledge of enzymes to explore their applications in biotechnology and medicine. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* appreciate the wide potential applications of enzymes with respect to their properties
* understand how enzymes can be engineered to meet the needs of biotechnology and medicine
* know a wide range of examples of biotechnological and medical uses
* appreciate the economic factors involved in the use of enzymes
* appreciate the impact of genome sequencing on enzymes and their applications
Content:
Enzyme engineering; electro-enzymology and biosensors; enzyme chaperones; enzymes in organic solvents; pepzymes; clinical enzymology; enzyme therapy; enzymes as target for drugs; catalytic antibodies; extremozymes; genomics and proteomics.

BB40084: Cellular biochemistry

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 2
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB30045 and (take BB20028 or take BB20099)
Or you must have taken suitable degree units from another University.
Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To encourage students to think critically about the current state of knowledge of biochemical processes within cells. Current literature is studied in detail with a view to understanding the molecular basis of cell regulatory processes. The cellular basis for disease states including Diabetes and Cancer are discussed with a view to evaluating the key steps in research required for further progress in these areas. After taking this course students should be able to:
*prepare and present a 40 minute seminar on an advancing area of cell biology and present their own views as to where progress is being made
*critically assess recent scientific literature and be able to comment on areas of the literature where there are controversial or contrasting views.
*prepare a research proposal which identifies a research problem in cell biology and describes a series of experiments which seek to solve the problem.
Content:
Signalling molecules, signalling proteins, cell structure and organisation, cell compartmentalisation and membrane protein trafficking. The cellular basis of disease.

BB40085: Medical biochemistry

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 2
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10004 and in taking this unit you cannot take BB40102
Or you must have taken suitable degree units from another University.
Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To generate an understanding of the extent to which Biochemical knowledge influences current clinical practice and therapeutic approaches. After taking the course, the student should be able to:
* appreciate the increasing contribution of biochemical science to the understanding and treatment of disease
* have a knowledge of the areas of biochemical research that are most relevant to clinical medicine.
Content:
Students will prepare and present a 30 min talk on a particular area of clinical biochemistry, chosen, in general, from a list provided by the unit convenor. The talks will be followed by general discussion. Contributions of students to both their own talk and discussion of others will be assessed.

BB40086: Molecular immunology

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 2
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10004 and take BB20024 and take BB30046
Or you must have taken suitable degree units from another University.
Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To describe the principles of particular aspects of Molecular immunology. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* give qualitative interpretation and description of the human immune systems
* show how this system breaks down to give various disease states
* show how the immune system can be used in therapy.
Content:
Antigen processing and presentation, Tcell receptors and receptor complexes, cell adhesion, self tolerance, allergic reactions, autoimmunity, antibody engineering, therapeutic antibodies, catalytic antibodies, cancer vaccines.

BB40088: Bioinformatics

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 1
Assessment: CW50ES50
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB30046

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To understand the concept of Bioinformatics; to become familiar with some of the most important tools of Bioinformatics; to recognise the ways in which Bioinformatics can be used to gain understandings about the biological function of genes and proteins. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* explain the basis of sequence alignment, database searching, protein structure prediction, the recognition of pattern and compositional bias and phylogenetic inference;
* show how the tools of Bioinformatics can be used in whole genome annotation, the prediction of protein functions and evolutionary relationships;
* explain the limitations of Bioinformatics methods.
Content:
Despite the title, the unit in Bioinformatics is not about computing or programming. The series of topics will cover the current methods being used to compile and understand the mass of sequence data from the human and other genome projects. It will cover pattern recognition in DNA and protein sequences, the identification of compositional biases in DNA sequences, methods of sequence alignment and database searching, prediction of protein structures, phylogenetic inference, and a discussion of how all this information can be put together in order to gain insights into biological function.

BB40095: Integrated biochemistry

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20016 and take BB30075

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To enable students to use information from their courses, their placements and their attendance at departmental seminars to give themselves a competent overview of the subject of biochemistry. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* in an examination at the end of the course, write two essays of a global nature that will illustrate the comprehension of biochemistry as an integrated subject.
Content:
The content of the unit encompasses the whole of the biochemical experience of the student. That is the placement experiences, the units taken and the series of topics covered in the Departmental Seminar Programme.

BB40095: Integrated biochemistry

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 2
Assessment: EX100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20016 and take BB30075

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To enable students to use information from their courses, their placements and their attendance at departmental seminars to give themselves a competent overview of the subject of biochemistry. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* in an examination at the end of the course, write two essays of a global nature that will illustrate the comprehension of biochemistry as an integrated subject.
Content:
The content of the unit encompasses the whole of the biochemical experience of the student. That is the placement experiences, the units taken and the series of topics covered in the Departmental Seminar Programme.

