- Code BIOL2174
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
- ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
- Course subject Biology
- Areas of interest Medical Science, Cell and Molecular Biology, Neuroscience, Biology, Biomedical Science
This course has been adjusted for remote participation in Sem 2 2021, however students are encouraged to attend on-campus activities if possible.
The molecular processes taking place inside cells underlie life itself. Understanding these cellular activities enables us to appreciate the normal functions of living cells, to explain the molecular basis of diseases and inspires the development of new treatments.
This course deals with the basic physiology of cells and the origins of disease, with a particular emphasis on membrane transport processes. The proteins that control entry and exit to the cell provide the fundamental interface between cells and their surroundings, controlling such things as the electrical excitability of nerves, the secretion of hormones and the uptake of drugs. This course will cover the following topics: cell and membrane structure and function; membrane channels and transporters and their roles in nutrient uptake, ion homeostasis, cell signalling and drug resistance; the electrical properties of membranes; the cellular and molecular basis of the excitability of the nervous system; excitation-contraction coupling in muscle; signal transduction; the molecular structure and function of membrane transport proteins; the molecular basis of the action of a number of drugs; diseases involving transporter and channel defects. Specific examples include explaining the molecular origins of epilepsy and designing novel treatments for malaria.
Students will comprehend how molecular processes give rise to cellular function, and gain the ability to apply this knowledge to explain the basis of a range of human diseases. The course is designed to provide skills to those wanting to apply their chemical knowledge as well as those anticipating a future career in medical sciences. Students will learn to analyse and synthesise data to produce testable hypotheses that they can communicate to others.
Honours Pathway Option (HPO): HPO options available and may vary from year to year. Students should contact the course convener directly for HPO option.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Explain the cellular and molecular basis of the excitability of the nervous system;
- Recognise the differences between channels and transporters and discuss in detail the role of these proteins in the uptake of nutrients and neurotransmitters, and in ion homeostasis and signalling;
- Understand the molecular basis of a range of diseases and drug resistance mechanisms in which membrane transport proteins play a role;
- Work collaboratively with peers to analyse and appraise scientific journal articles;
- Apply knowledge and skills to explain new scenarios related to health and biology;
- Evaluate data, create scientific hypotheses and design approaches to test them.
- Five online quizzes (25) [LO 1,2,3,5]
- Tutorial assignments (10) [LO 1,2,3,5]
- Puzzle assignments (10) [LO 6]
- Seminar presentation (15) [LO 4]
- Final exam (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
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The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours including:
- Face-to face component which may consist of 3 x 1 hour of lectures per week plus 10 x 2 hour of tutorials or workshops throughout the semester.
- Approximately 74 hours of self-study which will include preparation for lectures, presentations, group work reports and other assessment tasks.
Students are expected to actively participate and contribute towards discussions.
Not yet determined
Requisite and Incompatibility
No prescribed texts but the following is highly recommended:
Cellular Physiology and Neurophysiology 2nd Edition; Blaustein, Kao and Matteson. Mosby Press.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
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Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.