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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Biological Sciences : Biology

Undergraduate Course: Genomes and Genomics 3 (BILG09005)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Biological Sciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryGenome sequences are available for most organisms of importance for research in life sciences. Technologies to produce sequence data continue to improve, increasing speed and decreasing cost, so genomic data is now an important part of many research projects. The study of complete genomes provides the basis for understanding living systems and the evolution of organisms at the most fundamental level, with important implications in practical applications in biotechnology and human health. Already knowledge gained from genomics is influencing the way we do science.
In this course we introduce and review the development and prospects for genomic analysis. In lectures, we consider the structure, function and evolution of genomes and complement this with practicals introducing bioinformatics tools and applying them to a novel sequencing project.
Course description Within the next few years genome sequences will be available for all organisms of importance for research in life sciences. Many of the genes identified in these sequences are still of unknown function and there is a strong drive to develop new methods, both experimental and computer based, that offer the prospect of having complete catalogues of the biochemical or genetic function of every gene in an organism. This information will ultimately provide the basis for understanding the system behaviour and evolution of genomes at the most fundamental level. Already knowledge gained from genomics is influencing the way we do science.

In this course we introduce and review the development and prospects for genomic analysis. There are three components to the course: a lecture series, computer based bioinformatics workshops and a practical.

In the lectures, through the presentation of key genomes, both prokaryotic and eukaryotic, we consider the structure, function and evolution of genomes. We follow this with the knowledge gained by the sequencing of multiple individuals about human populations and disease . Finally we introduce the epigenome and look at techniques of genetic manipulation to further our knowledge of genes and their functions.

In bioinformatics workshops we provide a grounding in important bioinformatics skills for the handling and analysis of sequence data.

The practical gives the opportunity to generate novel genome sequences. We start in a wet laboratory with DNA isolation and preparation of a genome sequencing library for submission to Edinburgh Genomics. The resulting sequences are assembled, annotated and analysed in a computer laboratory.

Assessment comprises short quizzes, a literature summary, practical report and an exam.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Genes and Gene Action 2 (BILG08003) AND Evolution in Action 2 (BILG08005) AND Molecular Genetics 3 (BILG09002)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Students should supply a notebook and marker pen.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesEquivalent of the courses listed above
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 29, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 29, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 135 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Students are required to obtain an aggregate mark of 40% based on the weighting of marks for one examination and three in-course components of assessment.
The in-course assessment will comprise a literature summary (10% of the course mark), practical report (30% of the course mark) and short quizzes (totalling 10% of the course mark).
There will be one 2 hour exam held in April/May. The exam includes short answer questions and an essay and counts for 50% of the course mark.
Feedback Written feedback will be provided for the summary and practical report.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. introduce and review the development and prospects for genomic analysis
  2. outline present understanding of genome structure, function and evolution
  3. consider methods to investigate gene function and regulation
  4. introduce the epigenome and the role of epigenetic modifications
  5. provide a grounding in practical skills in bioinformatics
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The University has identified six groups of abilities that should be developed as part of the University of Edinburgh training experience, and to enhance your employability as a graduate for the 21st Century. These abilities take your skill-base beyond basic academic knowledge and are enhanced at each stage of your degree. They relate to Genomes and Genomics 3 in a number of specific ways as outlined below.

Knowledge and Understanding: From this course you will develop a broad knowledge of genomes and genomics including the structure, function and evolution of genomes. Computer based workshops provide the opportunity to understand the nature of genomic data and the process of its analysis as well as knowledge of tools to perform these analyses.

Research and Enquiry: These skills are enhanced by reading books, research papers and electronic materials to follow up lectures and practicals. They underpin the assessed practical and summary.

Personal and Intellectual Autonomy: By reading and preparing materials for sessions, you will learn to synthesise your own views, develop reasoned arguments and refine scientific judgement. In addition, both the summary and practical report provide an opportunity to develop and give your own opinions.

Communication: This is a key attribute of all scientists and it is therefore important that you develop skills to interact constructively with others and convey knowledgeable and balanced scientific views. We specifically encourage discussion in practical and bioinformatics sessions and the practical report and summary are opportunities to practise and improve writing skills.

Personal Effectiveness: The ability to organise and summarise your thoughts and material in a flexible and accessible way are core features that are required for personal effectiveness. To encourage development of planning and time management skills we provide the course guide and timetable where key events and submissions are highlighted. Success in the practical, held over many sessions, requires careful recording of analyses and results.

Technical and Practical Skills: Our course has a strong practical component, including both computer and practical laboratory based sessions. As part of your training, skills in computer-based handling and analysis of sequence data are developed. As well as skills specific to genomics, your generic practical skills in critical observation, investigation and interpretation, careful recording, quantification and analysis will benefit.
Course organiserDr Sara Knott
Tel: (0131 6)50 5444
Course secretaryMr Angus Galloway
Tel: (0131 6)51 3689
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