- Code BIOL2161
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
- ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
- Course subject Biology
- Areas of interest Genetics, Biology
Genetics underpins many contemporary social issues in health, technology and agriculture. Modern biology has been transformed by both the DNA sequencing and synthesis of full genomes and the application of gene technologies to a range of problems. These include mRNA vaccine manufacture, targeted gene therapies, novel cancer treatments, the development of resilient high-yield crops and more sustainable food products. Applying and evaluating genetic technologies relies on an understanding of the principles of molecular genetics, which will be covered in this course.
This course introduces the molecular mechanisms involved in the storage and expression of genetic information in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Topics to be covered include genome structure and evolution; DNA structure and packaging; DNA replication and repair; transcription; regulation of gene expression; RNA processing; protein synthesis and the genetic code. These processes will be illustrated with case studies, ranging from the human genome and genetic diseases to genetically modified crops.
The course includes a lab project that reinforces lecture material and introduces students to key strategies and techniques of molecular genetics.
Honours pathway option (HPO)
This course offers an Honours Pathway Option (HPO). The assessment tasks will be for HPO students to submit a 3-page summary of the experiment and their results due at 10 pm, on the Friday of week 10. This is a "hurdle" assessment (complete/not-complete). In addition to learning outcomes 1-5, HPO students will also develop skills in the experimental design of quantitative methods for determining genotypes and analysing DNA sequencing data.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Explain the basic processes involved in the expression of genetic information;
- Apply knowledge of the roles and functions of the mechanisms of DNA replication to a range of problems and examples
- Predict outcomes when DNA replication; DNA repair; mRNA transcription and processing; gene regulation; protein synthesis; genome structure and evolution are perturbed by mutation (genetic disease) or the use of inhibitors and drugs.
- Understand and analyse differences in gene organization between prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
- Analyse experimental and theoretical problems involving DNA replication; mutagenesis and DNA repair; mRNA transcription and processing; gene regulation; protein synthesis; genome structure and evolution.
Honours pathway option (HPO)
HPO students will participate in 2 extension practicals: 2.5 hour extension practical in week 6 and a 3 hr extension practical and tutorial on the Tuesday afternoon of week 8. Students must ensure they have no clashes with other classes at these times and have a WAM in BIOL of at least 65% to be considered for the HPO. These practicals will involve purifying the genomic DNA of E. coli lac operon mutants, performing a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and analysing the results using DNA gel electrophoresis. The course demonstrators will then submit the samples for nanopore DNA sequencing and later share the results with student for analysis. Students will attend a short tutorial about DNA sequencing analysis during the second extension practical. The assessment tasks will be for HPO students to submit a 3-page summary of the experiment and their results due at 10 pm, on the Friday of week 10. This is a "hurdle" assessment (complete/not-complete).
Student opts-in to the HPO by self enrollment in the HPO group on the wattle site by week 2. To opt-out the student must remove themselves from the HPO group on wattle by the end of week 5. The number of HPO students is limited by lab capacity and the number of Masters and ASE enrollments who will also before the same extension practicals but with a different assessment. The current teaching lab capacity is 96 students in total.
In addition to learning outcomes 1-6, HPO students will also develop skills in the experimental design of quantitative methods for determining genotypes and analysing DNA sequencing data.
- Laboratory quizzes and reports (35) [LO 2,3,5]
- Tutorial tests (20) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Participation in PeerWise, a web-based activity where students create, answer and rate multiple choice questions (5) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Final exam (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
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.
The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:
- Face-to-face component which may consist of 3 x 1-hour lectures per week (total 36 hours). 6 x 3 hours of practical sessions throughout the semester (7 x 3 hours for HPO/ASE students).
- Approximately 70 hours of self directed study which will include preparation for lectures, presentations and other assessment tasks.
Students are expected to participate actively and contribute towards discussions, both online and face-to-face.
No specific inherent requirements have been identified for this course.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Genetics: a conceptual approach. Pierce, B. 6th or 7th edition
A first year undergraduate knowledge of Biology and Chemistry.
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
ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.