INTRODUCTION TO BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

BCM201

2018

Credit points: 15

Subject outline

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is concerned with the function of biological systems at the molecular level. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is central to most studies in biology and life sciences and is directly related to biomedical research and biotechnology. In this subject, students are introduced to gene structure and function, DNA replication, transcription and translation; molecular biology; protein structure and its relationship to protein function (with particular emphasis on enzymes) and bioenergetics. The practical applications of these themes in terms of molecular biology techniques (including DNA purification, restriction digestion, PCR, analysis of recombinant DNA and techniques in expression of proteins in heterologous hosts), spectrophotometric methods and enzyme kinetics will also be investigated. This subject lays the foundations for the study of Metabolic Biochemistry and Cell Biology in BCM202 and similar subjects.

SchoolSchool of Molecular Sciences/LIMS

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorSteve Jones

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 2 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Must be admitted in one of the following courses: HBFN, HBFNX, HOUA and have passed DTN102 and HBS101 and [SCI18 or CHM101]

Co-requisitesN/A

Incompatible subjects BCH2IBM

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditions This subject is offered via Open Universities Australia. La Trobe University students can undertake this subject as part of a cross institutional enrolment under certain circumstances, and must seek approval from the Bachelor of Food and Nutrition Course Coordinator for eligibility. Due to the nature of the subject content and online delivery, enrolments are generally not permitted past the published OUA enrolment date for the study period.

Readings

Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsBCM201 Subject Learning GuideRecommendedCollege of Science, Health & EngineeringAvailable on-line
ReadingsLehninger Principles of Biochemistry (2012, 6e)RecommendedDavid L Nelson & Michael M CoxW.H. FREEMAN & COMPANY, NEW YORK

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Use the basic vocabulary of biochemistry and molecular biology to describe the structures and functions of biological macromolecules, in order to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the concepts underlying structure-function relationships that affect cellular processes in health and disease.

Activities:
Students will receive on-line teaching materials covering foundations of biochemistry, molecular interactions and information transfer, synthesis and structure/function relationships of nucleic acids & proteins (including enzyme catalysis/kinetics), implications of thermodynamics/energetics on biological systems, and techniques used in molecular biology and protein chemistry. These concepts will be reinforced through additional on-line resources, collaborations between students and interactions with staff through synchronous and asynchronous discussion forums. Student understanding of these concepts will be assessed by formative and summative on-line quizzes using short answer, fill-in-the-blank, multiple-choice, drag-and-drop/association, diagrammatic or other question styles.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Inquiry and Analytical Skills
Inquiry and Analytical Skills
Discipline -Specific Knowledge and Skills

02. Apply biochemical and molecular biology techniques, principles and methodologies in addressing research problems.

Activities:
Students will be provided with on-line teaching materials to familiarise them with some of the basic laboratory techniques used in biochemistry, protein chemistry, enzyme kinetics and molecular biology to examine processes in biological systems (eg. spectrophotometric methods, standard curves, enzyme assays, SDS-PAGE, DNA purification, restriction endonuclease digestion, DNA sequencing, PCR, agarose gel electrophoresis). Student understanding of these techniques, their underlying concepts and their further applications will be reinforced and assessed by formative and summative on-line quizzes (as described above), by a group-based video presentation on molecular biology techniques and by a written assignment on protein-ligand interactions
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Inquiry and Analytical Skills
Inquiry and Analytical Skills
Discipline -Specific Knowledge and Skills

03. Prepare scientific reports that present coherent, concise and evidence-based explanations to communicate to peers, using a variety of presentation modes.

Activities:
Students will be instructed on core aspects of scientific writing and oral presentations skills in preparation for their group-based video presentations on molecular biology techniques and their written assignments on protein-ligand interactions. The quality of their scientific writing and oral presentation skills will be directly assessed in those assessment tasks.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Literacies and Communication Skills
Literacies and Communication Skills

04. Compute basic mathematical calculations and prepare graphical representations of information, to aid in the interpretation of biochemical data consistent with scientific standards.