BB40102: Molecular mechanisms of disease

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 1
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:
In taking this unit you cannot take BB40124 or take BB40085 and before taking this unit you must take BB20024 and take BB10003
Or you must have taken suitable degree units from another University.
Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To describe how a defect at the level of the gene results in an observed disease phenotype. To show how such patients can be treated with modern molecular medicine. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* understand the common themes of genetic disorders, and how they relate to the overall phenotype
* understand the principles of tools involved in diagnosis and treatment of the disorders.
Content:
Diseases: diabetes, glycogen storage diseases, hyperbilirubinaemia, familial hypercholesterolaemia, fibroblast growth factor receptors and skeletal dysplasia.Diagnosis and treatment: PCR/cloning, antibody engineering, gene therapy, gene targeting in the mouse, mouse models for human disease.

BB40109: Structural biology in biotechnology & medicine

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 2
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB30046
Or you must have taken suitable degree units from another University.
Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: to use our current knowledge of biomolecules to explore their applications in Biotechnology and Medicine, with particular emphasis on Structural Biology techniques. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* Describe a wide range of examples of biotechnological and medical uses.
* Understand the applications of state-of-the-art techniques in Structural Molecular Biology.
* Show development of presentation and discussion skills
Content:
Protein structures and interactions; protein-peptide, protein-receptor, antigen-antibody, protein-nucleic acid and protein-carbohydrate interactions. Nucleic acid interactions with small molecules. Large macromolecular assemblies. Protein-engineering. Structure-based drug design; high-throughput screening; structure-sctivity relationships by NMR. Enzyme catalysis. Structural genomics.

BB40117: Microbial evolution - from the laboratory to nature

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 2
Assessment: CW50EX50
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20040
Or you must have taken suitable degree units from another University.
Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide the students with an holistic understanding of the causes and consequences of microbial evolution, by consideration of both experimental and wild populations. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* Appreciate basic population genetics principles and phylogenetic methods with respect to bacteria.
* Understand the major mechanisms of bacterial molecular evolution; in particular the significance of mobile genetic elements and horizontal gene transfer.
* Understand the rationale and applications of microbial experimental evolution.
* Appreciate the insights provided by microbial studies into the ecological and genetic causes of evolution.
*Integrate methodology and data from epidemiological case studies with theory and experimental data.
Content:
Syllabus: The main forces shaping bacterial populations, the different kinds of selection pressures, mutation and stochastic forces. The consequences of evolutionary forces over different time scales, from intra-species variation (micro-evolution), to the differences between unrelated species (macro-evolution), and the relevance to the management and epidemiological surveillance of important human pathogens. The relationships between ecology, evolution and epidemiology. Design and analysis of laboratory selection experiments. Theory and data explaining the evolution and maintenance of diversity, the evolution of evolvability, the evolution of altruism, the evolution of virulence and host-parasite coevolution.

BB40118: Current topics in gene regulation and cell differentiation

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 2
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10005 and take BB10006 and take BB20024 and take BB20025 and take BB20149 and take BB30055
Or you must have taken suitable degree units from another University.
Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide an understanding of the exciting new advances in Gene regulation and eukaryotic cell differentiation. After taking this course the student should have gained an in depth knowledge of:
* modulation of gene expression at various levels.
* the molecular basis of the coordinated regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation.
* the molecular and biochemical basis of cell differentiation and lineage commitment
Content:
This will be a student seminar and discussion course. The topics include cell cycle control, cell death and differentiation, chromatin remodelling, phosphorylation and dephosphorylation in regulating gene expression, acetylation and deacetylation, post-transcriptional and translational contraol, cell matrix interactions.

BB40122: Integrated molecular & cellular biology

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Academic Year
Assessment: EX76CW24
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20113 and take BB20115

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide a wide-ranging view of the diversity of topics within molecular & cellular biology. To develop student understanding of underlying fundamental principles in molecular & cellular biology. To draw together knowledge and understanding gained through the taught course, professional placement and attendance at seminars by experts in areas outside those normally encountered in the Department. To highlight the integrated nature of the modern approach to solving biological problems and the construction of theories based on information/data drawn from many areas of science. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* produce a written summary of a research seminar understandable by a degree level biological scientist
*describe, through the writing of two essays under examination conditions, topics that reach across a range of subject areas within molecular & cellular biology.
Content:
The students will attend seminars from those offered by the Department during the academic year (regular weekly). The topic areas will be the subject specialisms of the speakers, selected to overlap with taught material, research in the Department and topical issues in bioscience.

