• Offered by John Curtin School of Medical Research
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Biology
  • Areas of interest Medical Science, Genetics, Biomedical Science
  • Academic career Postgraduate
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Ruth Arkell
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course BIOL3204
  • Offered in First Semester 2017
    See Future Offerings

This course provides an introduction to new discoveries in areas of importance to our understanding of human genetics and disease.  Fuelled by sequencing of the human genome and new methods of investigating biological function, research into the genetic and molecular causes of human disease is advancing at a rapid pace. We will examine not only the genetic abnormalities underlying human disease and disorders but also the breakdown in physiological processes and molecular biology caused by the genetic lesion. We will look at how this knowledge can lead to new disease treatments and to personalised medicine.  We will explore some of the societal issues raised by new technologies and treatments. We will cover topics including:

• Genes in pedigrees and populations

• Human genetic variability and its consequences

• Genomic technologies and their application to human genetics

• Disease gene identification

• The non-coding genome

• The epigenome

• Genetic risk

• Personalised medicine

• New horizons in human genetics

 

Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but are assessed separately.

Learning Outcomes

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Demonstrate a high level of proficiency in navigating relevant literature, web sites and databases for research into human genetics and in using these sources to develop and test hypotheses in the field of human genetics
  2. Describe the approaches used to identify the genetic basis of simple, heterogeneous and complex traits and appreciate the duties, responsibilities and challenges facing the professionals who perform these analyses
  3. Explain the genetic (coding and non-coding) and epigenetic mechanisms of gene expression control and their role in human inherited disease
  4. Explain the changing importance of model species to our investigation of basic principles in human genetics
  5. Explain the theoretical and practical basis of the latest advances in genomic technologies and their application to disease gene identification and personalised medicine
  6. Identify and analyse the ethical issues and dilemmas raised by new technologies and treatments

Indicative Assessment

Assessment will examine proficiency in scientific communication and practical work as well as understanding of theory. A sliding scale of assessment between the essay and exam permits students to focus on areas of interest and/or strength by designating the weight of these assessment items.
Assessment will be based on:
  1. Take-home assignments of computer practicals (3 assignments, 5% each) (LO 5)
  2. A research essay and final exam that together are worth 85%. Each student can accept a default value of 42.5% for the essay and 42.5% for the exam or can designate the weight of each component:
  • Substantial research essay on an area of human molecular genetics of interest to the student (4000 words), and ideally relevant to their chosen area of postgraduate study (25%-60% with weight designated by student) (LO 1 and 2-6 depending upon topic)
  • Final examination to assess students' understanding of the basic principles that underpin the field of human genetics (25%-60% with weight designated by student) (LO 2-6).

    The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

    Workload

    Contact: Two to three lectures per week and up to 18 hours of laboratory and computing sessions. Non contct: research essay - approximately 50 hours

    Requisite and Incompatibility

    You are not able to enrol in this course if you have completed BIOL2152 or BIOL3204.

    Prescribed Texts

    Human Molecular genetics 4th Edition Strachan and Read

    Assumed Knowledge

    BIOL6006 is strongly recommended.

    Fees

    Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

    If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

    Student Contribution Band:
    Band 3
    Unit value:
    6 units

    If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

    Units EFTSL
    6.00 0.12500
    Domestic fee paying students
    Year Fee
    2017 $4092
    International fee paying students
    Year Fee
    2017 $5454
    Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

    Offerings and Dates

    The list of offerings for future years is indicative only

    First Semester

    Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery
    3315 20 Feb 2017 27 Feb 2017 31 Mar 2017 26 May 2017 In Person

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