Molecular biology

Aims

The course provides basic and advanced knowledge on the structure and function of DNA, RNA and proteins as well as their interactions in prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems. Students will learn about the flow of information from DNA to protein and how cells utilize various pathways to produce their unique identities and responses to environmental stimuli. The course will provide information on traditional and state-of-the-art molecular biology toolkits to familiarize young researchers with available methods and bioinformatic tools in addressing various biological questions towards understanding cellular and organismic functions.    

Prerequisites

Basic
 knowledge of biology

Learning Outcomes

The course covers a wide range of molecular biology theoretical and practical aspects with particular focus on the applicability of different techniques for research on plant biology. Students shall be able to: ·      describe the biological and molecular basis of several relevant methods for plant molecular biology ·      employ subject-specific knowledge and relevance of different techniques to approach specific questions ·      develop skills to conduct independent research, design own experiments and decide on appropriate methodological approaches·      develop critical and analytical thinking for solving diverse problems ·      interpret modern plant molecular biology techniques and bioinformatic tools and their applicability ·      gain practical and professional skills that are essential for career development in private sector or academia in the field of molecular biology. 

Syllabus

1) Structure and function of DNA and chromosomes, 2) Methods on DNA (isolation, visualisation, PCR, cloning), 2) Gene structure, 3) DNA replication and recombination, 4) prokaryotic and eukaryotic transcription, 5) RNA structure, 6) RNA processing, 7) Translation, 8) Protein metabolism, 9) Post-translational modifications, 10) Bacterial and eukaryotic gene regulation, 11) Epigenetic modifications 12) Bioinformatics tools    

Content Delivery

The delivery of the unit is achieved through lectures that combine both modern presentations methods (e.g. powerpoint presentations, short videos etc) with more traditional methods such as the use of a chalkboard to provide the necessary explanations and a lab course on basic molecular biology methods to comprehend and develop their experimental skills.  The students are constantly challenged to participate in the course through questions that aim to probe the level of student alertness and comprehension.

Coursework And Assignment Details

The students will take a written exam at the end of the course based on the presentation and the notes provided to them: 70/100. Homework (Scientific Protocol based on the results of their lab-work, maximum 10 pages): 30/100. They will describe and interpret the experimental approaches and then they will analyze, compare and conclude on the results of their experiments.