BB40124: Human development disorders

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 1
Assessment: CW40OT60
Requisites:
In taking this unit you cannot take BB40102 or take BB40118

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To explore the cellular and molecular basis of various human developmental disorders with a genetic or epigenetic basis. To investigate how different experimental approaches can be used to provide understanding of these disorders. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* Understand how and why various techniques have been applied to the study of gene function in developmental disorders.
* Evaluate the appropriate literature to determine the key facts that lead to our current understanding of the basis of a genetic disorder.
* Evaluate the value and limitations of various experimental approaches in forming conclusions about a given disorder.
* Present oral and written reports that form concise and up-to-date summaries of our knowledge of a genetic disorder.
Content:
Developmental diseases may include the following syndromes: albinism, Angelman, Beckwith-Wiedemann, Denys Drash, Frasier, Hirshprung's, piebaldism, Prader-Willi, Rett, Silver-Russell, Waardenburg. Experimental approaches to encompass human molecular genetic studies (including screening for mutations, analysis of pedigrees and distinction of polymorphisms from causal mutations), techniques for evaluating mutant protein function (biochemically and in cell culture), and use of animal models.

BB40126: Human bacterial pathogens: microbiology & population dynamics

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 1
Assessment: CW50EX50
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide students with a detailed insight into the major causes of bacterial disease in humans and to appreciate the role of population biology in understanding pathogenicity and transmission dynamics. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* Demonstrate an in-depth and up-to-date knowledge of the major causes of bacterial disease in man.
* Understand concepts fundamental to the study of bacterial population biology.
Content:
Bacterial pathogens are major causes of human morbidity and mortality causing simple lesions such as boils and rashes as well as severe invasive diseases such as meningitis, pneumonia, osteomyelitis and septicaemia. In the last century antibiotics have been developed to eradicate mortality attributable to bacteria but the efficacy of many drug classes is now in decline causing problems in providing adequate chemotherapy. Population biology and epidemiology has allowed us some insight into how bacteria evolve, spread and acquire antibiotic resistance.

BB40127: Plant development

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 1
Assessment: ES20EX80
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20031
Or you must have taken suitable degree units from another University.
Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide a molecular genetic description of the main developmental pathways operating within the higher plant life cycle and to illustrate the principal experimental techniques used in plant developmental biology. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* Understand the principal mechanisms that
1) regulate body plan specification in plants
2) pattern the flower and the root and
3) regulate leaf development
* Describe the processes of cell and tissue differentiation at the molecular genetic level
* Design experimental approaches to investigate developmental pathways in Arabidopsis.
Content:
The course starts by contrasting life cycle and styles of higher plants with that of animals; next we consider the establishment of the basic body plan of plants and again contrast the mechanisms adopted in plants with that of various animal models. The various molecular genetic techniques used in plant development research are then described and illustrated with a focus on plant embryogenesis. Cell fate specification is described in some depth with frequent examples from various organisms. Post-embryonic development is illustrated using flower development. Cell and tissue differentiation is described using anther and carpel development as examples.

BB40128: The evolution of genetic systems

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 1
Assessment: ES20EX70OT10
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10007 and take BB20040
Pre-requisite: A-level Mathematics or equivalent.
Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide an introduction to mathematical population genetics and its application as regards understanding problems related to the organisation and structure of genetic systems. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* demonstrate competence in the analysis of simple recursion equations as applied to one locus problems
* understand the operation of two locus recursion equations with application to modifier analysis
* understand the methods for testing evolutionary hypotheses
* understand basic concepts within evolutionary genetic and molecular evolution.
Content:
The first four lectures provide an introduction to the mathematics of gene frequency change. This provides the basis for asking the following questions: 1) Why do organisms have sex?
2) What determines the mutation rate? and
3) Why are mutations recessive?
After this the notion of selfish elements is introduced and their relevance to understanding the number of sexes and to genome structure is examined. Use of molecular evolutionary data comparative analysis and experimental tests of hypotheses are discussed.

