Molecular Machines - BIO00019H

« Back to module search

  • Department: Biology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Christoph Baumann
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2018-19
    • See module specification for other years: 2017-18

Module summary

Cells contain molecular machines composed of complex protein and nucleic assemblies that are required for biological function. Over the last few years there have been significant advances in our understanding of both the structures of such machines and their underlying molecular mechanisms.

This module will address the structure and mode of action of cellular molecular machines involved in the biogenesis of DNA, RNA and proteins. Organismal motion is a requirement of eukaryotes and prokaryotes alike, involving the transduction of chemical or electrochemical energy by molecular motors into directed movement. The module will include a detailed appraisal of actin and tubulin-based molecular motors, involved in muscle contraction and cellular/organellar motion, respectively, as well rotatory motors involved in ATP synthesis and bacterial flagellular motion.

Related modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2018-19

Module aims

Cells contain molecular machines composed of complex protein and nucleic assemblies that are required for biological function. Over the last few years there have been significant advances in our understanding of both the structures of such machines and their underlying molecular mechanisms. This module will address the structure and mode of action of cellular molecular machines involved in the biogenesis of DNA, RNA and proteins. Organismal motion is a requirement of eukaryotes and prokaryotes alike, involving the transduction of chemical or electrochemical energy by molecular motors into directed movement. The module will include a detailed appraisal of actin and tubulin-based molecular motors, involved in muscle contraction and cellular/organellar motion, respectively, as well as a rotatory motor involved in ATP synthesis.

Module learning outcomes

  • To be able to describe the physics of force generation and directed motion at the nanoscopic level.
  • To be able to explain how molecular machines and motors are able to do mechanical work.
  • To be able to describe the structure and architecture of the macromolecular machines covered in the module.
  • To be able to explain how chemical energy is transduced into physical motion by exemplar molecular machines and motors.
  • To be able to describe the techniques used to probe the kinetics, energetics and mechanics of molecular motors, and interpret the data obtained using these techniques.
  • To be able to analyse and interpret data from the primary literature as relates to molecular motors and machines

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
University - closed examination
Molecular Machines
2 hours 100

Special assessment rules

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
University - closed examination
Molecular Machines
2 hours 100

Module feedback

Feedback on your progress is important to your learning process; Stage 3 and 4 scripts are not returned to you, but you will be given feedback on your January examinations by the middle of the spring term and will also have an opportunity to view the examiners’ comments on your scripts at the end of the spring and summer terms.

Module marks are made available to both you and your supervisor via your eVision account as soon as the marks are available, by week 6 of the spring term and week 8 of the summer term. You are expected to discuss your performance and progress with your supervisor in your mid-spring term and end of summer term supervisory meetings.

A histogram of all module marks is produced and posted on the examinations notice board outside Biology Student Services.

Specimen answers are posted on the web: by comparing the specimen answers with your own, you should obtain a clear idea of what was expected of you. For each module the markers will also give general feedback on how well the questions were answered and point out any standard errors that students may have made.

Indicative reading

These are available through the VLE module site.



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.