Activities:
Calculations and graphical analyses of data will be referred to commonly in teaching materials, and students will often be required to carry out calculations and to create or interpret graphical information in quizzes and other exercises. Instructions and guidelines will be provided where appropriate, and students# calculations and graphical presentations will be assessed as an integral component of many assessment tasks
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Literacies and Communication Skills

05. Demonstrate independent learning and research skills by locating, interrogating and evaluating relevant and reliable scientific information.

Activities:
Students will be instructed on the importance of accessing multiple sources of information (wherever possible), and selecting relevant/appropriate and reliable sources of information, prior to commencing work on their written assignments on protein-ligand interactions and their group-based video presentations on molecular biology techniques. The gathering and critical analysis of information derived from multiple literature-based sources will be assessed as a component of both of these assessment tasks.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Inquiry and Analytical Skills

06. Participate as an effective team member and collaborate on selected learning exercises.

Activities:
For the group-based video presentation on molecular biology techniques, students will be instructed on aspects of collaborative learning and team-work (eg. delegation of tasks and the fair sharing of workload, respect for the opinions and consideration for the well-being of others). Their effectiveness in working as a member of a team will be formally peer-assessed as part of this exercise. In a less formal sense, students will also be encouraged to work collaboratively and to help each other understand the concepts presented in all teaching materials by engaging in on-line discussions with their colleagues.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Personal and Professional Skills

Subject options

Select to view your study options…

Start date between: and    Key dates

Online, 2018, OUA Study Period 4, Online

Overview

Online enrolmentNo

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorSteve Jones

Class requirements

Block Mode Week: 49
One 1.0 hours block mode per week on any day including weekend during the day in week 49 and delivered via online.

Assessments

Assessment elementComments% ILO*
2 x Mini quizzes (5% each, total 400 words equivalent)15 min time limit 1 attempt auto-graded 10 01, 02, 04
4 x Mastery Quizzes (10% each, total 1600 words equivalent)30 min time limit 1 attempt auto-graded randomised 40 01, 02, 04
Group-based video presentation (per student approx. 7.5 min - equivalent to 750 words)Groups of 3 students, randomly allocated on enrolment. Total presentation length 20-25 minutes. Scenarios/topics related to Molecular Biology (Module 3) Grading based on: - scientific content of slides (1/3) - quality of presentation (1/3) - contribution of each team member determined internally within group (1/3) 20 01, 02, 03, 05, 06
Written scientific report (1200 words) Individual exercise Biological purpose and mechanism of action a protein-ligand interaction - topic to be self-selected from a collection of protein-ligand interactions known to be well resourced in the scientific literature 30 01, 02, 03, 05

Online, 2018, OUA Study Period 2, Online

Overview

Online enrolmentNo

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorSteve Jones

Class requirements

Block Mode Week: 22 - 34
One 1.0 hours block mode per week on any day including weekend during the day from week 22 to week 34 and delivered via online.

Assessments

Assessment elementComments% ILO*
2 x Mini quizzes (5% each, total 400 words equivalent)15 min time limit 1 attempt auto-graded 10 01, 02, 04
4 x Mastery Quizzes (10% each, total 1600 words equivalent)30 min time limit 1 attempt auto-graded randomised 40 01, 02, 04
Group-based video presentation (per student approx. 7.5 min - equivalent to 750 words)Groups of 3 students, randomly allocated on enrolment. Total presentation length 20-25 minutes. Scenarios/topics related to Molecular Biology (Module 3) Grading based on: - scientific content of slides (1/3) - quality of presentation (1/3) - contribution of each team member determined internally within group (1/3) 20 01, 02, 03, 05, 06
Written scientific report (1200 words) Individual exercise Biological purpose and mechanism of action a protein-ligand interaction - topic to be self-selected from a collection of protein-ligand interactions known to be well resourced in the scientific literature 30 01, 02, 03, 05