BB40129: Environmental signalling in plants

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 1
Assessment: ES20EX80
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20031
Or you must have taken suitable degree units from another University.
Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide a molecular and biochemical understanding of sensory mechanisms in higher and lower plants that enable them to monitor and respond to changes in their environment. To illustrate the modular nature of sensory mechanisms by comparing environmental signalling in plants with a range of other organisms from fungi to mammals. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* Understand why and how plants monitor their environment and the consequences of failing to do so.
* Understand the molecular and biochemical nature of mechanism by which plants sense and respond to changes in light, temperature, water, nutrients, abiotic stresses and to other organisms.
* Appreciate how sensory mechanisms have evolved to meet specific requirements of plants.
* Demonstrate in depth understanding of the modular nature of environmental signalling systems in plants.
* Make an objective assessment of how environmental signalling might be improved or exploited for the benefit of agriculture and horticulture.
Content:
The course will consider environmental signals that plants monitor and respond to in order to thrive. These include light, temperature, water, nutrients, abiotic stresses and other organisms. The mechanisms which higher and lower plants have evolved to monitor and respond to light intensity, quality, direction and periodicity will be described at the molecular level. Key light signalling components also exist in other organisms and the comparative biolgy of these will be considered. Sensory mechanisms for essential nutrients such as nitrate and sugars will be described and contrasted with similar mechanisms in other organisms. Perception of, and adaptive responses to, abiotic stresses such as salinity and drought will be considered at both molecular and holistic levels. The importance of abiotic stress management to crop productivity will also be explored. Responses to temperature will include the role of vernalization in controlling flowering time, and parallels between heat shock mechanisms in plants and animals. Signalling between plants and other organisms will concentrate on plant-insect interactions, and on the complex symbiotic relationship between legumes and Rhizobium bacteria. The role and action of plant hormones in relaying environmental information will be described in relation to interactions with nutrient and light signals.

BB40130: Research project (MBiol)

Credits: 18
Level: Masters
Semester: 1
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To develop skills in planning and undertaking a scientific investigation in biological science at the level of advanced research. After taking this course the students should be able to:
* undertake research at an advanced level, interpret the results and report the outcome.
Content:
All stages are undertaken under the guidance of an academic supervisor. The planning stage involves defining the problem and devising an appropriate strategy to investigate it within constraints of time and resources. Risk assessment. Investigation stage involves the acquisition of (usually quantitative) data. Experimental design. Carrying out quantitative techniques, evaluating sources of error. The analysis and interpretation stage involves the use of appropriate statistical techniques and the evaluation of results in relation to published work. The final phase is to communicate the outcome of the project in the form of a written report.

BB40130: Research project (MBiol)

Credits: 18
Level: Masters
Semester: 2
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To develop skills in planning and undertaking a scientific investigation in biological science at the level of advanced research. After taking this course the students should be able to:
* undertake research at an advanced level, interpret the results and report the outcome.
Content:
All stages are undertaken under the guidance of an academic supervisor. The planning stage involves defining the problem and devising an appropriate strategy to investigate it within constraints of time and resources. Risk assessment. Investigation stage involves the acquisition of (usually quantitative) data. Experimental design. Carrying out quantitative techniques, evaluating sources of error. The analysis and interpretation stage involves the use of appropriate statistical techniques and the evaluation of results in relation to published work. The final phase is to communicate the outcome of the project in the form of a written report.

BB40133: Plant responses to abiotic stress

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 2
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20030 or take BB20031 or take BB20032
Or you must have taken suitable degree units from another University.
Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To gain a detailed understanding into how higher plants respond to and cope with the environmental stresses to which they are exposed. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* Demonstrate an in-depth and up-to-date knowledge of plants ability to cope with environmental stresses
* Critically evaluate experimental evidence within this field.
Content:
The environmental stresses to which plants are exposed include drought, salinity, heavy metals, acid soils and mechanical damage, many of which are exacerbated by human pressures on the environment. As non-motile organisms plants have to deal with environmental stresses in situ. Therefore, they have evolved a wide range of mechanisms to cope with these stresses. This course examines the physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology of these mechanisms and considers how plants may be manipulated to increase their stress tolerance.

