ADVANCED TOPICS IN BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY 3A

BCH3BMA

2018

Credit points: 30

Subject outline

In this unit students will extend previous knowledge gained from second year Biochemistry related to biomembranes, experimental design and critical analysis, protein structure and function, bioinformatics and gene structure and function. Students will study the composition and fluidity of membranes, the molecular understanding of proteins, regulation of genes and the manipulation of genes for biotechnological and medical applications. The practical work includes hands-on experience in biochemistry and molecular biology techniques (e.g. PAGE, microscopy, bioinformatics, molecular biology and proteomics) as well as experience in general experimental laboratory skills in experimental design and data interpretation. The practical component also emphasizes quantitative literacy, scientific communication and critical analysis of scientific methodology and data.

SchoolSchool of Molecular Sciences/LIMS

Credit points30

Subject Co-ordinatorYeliz Boglev

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites (BCH2IBM or BCH2BMA) and (BCH2MBC or BCH2BMB).

Co-requisitesN/A

Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Readings

Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsBCH3BMA Lab ManualPrescribedJulian Pakay 2015AVAILABLE ON LMS AND FREE HARD-COPY FROM THE BIOCHEMISTRY DEPARTMENT.
ReadingsMolecular Cell Biology (2012, 7th edition)RecommendedH. Lodish et al. 2012W.H. FREEMAN AND COMPANY, NEW YORK. ISBN-10: 142923413X, ISBN-13: 978-1429234139

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Explain concepts in biochemistry and molecular biology using appropriate vocabulary , including structure and function of biological membranes, cellular signalling, protein structure, function and analysis, bioinformatics and systems biology, and gene structure and function.

Activities:
Students attend lectures outlining facts and key concepts related to the subject. Students are then able to further complement the lectures by reading additional material either suggested or provided by the lecturers including original research articles, reviews and text book summaries. At the end of each block of lectures, students attend a lectorial (large group tutorial) where they are able to test their knowledge of the lectures by answering typical exam style questions in small groups under the guidance of the lecturer. Where applicable, practical classes are used to reinforce lecture content. Assessed in theory exams.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Inquiry and Analytical Skills
Personal and Professional Skills
Discipline -Specific Knowledge and Skills

02. Apply current techniques in biochemistry and molecular biology to generate and analyse data and evaluate the experimental protocols used.

Activities:
During the induction into the laboratory class, students are given instruction in correct liquid handling techniques, advanced use and calibration of automatic pippettes & general instruction in laboratory organisation & safety. As part of the laboratory induction, students work in small groups to practice the formal risk assessment procedure. At the start of the practical course students complete a short exam assessing quantitative literacy learnt in 2nd year, focusing on understanding & converting between units, basic stoichiometry and dilutions. Feedback is provided to students though it does not count towards final assessment. A remedial tutorial is offered to students who have identified deficiencies in this area. Students complete tasks indiviually, as a pair or as part of a group.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Literacies and Communication Skills
Literacies and Communication Skills
Literacies and Communication Skills
Inquiry and Analytical Skills
Inquiry and Analytical Skills
Inquiry and Analytical Skills
Personal and Professional Skills
Personal and Professional Skills
Discipline -Specific Knowledge and Skills

03. Evaluate and justify the design approach of a biochemistry/molecular biology experiment.

Activities:
A series of "lectorial" style lectures are presented focusing on experimental design and criticl thinking. Students are given a basic introduction into the philosophy underlying the scientific method and more specific examples of experimental design approaches in biochemistry/molecular biology. Students read and critically analyse the experimental approach of original research papers which are then discussed in class. Deliberately flawed articles are presented to students who are then encouraged to provide alternate experimental approaches to eliminate competing hypotheses. For the final assessment students are given an original research article to critically analyse a week before the mid-semester exam. The same article is made available to them in the exam where they complete a series o
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Literacies and Communication Skills

04. Explain current techniques in biochemistry and molecular biology

Activities:
During practical classes students are given detailed instruction in current techniques in biochemistry and molecular biology. Much of the lecture content focuses on the theory behind current experimental approaches used in biochemistry and molecular biology. Students are expected to demonstrate this knowledge by being able to suggest feasible strategies to presented problems. Assessed in theory exams.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Literacies and Communication Skills
Literacies and Communication Skills
Literacies and Communication Skills
Inquiry and Analytical Skills
Inquiry and Analytical Skills
Inquiry and Analytical Skills
Personal and Professional Skills
Personal and Professional Skills
Discipline -Specific Knowledge and Skills

