Molecular Biology and Genomics (MBLG2071)

UNIT OF STUDY

This unit of study extends the basic concepts introduced in MBLG1001/1901 and provides a firm foundation for students wishing to continue in the molecular biosciences as well as for those students who intend to apply molecular techniques to other biological or medical questions. The unit explores the regulation of the flow of genetic information in both eukaryotes and prokaryotes. The central focus is on the control of replication, transcription and translation and how these processes can be studied and manipulated in the laboratory. The processes of DNA mutation and repair are also discussed. Experiments in model organisms are presented to illustrate current advancements in the field, together with discussion of work carried out in human systems and the relevance to human genetic diseases. Tools of molecular biology are taught within the context of recombinant DNA cloning - with an emphasis on essential knowledge required to use plasmid vectors. The methods of gene introduction (examples of transgenic animals) are also discussed along with recent developments in stem cell biology. Other techniques include the separation and analysis of macromolecules, like DNA, RNA and proteins, by gel electrophoresis and Southern, Northern & Western blotting. Analysis of gene expression by microarrays is also discussed. In the genomics section, topics include structure, packaging and complexity of the genome: assigning genes to specific chromosomes, physical mapping of genomes as well as DNA and genome sequencing methods and international projects in genome mapping. The practical course complements the theory and builds on the skills learnt in MBLG1001. Specifically students will: use spectrophotometry for the identification and quantification of nucleic acids, explore the lac operon system for the investigation of gene expression control, perform plasmid isolation, and complete a PCR analysis for detection of polymorphisms. As with MBLG1001, strong emphasis is placed on the acquisition of generic and fundamental technical skills.

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Further unit of study information

Classes

Two 1-hour lectures per week, one 4-hour practical per fortnight and five 1-hour tutorials.

Assessment

One 2.5-hour exam, practical work, laboratory reports (100%)

Textbooks

Watson, J et al. Molecular Biology of the Gene. Pearson 7th edition, 2013.

Faculty/department permission required?

No

Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge

(MBLG1001 or MBLG1901) and 12 CP of Junior Chemistry

Prohibitions

BCHM2901, AGCH2001, MBLG2901, BCHM2101, MBLG2101, MBLG2971, MBLG2771, MBLG2001, BCHM2001, MBLG2111, MBLG2871

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Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.

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