APS138 Molecular and Cell Biology







Teaching Staff

Professor Jurriaan Ton, Dr Lisa Smith, Dr Christian Voigt


Dr Christian Voigt


In this module, we will explore the basics of genes and genetics and of cell biology, including (i) the structure and replication of DNA, (ii) the molecular biology of gene function, (iii) transcription and translation, (iv) the inheritance of DNA, (v) the generation and consequences of genetic variation, (vi) the structure of plant and animal cells, (vii) the compartmentation in eukaryotic cells, (viii) transport of ions, metabolites, water, CO2 and proteins across membranes, and (ix) protein structure and post-translational regulation. An emphasis will be placed on how genetics and cell biology can provide great insight into many topics in biology, e.g. human medicine and agriculture.

Aims and Objectives

This unit aims to provide students with a firm grounding in aspects of  molecular genetics and cell biology and their applications to problems in organismal biology, medicine and agriculture. Independent learning is encouraged by requiring students to undertake directed reading based on key research papers in the scientific literature.

By the end of this unit, a candidate will be able to:

  1. Describe the structure of DNA, the mechanism by which it is replicated and it's relationship to RNA and protein.
  2. Explain how gene expression is regulated.
  3. Recognise the source and importance of genetic variation.
  4. Explain how genes are inherited and understand the concept of genetic linkage.
  5. Illustrate how gene mapping can be applied to topics in medicine, evolutionary biology and agriculture.
  6. Descrie the structure of the eukaryotic cell, including compartmentation, the cytoskeleton, the secretory pathway, differences between plant and animal cells and the origins and importance of organelles.
  7. Describe key features of protein structure, function and regulation and how animal and plant cells interact with their environment through transport processes.

Delivery Method: Lectures and Laboratory Sessions

Assessment Method: 2 hour, multiple-choice examination (70 questions). You are required to take the on-line self-assessment test for APS138

Feedback: Students can also receive feedback on performance in examinations by arranging a meeting with their personal tutor at the start of the following Semester.

For more information on APS138, please go to Blackboard.

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