05. Collect, analyse and evaluate information from literature to prepare a thorough scientific report.

Activities:
Students are expected to be able to search the literature to find relevent references to complete their written assignments for the practical classes. Instruction in database searching is provided during the bioinformatics practical classes. Students are also given instruction in Endnote to facilitate reference management, citation and creating bibliographies. In addition students are given instruction in how to paraphrase and avoid plagiarism. Specifically assessed in Endnote referencing exercise. Assessed in all written assignments.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Literacies and Communication Skills

06. Prepare a scientific research report by applying appropriate written communication skills.

Activities:
Students complete a series of "modular" scientific writing exercises which are quick to both complete and assess and to provide indiviual feedback. These exercises span both BCH3BMA and BCH3BMB and taken together address all aspects of writing a full scientific report. In BCH3BMA these include exercises in; maintaining an accurate lab book, presenting quantitative data, writing a short literature review and Endnote referencing. Each exercise is preceded by a specific tutorial given in the practical class and individual feedback is provided allowing the students to incorporate the feedback into their final report. Two sections of the practical course (bioinformatics and gene expression) are assessed by written research reports. For the gene expression report the students are provided with
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Literacies and Communication Skills

07. Interpret and critically evaluate experimental protocols.

Activities:
During the practical course the students critically evaluate the experimental approaches used and recognise where optimum design is limited by logistics. This is encouraged during the pre-practical lectures and discussed during student-led tutorials. Assessed in the discussion section of the gene expression report.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Literacies and Communication Skills
Literacies and Communication Skills
Literacies and Communication Skills
Inquiry and Analytical Skills
Inquiry and Analytical Skills
Inquiry and Analytical Skills
Personal and Professional Skills
Personal and Professional Skills
Discipline -Specific Knowledge and Skills

08. Discuss and present information in the field of Biochemistry orally to peers.

Activities:
At the start of each practical session a student or pair of students present a short tutorial to a small group of classmates. The tutorial is based on a series of assigned questions which provide relevant background theory to the practical class. Each student presents to his/her group once during the semester. The tutorial is assessed for both clarity of presentation and accuracy of content. Participation by students in the audience is recorded and provides bonus marks for laboratory performance
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Literacies and Communication Skills

Subject options

Select to view your study options…

Start date between: and    Key dates

Singapore, 2018, Week 19-31, Day

Overview

Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorYeliz Boglev

Class requirements

Practical Week: 19 - 23
Thirty six 1.0 hours practical per study period on weekdays during the day from week 19 to week 23 and delivered via face-to-face.
"36-hours consisting of wet/dry/simulation activities."

Tutorial Week: 19 - 31
Eighteen 1.0 hours tutorial per study period on weekdays during the day from week 19 to week 31 and delivered via face-to-face.

Lecture Week: 19 - 31
Fifty 1.0 hours lecture per study period on weekdays during the day from week 19 to week 31 and delivered via face-to-face.

Assessments

Assessment elementComments% ILO*
1 x 3 hour exam (3000 words equivalent)50 01, 03, 04
Laboratory Performance (500 words equivalent)6 02
Practical Exam (1 hr)20 02
Practicals, including 2 reports, scientific writing & oral exercises (approx 3500 words equiv total)21 01, 02, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08
Student-led tutorial (500 words equivalent)3 08

Singapore, 2018, Week 19-31, Night

Overview

Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorYeliz Boglev

Class requirements

Practical Week: 19 - 31
Thirty six 1.0 hours practical per study period on weekdays at night from week 19 to week 31 and delivered via face-to-face.
"36-hours consisting of wet/dry/simulation activities."

Tutorial Week: 19 - 31
Eighteen 1.0 hours tutorial per study period on weekdays at night from week 19 to week 31 and delivered via face-to-face.

Lecture Week: 19 - 31
Fifty 1.0 hours lecture per study period on weekdays at night from week 19 to week 31 and delivered via face-to-face.

Assessments

Assessment elementComments% ILO*
1 x 3 hour exam (3000 words equivalent)50 01, 03, 04
Laboratory Performance (500 words equivalent)6 02
Practical Exam (1 hr)20 02
Practicals, including 2 reports, scientific writing & oral exercises (approx 3500 words equiv total)21 01, 02, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08
Student-led tutorial (500 words equivalent)3 08