SCIE1106 Molecular Biology of the Cell

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 2AlbanyFace to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 core unit in the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; Pharmacology; Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Microbiology and Immunology; Genetics major sequences
  • Level 1 option in the Physiology major sequence
  • Level 1 complementary unit in the Neuroscience major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Life and Health Sciences
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 1 additional unit in the Neuroscience second major sequence
  • Level 1 elective
This is an introductory unit that explores prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell structure and function at the physiological and molecular levels. A strong emphasis is placed on applications in biomedicine and biotechnology. The unit builds on concepts introduced in BIOL1130 Frontiers in Biology (formerly BIOL1130 Core Concepts in Biology) and ANHB1101 Human Biology I: Becoming Human. The first part of the unit covers DNA, RNA and protein structure, DNA replication, gene expression and its regulation, and recombinant DNA technology. The second part of the unit deals with the cell cycle and cell differentiation, cell structure and compartmentation, the structure of biological membranes and strategies used to move molecules across these membranes, and intercellular communication. Applications of cell and molecular biology in microbiology, disease diagnosis and therapy, and genetic engineering are discussed in the final part of the unit. Practical classes illustrate fundamental techniques in cell and molecular biology.
Students are able to (1) recall and integrate key knowledge and concepts about the structural and functional characteristics of living cells and macromolecules; the basic genetic mechanisms of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, including DNA replication and transcription; translation of proteins, mutation and repair; recombinant DNA technology and biotechnology; and how cells communicate, move and divide

; (2) acquire, practice and demonstrate skills in modern cell and molecular biology

; and (3) clearly communicate in writing the results of laboratory work using the correct scientific style.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) end-of-semester examination and (2) continuous assessment. 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 Thomas Martin
Unit rules
(Human Biology: ATAR or equivalent; or Biology: ATAR or equivalent; or ANHB1101 Human Biology I: Becoming Human; or ANHB1102 Human Biology II: Being Human; or BIOL1130 Frontiers in Biology; or IMED1001 Form and Function) and (Chemistry: ATAR or equivalent or CHEM1003 Introductory Chemistry)
Advisable prior study:
BIOL1130 Frontiers in Biology; or ANHB1101 Human Biology I: Becoming Human
SCIE2225 Molecular Biology passed in or before 2004
Contact hours
lectures: 3 hours per week; labs: 12 hours per semester
  • 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.