Molecules, Cells and Organisms

Description

Introduces the basic principles and concepts of cell and molecular biology to explore the nature of life's molecular building blocks and systems and how these interact to form functional cells and ultimately organisms. Students will discover some of the principles behind how cells work and explore ideas about how biological complexity and life itself may have originated. This knowledge underpins our ability to combat disease, to harness solar energy to feed the world, to sustainably power human industry and to recycle our waste efficiently using microbial systems.

The production of new cells is vital to the survival of species and there will be an introduction to basic genetic concepts to explain how organisms can pass on their traits which convey selective advantages for survival in a fiercely competitive world. Cells must also communicate with other cells and be able to detect and respond to external stimuli from its environment.

Students that have completed this course will be well placed to further their studies in cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, microbial biology, molecular genetics and animal & plant physiology courses at 2000 and 3000 level.

Availability

Callaghan Campus

  • Semester 1 - 2015

Learning Outcomes

1. biological terminology and concepts in relation to molecules and cells

2. the hierarchy of structure within cells

3. the processes which regulate and integrate cell function.

4. ideas on the origin and evolution of biological complexity at the cellular level

5. the mechanisms and characteristics of reproduction and inheritance

6. the retrieval, collection and interpretation of biological information

7. critical thinking and the scientific approach

Content

Introduction to Molecules, Cells and Organisms: This course aims to introduce students to the underlying principles and concepts of biology at the level of the molecule and cell. These fundamental units form the building blocks of complex multicelluar organisms.

Cell Structure & Energetics:

  • Molecular basis of life
  • Introduction to cell structure & function
  • Relationship of biomolecular structure to cellular function
  • Components of the prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells
  • Origin of Life
  • Molecular genetics & protein synthesis
  • Enzyme function
  • Cellular metabolism
  • Photosynthesis
  • Glycolysis, fermentation, respiration

Cell Division & Regulation:

  • Molecular and cell biology of cell division
  • Regulation of gene expression
  • Inter and intra cellular communication
  • Cell differentiation/specialisation

Sex, Inheritance & Multicellular Organisms:

  • Meiosis & sexual reproduction
  • Genetics & mechanisms of inheritance
  • From cells to multicellular organisms

Assumed Knowledge

HSC Mathematics and Chemistry are advisable

Assessment Items

Formal Examination: Exam

Quiz: Quiz-On-Line

Contact Hours

Lecture

Face to Face On Campus 4 hour(s) per Week for Full Term