Since the discovery of genetic information flow in cells, biology has gone through an unparalleled revolution, which has provided us with a much deeper understanding of how cells work. Novel methods of this revolution, including advanced microscopic techniques, transgenic cells and animals, fluorescent labelling of proteins, enable us to observe and manipulate living phenomena at the molecular level, hence the name molecular biology.
This module is the continuation of the ‘Molecular Biology of the Cell’ from the Spring term and discusses further topics from cell biology, including the control of gene expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, cell communication, the genetic basis of evolution, mutations in health and disease, with a strong focus on cancer. The module is also made accessible for those not having taken ‘Molecular Biology of the Cell’. For these students, introductory readings will be provided so that they can catch up, which may increase their workload.
Assessment is based on weekly assignments, which contain two types of questions: multiple choice questions, to check whether basic concepts are understood, and exercises that require a creative problem7solving attitude. In the latter case, students need to apply their knowledge, be able to find the relevant information in the sources and make their own research into the topic. In class, most time will be spent on discussing these problems. The main learning outcomes of the module are firstly, improving critical literature analysis skills, secondly, being able to understand concepts in molecular biology, and most importantly, being able to apply knowledge and think in a creative manner.