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BB40185: Synthetic biology

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2013/4
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Biology & Biochemistry
Further information on credits Credits: 6
Further information on unit levels Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment: CW 100%
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: Reassessment not allowed
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
Synthetic biologists seek to apply current knowledge of biological systems to design and build biological "devices" that exhibit predictable behaviour. This unit aims to provide an understanding of major areas of synthetic biology research including making minimal genomes, designing modular components, pathway engineering, expanding the genetic pool, generation of artificial cells, and production of synthetic biomolecules.

Learning Outcomes:
After taking this course the students should be able to:
1. Describe the principles of the deliberate design of biological molecules, biological systems and living organisms, including top-down and bottom-up approaches.
2. Discuss the potential civilian and military applications of synthetic biology, for example in biotechnology, medicine, biowarfare and bioterrorism.
3. Explain the methods adopted to ensure adequate biological control.
4. Assess the key ethical, legal and social challenges presented by synthetic biology.

Learning and studying (T/F/A), information handling and retrieval (T/F/A), working independently (T/F), written communication (T/F/A) and oral communication (T/F/A).

Deliberate adaptation of and addition to cellular machinery, for example new biological molecules, new biological pathways and new organisms. Applications and challenges arising from this technology.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

BB40185 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Biology & Biochemistry
  • USBB-AFB02 : BSc (hons) Biochemistry (Full-time) - Year 3
  • USBB-AKB06 : BSc (hons) Biochemistry with Professional Placement (Full-time with Thick Sandwich Placement) - Year 4
  • USBB-AFB05 : BSc (hons) Molecular and Cellular Biology (Full-time) - Year 3
  • USBB-AKB08 : BSc (hons) Molecular and Cellular Biology with Professional Placement (Full-time with Thick Sandwich Placement) - Year 4
  • RSBB-AFM07 : Integrated PhD Postgenomic Biosciences (Biosciences Route) (Full-time) - Year 1
  • TSBB-AFM03 : MRes Biosciences (Full-time) - Year 1
  • TSBB-AFM06 : MSc Biosciences (Full-time) - Year 1

* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2013/4 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2014/15 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2013/14.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.