APS 274 The Molecular Revolution in Biology

Level 2
Semester 2
Credits 20
Pre/Co Requisites APS125  Genes in Populations
Teaching Staff Dr Gareth Fraser, Dr Millie Mockford, Dr Stephen Rolfe, Professor Julie Scholes, Professor Jon Slate, Dr Lisa Smth, Dr Kai Zeng
Co-ordinator Dr Kai Zeng


In this module, we will explore the nature of genes and genomes, the way in which they evolve, how they can tell us about the process of adaptive evolution and how genetic information is passed through RNA, proteins and metabolites to determine phenotypes. Techniques from genetics and molecular biology are having an enormous impact in organismal and population biology. We will introduce some of the latest technologies and give hands-on experience of generating and handling DNA sequence data.

Aims and Objectives

This unit aims to provide students with a firm grounding in aspects of modern genetics and molecular biology as applied to problems in organismal and population biology. By the end of the unit, a candidate will be able to demonstrate:
• knowledge of the characteristics of genes and genomes, as revealed by genome sequencing projects, and of the ways in which they evolve
• knowledge of the genetic basis of adaptive traits and understanding of the methods used to detect the operation of natural selection
• knowledge of the control of gene expression, how it operates during development and how it changes during evolution
• knowledge of downstream links between genes and phenotypes through the proteome and metabolome
• understanding of current technologies in molecular biology
• the ability to conduct basic laboratory techniques such as DNA extraction and PCR
• the ability to handle and analyse DNA sequence and similar data sets using standard bioinformatics tools and to interpret the results

Delivery Method: 22 lectures and 9 Laboratory Sessions

Student Contact Hours: 49

Assessment Method: Assessment will be by three practical reports (40% in total) and a 1.5hr exam (25 multiple-choice questions and 5 out of 8 short-answer questions) (60% in total)

FEEDBACK: You will receive feedback during the module and on written reports after marking. Students can also receive feedback on performance in examinations by arranging a meeting with their personal tutor at the start of the following Semester

EXCLUDED UNITS: The following cannot be taken with this module:- BMS222 Advanced Molecular Biology, MBB202 Gene Expression and Regulation, MBB203 Analysis of Genomes and MBB231 Genetics of Higher Eukaryotes.

Please go to MOLE for more information on APS274