Electives in the Faculty of Science


Human Biology 100 (910.100)

12 points
Full Year

This unit is based on the concept of an integrative approach to the biology of humans, with particular emphasis on the structure and function of the human body, the evolution and variation of humans and their interactions with the environment. Basic principles of human evolution, genetics and development are related to human functional anatomy and microanatomy, reproductive biology and neurobiology. Studies of human populations cover the basic concepts of human population genetics, adaptation and ecology and include lectures on human growth, nutrition and patterns of disease.

Lectures:

3 per week
Labs:

1.5 hrs per week
Pre-labs:

1 hr per week
Unit Co-ordinator:

Associate Professor B. J. Waddell

Registration

Students must register and apply for an anatomy licence (if they do not already have one) from the Department of Anatomy and Human Biology. The department will be open for registration (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) in the two-week period preceding the start of semester one. It is likely that laboratory manuals will be available. There may be a charge for these.

Students will also be advised about laboratory time allocations at registration.


Biology 101 (139.101)

12 points
Full Year

This is a foundation unit in biological sciences. It provides students with basic grounding in cell and molecular biology, genetics and in the biology of microbes, plants and animals. The unit focuses on general principles in biological organisation such as the central role of DNA as genetic material, the common features of cellular organisation and cell biochemistry found in all living organisms. Students gain a clear understanding of what evolution is about and how both chance and natural selection may have influenced the evolution of life. Common and distinctive features of plant and animal physiology and function are described and their adaptive significance discussed. Students develop an understanding of how plants, animals and micro-organisms assimilate energy, co-ordinate their physiological responses to environmental stress and function in ecological communities. There is some emphasis on environmental issues and conservation biology of the Australian flora and fauna.

This is a foundation unit appropriate for majors in all areas of biological science. It is taught jointly by the Departments of Botany, Biochemistry, Microbiology and Zoology.

Lectures:

3 per week
Peer-assisted learning session:

1 per week
Labs:

8 x 2 1/2-hr sessions per semester (one will be delivered online)
Unit Co-ordinator:

Dr J. D. Roberts (Department of Zoology)

Equipment to be purchased

Students should collect a laboratory manual for each semester from the Biology Building during the week before the semester commences.


Bioinformatics 203 (139.203)

6 points
Semester 1

The rate of expansion of the Internet and its associated use for depositing and accessing large amounts of biological data has been extremely rapid. There are now hundreds of networked biological and chemical databases providing rapid access to data and literature as well as numerous sites dedicated to the handling and sorting of such information. The Bioinformatics unit has been designed to provide students with a background to how DNA sequence and protein structural information is generated, how this data can then be accessed and retrieved using the Internet and how to obtain information from these sources. The main objective is to provide an insight into the value of rapid access to scientific information for education and research purposes. An emphasis of the unit is the associated workshop sessions that provide hands-on experience with searching for relevant information and using databases. The contents of the unit complement and extend information and teaching from other units taken by the students. This unit is restricted to the Bachelor of Molecular Biology degree course.

Lectures:

3 per week
Tutorials/labs:

2 hrs per week
Unit Co-ordinator:

Dr M. C. J. Wilce
Prerequisites:

Biology 101, Chemistry 100 or 120, and Mathematics 101 and 102 or Mathematics 175 or 176 or Mathematics 155 and Statistics and Modelling 155

Molecular Biology 225 (139.225)

6 points
Semester 2

INTRODUCTION TO MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

This is a self-contained service unit for students in the biological sciences, Chemistry and Agriculture, and is a prerequisite for Molecular Biology 325. It is taught jointly by the Departments of Biochemistry and Microbiology.

The unit is a formal exposition of the concepts and methods used in molecular biology. It details the features of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells; DNA, RNA and protein synthesis; the regulation of gene activity in prokaryotes and eukaryotes; the biology of bacteriophages and plasmids; and recombinant DNA technology. Students gain a basic understanding of the theory and practice of molecular biology, besides acquiring laboratory skills necessary for the practice of basic molecular biological techniques.

Lectures:

2 per week
Labs:

2 hrs per week
Unit Co-ordinators:

Dr R. Tuckey (Department of Biochemistry), Dr B. J. Chang (Department of Microbiology)
Prerequisites:

a first-year chemistry unit and a first-year biological science unit

(MB) Molecular Biology 325 (139.325)

12 points
Semester 2

This unit follows on from Molecular Biology 225, covering the topic of molecular biology in more detail and introducing the student at the practical level to the analysis of DNA. It is taught jointly by the Departments of Microbiology and Biochemistry, and can be taken with any other major in the biological sciences or in Agriculture or Chemistry. It is comprehensive and covers aspects which are relevant to other disciplines and which are not covered in the present biochemistry and microbiology units. It makes a useful introduction to postgraduate studies in biotechnology and molecular biology.

The unit is designed to introduce students to molecular biology as a scientific discipline. It stresses the use of molecular approaches and how they are applied to solve and investigate biological problems. Lectures are given in a number of areas (see below) and on how molecular biology has been used to advance understanding in these areas. The subject areas covered are database searching, the molecular biology of nitrogen fixation, plant molecular biology, interferons, differentiation, allergens, protein targeting, plasmids, gene regulation and the organisation of genes in different genomes (nuclear, organelle and viral). The techniques covered range from protein/DNA sequencing to site-directed mutagenesis, message level analysis, protein expression, plant and animal transgenics, in situ hybridisation and PCR. The relevance of these studies to plant and animal sciences in a wide variety of fields is stressed. Having completed the unit a student will be familiar with the uses of molecular biology in the bacterial, plant and animal sciences.

Lectures:

4 per week
Labs:

9 hrs per week
Unit Co-ordinators:

Dr L. J. Abraham (Department of Biochemistry) and Dr M. W. Beilharz (Department of Microbiology)
Prerequisites:

Molecular Biology 225. Biochemistry 210 and Microbiology 200 or Agricultural Microbiology 300 are recommended but are not essential. Students without sufficient background are required to do extra reading.