Accessibility statement

Molecular genetics & development - BIO00052I

« Back to module search

  • Department: Biology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Betsy Pownall
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module summary

This module will present the core elements of the genec and epigenec mechanisms that regulate animal development. The module examines how classic genec, molecular genec, biochemical and embryological analyses have elucidated the gene regulatory networks that orchestrate embryonic development. The module will also discuss the highly conserved nature of developmental mechanisms and examine how knowledge of key regulatory pathways important for animal development can inform our understanding of human genec disorders as well as cancer.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2021-22 to Summer Term 2021-22

Module aims

This module will present the core elements of the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that regulate animal development. The module examines how classic genetic, molecular genetic, biochemical and embryological analyses have elucidated the gene regulatory networks that orchestrate embryonic development. The module will also discuss the highly conserved nature of developmental mechanisms and examine how knowledge of key regulatory developmental pathways can inform our understanding of human genetic disorders as well as cancer. Understanding the progressive restriction of developmental potential during cell lineage specification sets out the nature of pluripotency, providing a knowledge base to further study stem cells and genetic reprogramming. Throughout, emphasis is placed upon experimental evidence that underpins our current understanding of gene function and the mechanisms regulating development. Lectures will be supported by textbooks, and where appropriate primary research literature or review articles. Workshop sessions will encourage and enable students to make use of knowledge gained during the module to solve novel problems regarding gene function in development. Two seminars (one in each term) will challenge students to read, assess and interpret data from scientific papers related to the lectures material. Overall, the understanding of developmental mechanisms provided in this module will benefit students going on to take final year modules including Aging and Regeneration, Adv Top in Molecular Biology, Cancer and Mol Biol, and Human genetics.

Module learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this module will have the ability to:

1. Describe the molecular genetic and epigenetic mechanisms regulating development.

2. Describe how knowledge of the conserved mechanisms regulating development has been important for understanding the genetic basis of some human diseases.

3. Interpret experimental evidence related to gene function, epigenetic regulation and genetic disorders.

4. Understand how a toolkit of techniques can be used to investigate gene function, and be able to apply this knowledge to design rationale experimental approaches to answer problems related to development of multicellular organisms.

5. Understand and explain how the study of gene function in development is relevant to many aspects of modern biology.

6. Critically assess novel data presented in primary research papers

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam
Molecular Genetics & Development
N/A 100

Special assessment rules

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam
Molecular Genetics & Development
N/A 100

Module feedback

Cohort-level feedback will be provided on performance in closed exams and made available via the VLE. Histograms of module marks will be posted on the notice boards outside the Biology Student Services office. Individual marks will be made available to you and your supervisor via e:vision. Exam scripts will be made available at the end of either the Spring or Summer terms. You should take the opportunity to discuss your marks and feedback with your supervisor.

During the teaching of the module you will receive feedback that may be at a whole class or individual level. Forms of feedback may include: model answers and discussion of workshop questions, summaries of performance in practicals, VLE-based quizzes, individual spoken comments during workshops, individual written comments on formative work.  

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.