BB40134: Molecular evolution

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 2
Assessment: EX79CW21
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20023

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To outline current understanding of the types and mechanisms (modes and modality) of molecular evolution. To outline how scientists can infer and interpret evolutionary relationships using molecular data and how this process is both informed by and informs our understanding of molecular evolution. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* Explicate how new genes and genetic variations can be created and fixed in a lineage.
* Explain what horizontal gene transfer is, how it can occur and what effects it can have.
* Give a detailed explanation of what rates of genetic variation are, why there are different rates and what effects this can have on molecular evolution.
* Explain what phylogenetic inference is, how molecular sequence data can be used for this, and critically interpret phylogenetic trees.
* Describe the theories, methodologies and practical applications of the most common methods of polygenetic inference (distance, parsimony, maximum likelihood).
* Expound on what the major methodological and biological considerations/limitations are in phylogenetic inference and some of the approaches to accommodate/correct for these.
* Explain the most common methods to assess confidence in phylogenetic inferences.
Content:
Syllabus: Selectionist and neutralist theories of evolution. Gene creation. Genetic maintenance and mutation. Horizontal gene transfer. Molecular phylogenetics in perspective. Phylogenetic trees and their interpretation. Obtaining and assessing phylogenetically informative characters. Modifying models of evolution. Common methods of inference. Assessing confidence for inferences. Methodological considerations/limitations. Considerations/limitations due to the nature of molecular evolution. Examples.

BB40135: Research training

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Academic Year
Assessment: CW100
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To introduce the skills required for safe and effective postgraduate research. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* design, execute, analyse, communicate and exploit a programme of research work in a safe and effective way.
Content:
Radiological protection, risk assessments (GMOs, microorganisms, chemicals, radiation, etc.), safety legislation, time management, planning work, obtaining information, academic writing, making effective presentations, demonstrating in laboratories and intellectual property rights. Home Office Modules 1-4 (for animal handling), Microscopy (light and EM).

BB40137: Integrated biology

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Academic Year
Assessment: EX76CW24
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB20113 and take BB20115

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide a wide-ranging view of the diversity of topics within biology. To develop student understanding of underlying fundamental principles in biology. To draw together knowledge and understanding gained through the taught course, professional placement and attendance at seminars by experts in areas outside those normally encountered in the Department. To highlight the integrated nature of the modern approach to solving biological problems and the construction of theories based on information/data drawn from many areas of science. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* produce a written summary of a research seminar understandable by a degree level biological scientist
*describe, through the writing of two essays under examination conditions, topics that reach across a range of subject areas within biology.
Content:
The students will attend seminars from those offered by the Department during the academic year (regular weekly). The topic areas will be the subject specialisms of the speakers, selected to overlap with taught material, research in the Department and topical issues in bioscience.

BB40139: Microbial communication & development

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 2
Assessment: EX80CW20
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To examine the dynamic interaction between bacterial gene expression and the environment and to explore the molecular mechanisms of microbial communication and development. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* discuss the role of the environment in controlling microbial physiology;
* describe, in detail, the molecular mechanisms employed by bacteria to monitor their environments;
* to describe, in detail, the molecular biology of microbial differentiation and development;
* to orally communicate scientific ideas and concepts.
Content:
Topic 1. What is the relationship between microbial gene expression and the environment?
Topic 2. How does a microbe sense its environment? What are the molecular mechanisms of signal transduction in bacteria ie two-component pathways and quorum sensing?
Topic 3. What is the role of environmental sensing in controlling the relationship between bacteria and hosts eg pathogen and symbiont?
Topic 4. Microbial differentiation and Development. Molecular mechanisms of development and differentiation in bacteria such as Myxococcus xanthus and Bacillus subtilis.

BB40140: Plant biotechnology & the environment

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 2
Assessment: ES20EX40OT40
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To define 'Plant Biotechnology' and describe the categories included within the definition and their applications. By the end of this course the student should have gained:
* a general understanding of the various categories of plant biotechnology
* an understanding of the direct and indirect effects of plant biotechnology on the environment in terms of socio-economic costs and benefits
* an appreciation of policy and institutional issues related to the exploitation of plant biotechnology by both the public and private sectors in a democratic society.
Content:
The definition of 'Plant Biotechnology', the categories included within the definition and their applications. The link: population + consumption level + (bio) technology = environmental impact. World, regional and national trends in population size and food consumption levels and their implications for agricultural and natural ecosystems. The contribution of plant biotechnology to agricultural systems and their environmental implications. Ex situ and in situ biodiversity conservation strategies and the impact of biotechnology. Risk analysis and the release of genetically manipulated organisms into the environment. Public and private sector research, ownership of biological resources and intellectual property rights. Control of biotechnology R & D and implementation: priority setting; public participation; policies and institutions; developed and developing countries. The Cassava Biotechnology Network as an example of control and implementation of plant biotechnology.

