BIOSCI 351 : Molecular Genetics
2021 Semester One (1213) (15 POINTS)
The study of molecular genetics is the investigation of the inheritance of traits with the aim to better understand and potentially manipulate biological systems. The investigation of genetic diversity can give insight into the evolution of species right down to an exact understanding of gene function within a cell. This paper will give an excellent grounding in both theory and methodology. This will extend from the genetic mapping of traits through to gene and mutation discovery and finally the targeted altering of genomes to treat disease or introduce an advantageous DNA variation. The topic includes the genetic analysis of plants, wild and farmed animals and humans including human genetic disease. The course incorporates the most recent advances in genetics, genome analysis, and genome editing.
This course is a requirement for the School of Biological Sciences genetics pathway.
This course could lead to a career in statistical genetics (eg farm animals, endangered species eg the Hihi, plant breeding) , human genetic diagnostics, biotechnology for example the production of recombinant therapeutics or plant selection / engineering, postgraduate studies towards an academic research career or leader in the biological industries.
Capabilities Developed in this Course
|Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
|Communication and Engagement
|Independence and Integrity
|Social and Environmental Responsibilities
- Describe the statistical methods for linkage mapping and association mapping in order to determine the regions of the genome that contribute to differences between individuals in a focal trait. (Capability 1, 2 and 6)
- Apply the framework of linkage mapping and association mapping to describe key examples of quantitative and discrete trait mapping in natural and domesticated populations and in human disease. (Capability 1 and 2)
- Describe the types of natural genetic variation that occur in plants and how this has been harnessed during domestication of crops, using examples from plant fruit colour and flowering time. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
- Describe and apply methods of gene editing in plants guided by natural variation. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
- Develop the ability to form a genetic hypothesis for a disease situation and work out what techniques are required to test the hypothesis including exome and whole genome sequencing. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6)
- Describe methods for genetically engineering cells and animals including CRISPR-CAS9 technology for the investigation of disease processes or potential treatment of disease. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 5)
- Analyse the ethical considerations relating to the genetic engineering of somatic or germ line cells. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6)
- Integrate knowledge gained through the course to describe the experimental process from identifying a gene of interest through to developing an organoid model or cellular therapy for a human disease. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 5)
- Develop the practical skills associated with molecular genetics research in a group-based learning environment, to answer molecular genetics questions and communicate the answers in the form of a lab report. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
|Learning Outcome Addressed
There is no formal Tuākana programme for third year molecular biology, however students are encouraged to contact the course coordinator who will be able to put them in touch with the second year molecular biology Tuākana coordinator.
Must complete practical laboratories.
LABORATORY SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
• Lab. coats and suitable footwear must be worn at all times. It is hazardous to wear open-toed sandals or jandals.
• All personal accidents in the laboratory, however trivial, should be reported immediately to the Technician. A First-Aid Kit is located in the Laboratory.
• One of the greatest dangers in the Laboratory is FIRE. It is IMPORTANT that you locate the fire extinguishers and safety showers, and familiarise yourself with their mode of operation.
• Spillages of bacterial, phage or yeast cultures should be sprayed immediately with Hypochlorite and then wiped up. If you have any further concerns please check with a Demonstrator or the Technician.
• In the event of major spillage of a toxic or corrosive chemical on skin or clothing use a safety shower. Minor spillages eg. on hands, can be dealt with at the sink. If in doubt, use showers quickly and worry about whether such action was justified later. WARN neighbours of major spillages on the floor or bench, and check with a Demonstrator on any action required. Wipe up minor spillages immediately with a paper towel or toilet paper.
• A strict code of discipline will be maintained in the Laboratory. Serious accidents have resulted from innocent “horse play”. Particular care is required when handling dangerous or corrosive liquids in the vicinity of your neighbours. Work practices specified required for PC1 containment are to be followed throughout this laboratory session:
• No eating or drinking in laboratory.
• No food or drink to be stored in laboratory
• Mouth pipetting is prohibited.
• Laboratory coats must be worn during the laboratory session.
• Laboratory coats are to be removed when leaving the laboratory area and hands
are to be washed before leaving the laboratory.
• Significant spills and accidents must be reported immediately to supervisor.
• Special care must be taken to reduce hand/mouth contact.
• Special care must be taken to ensure reading/writing materials are not
• Smoking, eating and drinking is expressly forbidden in the Laboratory.
This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.
For this course, you can expect 32 hours of lectures, 2 hours of tutorials, 15 hours of laboratories, 40 hours of reading and thinking about the lecture and laboratory content and 40 hours of work on test and exam preparation.
Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including labs/tutorials to receive credit for components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including tutorials will be available as recordings.
The course will not include live online events.
Attendance on campus is required for the test and exam.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.
“A remote version of the course can be made available to students located overseas because of border restrictions, or those with an exemption to study remotely.”
During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.
At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.
Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.
Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).
Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.
The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.
The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.
You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.
All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.
Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz
If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.
If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.
This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.
In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.
Student Charter and Responsibilities
The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.
Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.
In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.