BIOC2001 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Cell

Credit
6 points
Offering
(see Timetable)

If this unit does not have an online alternative, then students who are presently unable to enter Western Australia and whose studies would be delayed by an inability to complete this unit, should contact the unit coordinator (details given on this page) to ascertain, on an individual case-by-case basis, if alternate arrangements can be made to support their study in this unit.

AvailabilityLocationMode
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face Predominantly face-to-face. On campus attendance required to complete this unit. May have accompanying resources online.
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Molecular Life Sciences; Biochemistry of Nutrition major sequences
  • Level 2 elective
Content
This is an introductory unit that explores the molecular basis of life at the cellular level. The theoretical content of the unit is divided into four major themes: (1) DNA, with a focus on recombinant DNA technology; (2) information flow from DNA to RNA, with an emphasis on how this is regulated at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels; (3) the protein life cycle, involving an examination of protein synthesis and catabolism pathways; and (4) proteins as functional molecules, where the fundamentals of enzyme action are highlighted.

Detailed content includes (1) role of DNA polymerases in DNA replication, tools of the molecular biologist, cloning, genetic recombination and DNA sequencing; (2) transcriptional regulation of genes, post-transcriptional processing and methods to quantify mRNA transcripts; (3) protein synthesis in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, control of protein synthesis, post-translational modifications, protein targeting and protein catabolism; and (4) proteins as enzymes, enzyme kinetics, enzymes as tools of discovery, proteolytic enzymes and antibodies as tools of discovery. The laboratories introduce students to modern technologies used in commercial and research laboratories, and include fundamental techniques, DNA hybridisation, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and enzyme kinetics.
Outcomes
Students are able to (1) develop a broad knowledge of the fundamentals of biochemistry and molecular biology; (2) develop an understanding of the 'language' of biochemistry and molecular biology; (3) develop knowledge of the chemistry, structures and functions of biological molecules in a cellular context; and (4) in the laboratory class: (i) acquire in-depth knowledge about key techniques in biochemistry and molecular biology; (ii) develop laboratory skills required for scientific problem solving; (iii) further develop quantitative reasoning skills; (iv) develop skills to communicate scientific information in written and oral forms; and (v) develop collaborative skills.
Assessment
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) online theme quizzes; (2) an examination; and (3) a laboratory component which involves continuous assessment utilising online quizzes, marked reports and open-book quizzes. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Peter Arthur
Unit rules
Prerequisites:
SCIE1106 Molecular Biology of the Cell and (CHEM1004 Biological Chemistry or CHEM1002 Chemistry—Structure and Reactivity)
Incompatibility:
BIOC2203 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Cell, BIOC2201 Biochemistry of the Cell, SCIE2225 Molecular Biology
Contact hours
lectures: 25 x 1 hour (face to face); lectures: 4 x 20 minutes (online); labs: 6 x 3 hours;
post-lab tutorials: 4 x 1 hour
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus. Copies of textbooks and other readings will be made available for students to access from the Library, online wherever possible as well as in print.