Module MSE-3023:
Genome Instability

Module Facts

Run by School of Medical Sciences

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Overall aims and purpose

This module introduces students to the principles behind scientific progress and to the skills of scientific writing. Its content is based on two break-through publications and four seminars delivered by experts in the field. Their background, content and impact will be explained in the lecture unit of this module. The lectures are aligned with the break-through publications and seminars.

Course content

Genomic instability, either inherited or acquired, drives many human disorders. But how do we know about this?

This module introduces students to the concepts of scientific work and communication by critical analysis of one of the two break-through publications which deepened our understanding of genetic aberrations and their link with disease development. Each paper will be introduced in lectures and the content will be further analysed in the context of the recent advances presented by experts in the field.

Students will present critical analysis and broad implications of the content of one of the papers in a NATURE-style News & Views summary. They will also write a critical analysis of an external seminar, focusing on the latest development in an important area in genome stability research.

Students will get guidance on how to write the News & Views summary and the critical essay.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

Category D: (40%-49%)

a) News & Views summary: basic understanding of the scientific content, limited ability to explain the key points & impact; text fails to tell a story consisting mainly of loosely connected paragraphs or bullet points. Figures & tables taken from publications, incomplete figure/table legends; errors in the reference list. Far too scientific, not suitable for a lay readership.

b) Critical essay based on a SMS seminar; background and discussion are missing or incomplete; Content of the seminar is not accurately described. Accompanying figure(s) and/or Table(s) are missing or incomplete.

C- to C+

Category C: (50%-59%)

a) News & Views summary: correct understanding of the scientific content, limited ability to explain the key points & impact; text fails to tell a story consisting mainly of loosely connected paragraphs or bullet points. Text contains mainly statements without explanation or context. Figures & tables taken from publications, incomplete figure/table legends; errors in the reference list. Far too scientific, not suitable for a lay readership.

b) Critical essay based on a SMS seminar: correct understanding of the key points. Background and discussion are very brief not giving the reader the full context. Content of the seminar is not explained well. Accompanying figure(s) and/or table(s) are missing or incomplete.

excellent

Category A (70%-100%):

a) News & Views summary: the scientific content & background are thoroughly understood, and embedded in personal interpretation and conclusions. The impact is clearly explained and work inspired by the findings has been included. The historic data on which the break-through paper is based is included. The text tells a story which is easy to follow; all technical terms are explained and embedded in context. Figures & tables are of own design and stand-alone pieces of information with complete legends; no errors in the reference list. Could be published.

b) Critical essay based on a SMS seminar; Very good command of the work presented; background and discussion are of high standard allowing the reader to understanding the context in which the research was conducted. Content of the seminar is accurate described and is presented in context of relevant literature. Accompanying figure(s) and/or Table(s) are informative and incorporates well with the essay.

good

Category: B (60%-69%)

a) News & Views summary: the scientific content & background is thoroughly understood, the key points & impact is clearly explained; text tells a story which is easy to follow for a lay audience; technical terms are explained and embedded in context. Figures & tables are of own design and stand-alone pieces of information with complete legends; no errors in the reference list.

b) Critical essay based on a SMS seminar; background and discussion are of good standard allowing the reader to understanding the context of the research presented. Content of the seminar is accurately described.. Accompanying figure(s) and/or Table(s) are informative and incorporates well with the essay.

Learning outcomes

  1. Critically evaluate how genome instability contributes to human diseases at a molecular level.

  2. Critically evaluate primary research articles and demonstrate an ability to synthesise research findings in a broader context.

  3. Critique the various methodologies utilised in investigating genome instability.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
REPORT News and Views Summary 60
REPORT Critical analysis of a SMS seminar 40

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture

6 x 2 hour lectures, covering: (i) Critical analyis of the two break through research articles (ii) Additional articles related to the break through articles (iii) Relevant information that will be important for understanding content of SMS seminars

12
Private study

Independent study time.

80
Tutorial

2 x 2 hour tutorials discussing: (i) critical evaluation of primary research articles (ii) critical evaluation of a sesearch seminar (iii) writing an effective essay presenting critical analyses and broader implications

4
Seminar

4 x 1 hour seminars:

Students will attend four SMS seminars, each presented by a leading expert in the field. They will be provided with relevant background knowledge to facilitate their understanding of the content.

4

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

Biomedical Science benchmarks:

The programme aims to give students a comprehension of scientific investigation of molecular, genetic and cellular causes of human diseases based on human systems. (benchmarks: 5.1; 5.3; 5.5)

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to engage with essential facts, major concepts, principles and theories associated with cell biology, molecular biology and medical genetics. (benchmark: 6.4)

Graduates will be able to apply their knowledge to a professional, evidence-based approach to research into the pathogenesis and origins of disease processes. (benchmark: 6.2)

Biomedical science graduates are aware of the current laboratory methods to investigate and diagnose human diseases in clinical and research environments. This includes an appreciation of research and the development of new technologies. (benchmark: 6.3)

Biomedical sciences graduates should recognise and apply subject-specific theories, paradigms, concepts or principles to reach evidence-based decisions. (benchmark: 4.2)

To be able to receive and respond to a variety of sources of information (textual, numerical, verbal, graphical), carry out sample selection, produce record scientific records & analyse data within a statistical context (an understanding of statistical significance and statistical power), and to communicate the outcomes to a variety of audiences using a range of formats, media and approaches including the avoidance of plagiarism. (benchmark: 4.4; 4.5)

Graduates should develop the skills necessary for self-managed and lifelong learning, have an appreciation for the role and impact of intellectual property, and identify and work towards targets for personal, academic, professional and career development. (benchmark: 4.7)

To plan and execute hypothesis-driven research or development work, present coherent scientific arguments, evaluate the evidence and draw valid conclusions and communicate to expert and lay audiences. (benchmark: 4.3)

Resources

Resource implications for students

The two break-through articles will be availalbe on Talis reading list. Additional reading articles will also be available on the list. Reccomended text: Molecular Biology of the Cell (6th Edition) by Alberts et al (copies are available in the library).

Talis Reading list

http://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/mse-3023.html

Reading list

All relevant articles will be added to the before the module starts.

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules