MEDSCI 309 : Biophysics of Nerve and Muscle
Medical and Health Sciences
2020 Semester Two (15 POINTS)
The Biophysics of Nerve and Muscle is an enjoyable paper with a strong emphasis on providing a stimulating state-of-the-art understanding of excitable cells. Those that teach in the course are all committed to ensuring every student is fully supported in their learning. At its crux, the course aims to produce autonomous thinkers and competent scientists with enquiring minds. Experiments are carried out on isolated nerve and muscle preparations, and students have the opportunity to make intracellular recordings of membrane and action potentials, along with contractile function in muscle. Students work collaboratively in small groups during the laboratory exercises which are closely linked to the material presented during lectures. Each 3 hour "wet lab" is backed up by a data analysis tutorial the following week with plenty of opportunity for one-on-one tuition.
Capabilities Developed in this Course
|Capability 1:||Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice|
|Capability 2:||Critical Thinking|
|Capability 3:||Solution Seeking|
|Capability 4:||Communication and Engagement|
|Capability 5:||Independence and Integrity|
|Capability 6:||Social and Environmental Responsibilities|
- Critically appraise nerve and muscle structure and function, and understand the key factors that regulate skeletal and cardiac muscle performance as demonstrated during the practical classes. (Capability 1 and 2)
- Critically appraise the determinants of resting and active membrane potential in nerve and muscle cells and understand the physiological factors that contribute to force development. (Capability 1 and 2)
- Evaluate the performance of excitable cells by carrying out experiments on isolated nerve and muscle preparations and linking the experimental data with knowledge presented in lectures. (Capability 1 and 2)
- Critically analyse the data obtained in practical laboratories and present in a logical manner in written communication assessments. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
- Integrate information and create new ideas by critically reviewing recent scientific literature and applying this knowledge to observations made during the practical exercises. (Capability 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6)
- Working safely and effectively in the field and laboratory and gaining confidence in working in a group environment and contributing effectively (Capability 4, 5 and 6)
- Develop numeric problem solving skills and apply these skills during practical data analysis exercises. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
|Final Exam||60%||Individual Examination|
|Laboratory reports & problems||30%||Individual Coursework|
|Test 1||5%||Individual Coursework|
|Test 2||5%||Individual Coursework|
|Assessment Type||Learning Outcome Addressed|
|Laboratory reports & problems|
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 2 hours of lectures, a 3 hour lab or tutorial session, 3 hours of reading and thinking about the content and based on previous students feedback, about 10+ hours of work on laboratory assignments and/or test preparation.
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.
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 at 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.
At the end of every semester 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 and respond with summaries and actions.
Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.
Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.
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.