Principles of Life 2
Run by School of Natural Sciences
20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Dr Anil Shirsat
Overall aims and purpose
This second year module consists of a series of lectures and associated practicals. Students successfully completing this module should have developed a conceptual understanding of several aspects of Molecular Biology. Subjects covered include DNA, genome organisation, RNA, proteins, genome editing, the use of reporter genes to study gene expression etc.The associated practicals build on the first year practicals and introduce students to standard techniques used in molecular biology research laboratories.
The lectures build on the 1st year "Principles of Life 1" module. Subjects covered include the organisation of the eucaryotic genome, DNA fingerprinting, human genetic defects, genome editing, cDNA library construction, the use of reporter genes etc.
The molecular biology practicals are designed to give experience in applied molecular methodologies covering a range of key technologies including the isolation of human DNA from cheek cells, restriction enzyme digestion of DNA, agarose gel electrophoresis, the polymerase chain reaction, the analysis of genetically modified plants etc
A good student should have a thorough factual knowledge across all aspects of Molecular Biology. The student should demonstrate an ability to think critically about the subject.
An excellent student should fulfil all the criteria for a good student and also demonstrate the ability to understand and integrate information acquired from other sources (e.g. literature or online resources)
A threshold student should have a basic knowledge of the essential facts and key concepts of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. The student should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the links between DNA, RNA and Proteins. A knowledge of the types of molecules that comprise life as well as how they are formed, what they do in the organism and how many can be exploited commercially.
Demonstrate knowledge and conceptual understanding of how the genome is organised.
Demonstrate knowledge of the key biological functions of DNA, RNA and proteins
Demonstrate knowledge in the use of a variety of genetic tools.
Demonstrate competence in performing common molecular biological techniques (pipetting, dilution, setting up enzymatic reactions, polymerase chain reaction, gel electrophoresis, data recording and analysis).
Demonstrate appropriate numerical and report writing skills.
|End Module Exam||50|
|SNP analysis of human DNA||25|
|Plant Molecular Biology Practical||25|
Teaching and Learning Strategy
|Practical classes and workshops||
Practicals in Molecular Biology, illustrating concepts taught in the lectures, form part of this module. There will be 1.5 days of practicals linked with Dr. Shirsat's lectures, and 2 half days of practicals delivered by Dr. Papadopulos,
The core of the module consists of ~12 lectures, approximately 4 lectures per week.
Self study: preparing and revising lectures, preparing and revising practicals, writing practical reports; preparing and revising for the exams.
- 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
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
Subject specific skills
- Engagement with current developments in the biosciences and their application.
- Appreciation of the complexity and diversity of life processes through the study of organisms.
- Engage in debate and/or discussion with specialists and non-specialists using appropriate language.
- Undertake field and/or laboratory studies of living systems.
- Undertake practical work to ensure competence in basic experimental skills.
- Demonstrate awareness of the importance of risk assessment and relevant legislation
Resource implications for students
Pre- and Co-requisite Modules
Courses including this module
Compulsory in courses:
- C100: BSC Biology year 2 (BSC/B)
- C511: BSc Biology with Biotechnology year 2 (BSC/BIOT)
- C102: BSc Biology (with International Experience) year 2 (BSC/BITE)
- C101: MBiol Master of Biology year 2 (MBIOL/BIO)
- C510: MBiol Biology with Biotechnology year 2 (MBIOL/BIOT)
Optional in courses:
- C300: BSC Zoology year 2 (BSC/Z)
- C305: BSc Zoology with Animal Behaviour (with International Exp) year 2 (BSC/ZABIE)
- C3L2: BSC Zoology with Conservation year 2 (BSC/ZC)
- C319: BSc Zoology with Climate Change Studies year 2 (BSC/ZCC)
- C3L3: BSc Zoology with Conservation with International Experience year 3 (BSC/ZCIE)
- C3L4: BSc Zoology with Conservation with Placement Year year 2 (BSC/ZCP)
- C304: BSC Zoology with Herpetology year 2 (BSC/ZH)
- C324: BSc Zoology with International Experience year 2 (BSC/ZIE)
- C3C1: BSc Zoology with Marine Zoology (with International Exp) year 2 (BSC/ZMB)
- C350: BSC Zoology with Marine Zoology year 2 (BSC/ZMZ)
- C329: BSc Zoology with Primatology year 2 (BSC/ZP)
- C330: BSc Zoology with Ornithology year 2 (BSC/ZR)
- C3D3: BSC Zoology with Animal Behaviour year 2 (BSC/ZWAB)
- C302: MZool Zoology with Animal Behaviour year 2 (MZOOL/AB)
- CD34: MZool Zoology with Conservation year 2 (MZOOL/CONS)
- C303: MZool Zoology with Herpetology year 2 (MZOOL/HERP)
- C325: MZool Zoology with Animal Behaviour with International Exp year 2 (MZOOL/ZAIE)
- C321: MZool Zoology with Climate Change year 2 (MZOOL/ZCC)
- C326: MZool Zoology with Herpetology with International Experience year 2 (MZOOL/ZHIE)
- C353: MZool Zoology with Marine Zoology year 2 (MZOOL/ZMZ)
- C306: MZool Zoology (with International Experience) year 2 (MZOOL/ZOIE)
- C301: MZool Master of Zoology year 2 (MZOOL/ZOO)
- C333: MZool Zoology with Primatology year 2 (MZOOL/ZP)
- C334: MZool Zoology with Ornithology year 2 (MZOOL/ZR)