BB40141: Molecular biology of animal adaptation

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 2
Assessment: CW50ES50
Requisites:
Before taking this unit you must take BB10006
Or you must have taken suitable degree units from another University.
Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To demonstrate to students how novel molecular tools can be used to address question central to natural selection theory. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* describe central examples of natural selection such as pesticide resistance, mimicry and current examples from the growing field of evolution/development and explain the impact of molecular biology on these areas of study.
Content:
Possible topics include: how do genotypes produce phenotypes; pesticide resistance, sex determination, colour pattern formation and mimicry, population genetics, neutral theory.

BB40145: Microbial cell growth & proliferation

Credits: 6
Level: Masters
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX70ES20OT10
Requisites:

Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide an understanding of the principles of cell growth and division and the regulation of the cell cycle in bacteria, archaea and single-celled eukarya. After taking this course the student should be able to:
* give quantitative interpretations of growth curves;
* describe the differences between batch, fed-batch and continuous culture in nature and in the laboratory;
* describe the key features of growth, initiation of DNA replication, chromosome segregation and cell division in bacteria, archaea and eukarya;
* give an account of the cell cycle controls that ensure ordered progress of the cell cycle;
* explain the checkpoint concept;
* show how genetics and biochemistry have been used to elucidate the cell cycle.
Content:
Topics: Methods for analysing growing cells and proliferating cell populations; batch culture; continuous culture; cell cycle of Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis and Caulobacter crescentus; cell cycle of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe; cell cycles of archaea.


Postgraduate Units:


BB50142: Lab project 1

Credits: 24
Level: Masters
Semester: 1
Assessment: CW80OT20
Requisites:
Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide students with experience and skills in planning and undertaking a scientific investigation, analysing and interpreting findings and reporting the outcomes.
After taking this course the student should be able to:
* identify the intellectual, time- and resource-management and technical requirements for productive, rigorous and responsible scientific investigation and reporting;
* undertake scientific writing at the level of a primary research paper;
* demonstrate technical, analytical, interpretative and literature-accessing skills in the undertaking and presentation of the project.
Content: All stages are undertaken under the guidance of an academic supervisor. The planning stage involves defining the problem and devising an appropriate strategy to investigate it within constraints of time and resources. The investigation stage involves the acquisition of (usually quantitative) data. The analysis and interpretation stage involves the use of appropriate statistical techniques and the evaluation of results in relation to published work. The final phase is to communicate the outcome of the project in the forms of a written report and either an oral presentation or a poster.

BB50143: Key literature review and research proposal

Credits: 12
Level: Masters
Academic Year
Assessment: DS50CW50
Requisites:
Aims: To provide students with the experience and skills for researching key contemporary areas of scientific investigation in regenerative medicine followed by the preparation of a research proposal based on this knowledge.
Learning Outcomes: After taking this course the student should be able to:
* Plan, prepare and write an extended scholarly essay at the leading edge of research in regenerative medicine.
* Complete a research proposal suitable for a 3-year PhD programme in one of the areas covered by the essay.
Skills:
* Investigation of the contemporary literature
* Extended essay writing
* Writing a research proposal.
Content: The minimum requirement to achieve the credits for this module is that a student will be able to
(i) write four scholarly essays on key topics in regenerative medicine drawing on a diverse range of relevant literature,
(ii) to analyse the data and ideas put forward in the literature in the context of a critical review and synthesis of the material,
(iii) present readable and adequately structured essays in accordance with the instructions given,
(iv) work independently, effectively and to meet deadlines, and
(v) prepare a research proposal by developing a novel research idea and converting this into an outline of a research proposal suitable for a 3-year PhD programme including objectives, methods and materials, techniques, milestones and deliverables.

BB50146: Lab project 2

Credits: 24
Level: Masters
Semester: 2
Assessment: CW80OT20
Requisites:
Aims & Learning Objectives:
Aims: To provide students with experience and skills in planning and undertaking a scientific investigation, analysing and interpreting findings and reporting the outcomes.
After taking this course the student should be able to:
* identify the intellectual, time- and resource-management and technical requirements for productive, rigorous and responsible scientific investigation and reporting;
* undertake scientific writing at the level of a primary research paper;
* demonstrate technical, analytical, interpretative and literature-accessing skills in the undertaking and presentation of the project.
Content: All stages are undertaken under the guidance of an academic supervisor. The planning stage involves defining the problem and devising an appropriate strategy to investigate it within constraints of time and resources. The investigation stage involves the acquisition of (usually quantitative) data. The analysis and interpretation stage involves the use of appropriate statistical techniques and the evaluation of results in relation to published work. The final phase is to communicate the outcome of the project in the forms of a written report and either an oral presentation or a poster.

 

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