SHE Level 1
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M1C723913
Module Leader Adrian Pierotti
School INTO
Subject INTO
  • A (September start)-B (January start)
  • B (January start)-C (May start)

Summary of Content

The module delivers a core programme of biochemistry, cell biology and genetics broken down into four packages: The Central Dogma, covering the synthesis, structure and function of DNA, RNA and proteins The Cell, covering prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell structure Genetics and Inheritance, covering mitosis and meiosis as well as models of inheritance Enzymes, covering thermodynamics and kinetics, mechanisms of action and allosteric enzymes


Block 1 The Central Dogma 16 hours -360b7 Water, carbon and the building blocks of macromolecules b7 Structure synthesis and replication of DNA b7 Preparation & analysis of DNA b7 DNA sequencing (all methods including Next Generation) b7 Structure of Genes: Prokaryotes? Eukaryotes b7 Structure synthesis and processing of RNA b7 RNA stability b7 Preparation & analysis of RNA b7 The genetic code and protein synthesis -360b7 Functional diversity, classes of proteins. -360b7 Amino acids: structures and properties, functional groups, acidic, basic, polar, hydrophobic -360b7 What role does the amino acid sequence play in protein structure? b7 The peptide bond, primary structure of proteins. -360b7 What are the elements of secondary structure in proteins, and how are they formed? -360b7 How do polypeptides fold into three-dimensional protein structures? b7 Motifs, domains and the modular nature of proteins b7 How do protein subunits interact at the quaternary level of protein structure? b7 Relationship between structure and function with examples. b7 Protein purification and characterisation Block 2 The cell 12 hours -360b7 The role of microscopy in determining cell structure. Cell theory. b7 Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes- Organelles common to all cell types b7 Eukaryotic organelles. Endomembrane system. Function and origin of organelles b7 The structure of lipids, phospholipids, carbohydrates, glycoproteins and lipoproteins b7 Membrane structure models b7 Membrane as a barrier. b7 Transport across the membrane: diffusion and facilitated transport. Osmosis Na/K pump. Proton pump bulk transport b7 Cell fibres and the cytoskeleton. Centromere, centrioles. b7 Extracellular structures and cell movement cilia and flagella b7 Cell:cell interactions Tight and Gap junctions Desmosomes. Anchoring junctions b7 Prokaryotic Cell structure: Bacterial Cell wall. Target for drugs b7 Introduction to viruses.: Virus genomes, classification and diversity Block 3 Genetics and inheritance: 6 hours Chromosome structure and function -360b7 Composition and number of chromosomes -360b7 Construction of a karyotype b7 The stages of the cell cycle including mitosis and meiosis Mendelian Genetics and Disease -360b7 How Mendel constructed his experiments -360b7 Difference between F1 and F2 generations b7 The Model of Heredity including test, monohybrid and dihybrid crosses b7 Construction of a genetic map b7 The concept of multiple alleles b7 The consequences of alterations in chromosome number b7 Inheritance of autosomal dominant / recessive and sex-linked disorders Enzymes: 8 hours -360b7 Understand that enzymes are proteins which catalyse metabolic reactions -360b7 Identify the major groups of enzymes b7 Explain the effects of temperature, pH, enzyme concentration and substrate concentration on the rate of enzyme catalysed reactions b7 Can the rate of an enzyme-catalyzed reaction be defined in a mathematical way? b7 What equations define the kinetics of enzyme-catalyzed reactions? -360b7 How can enzymes be so specific? What are the magnitudes of enzyme-induced rate accelerations? -360b7 What role does transition-state stabilization play in enzyme catalysis? -360b7 Types of catalysis: example of an enzyme mechanism -360b7 Describe the effects of competitive and non-competitive inhibitors on the rate of enzyme activity -360b7 How can enzymes control the rate of biochemical pathways? -360b7 What are the models of allosterism? b7 Aspartate carbamoylase as an example of an allosteric enzyme

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student should be able to:- Name the key molecules and pathways that constitute the central dogma including the structure and function of DNA, RNA and protein- Define the basis of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cellular structure including the nature of cell membranes, cellular organelles and transport of molecules across membranes- Recognise the basis of genetic inheritance- Describe the nature and function of enzymes their substrates, modulators and inhibitors

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Material will be delivered by lectures with an online review support system based on review questions and quizzes. Additional material will be delivered in biweekly interactive seminars

Indicative Reading

Molecular Biology of the Cell 6th Edition, Alberts, Johnson, Lewis, Morgan, Raff, Roberts and Walter (2015) Garland Science.

Transferrable Skills

To organise and integrate information with taught and practical modules elsewhere in the bioscience programmes

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 130.00
Assessment (FT) 18.00
Lectures (FT) 42.00
Seminars (FT) 10.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 3 1.00 33.00 35% class test - 1 hour covering learning outcome 3 and 4
Coursework 2 1.00 33.00 35% class test - 1 hour covering learning outcome 2
Coursework 1 1.00 34.00 35% class test - 1 hour covering learning outcome 1