Catalogue of Modules, University of Nottingham

C14702 Cutting Edge Research Technologies and Ideas in Molecular Biology
(Last Updated:03 May 2017)

Year  11/12

Total Credits: 10

Level: Level 4

Target Students:  4th year MSci students within the School of Biology

Taught Semesters:

Autumn Assessed by end of Autumn Semester 

Prerequisites: Registered for a degree within the School of Biology. Only available to Year 4 students.

Corequisites:  None.

Summary of Content:  This course will bring students up to date with the latest technological developments in molecular biology that they are unlikely to have encountered in detail in the first three years. We will also discuss and explore how new technologies with broad implications come into existence and follow the process of establishment, acceptance and dissemination through the scientific community. The actual content of the course will be updated each year to reflect the latest advances, for example a course running now would certainly consider the latest developments in high through-put sequencing technologies. During the course the development of a well established technology that has developed rapidly over the last ten years (namely RNAi based reverse genetics) will be considered as a case study. A part of the course will also be devoted to scanning the literature for the next big thing. During the course students will practice there presentation skills and also there ability to accurately and succinctly summarise content in written form.

Method and Frequency of Class:

ActivityNumber Of WeeksNumber of sessionsDuration of a session
Workshop 11 weeks1 per week3 hours

Activities may take place every teaching week of the Semester or only in specified weeks. It is usually specified above if an activity only takes place in some weeks of a Semester

Method of Assessment: 

Assessment TypeWeightRequirements
Coursework 1 30 2 x 1000 word abstracts - 15% each 
Presentation 1 20 Two assessed 25-30 minute presentations, given in pairs, the highest of the two marks contributes to the module mark. 
Inclass Exam 1 (Written) 50 3 hour exam 

Dr A Aboobaker

Education Aims:  1. To develop a broad understanding of the latest technological developments in molecular biology. 2. Continued development of their abilities to synthesize, summarize and present new information in a relatively short time, a key research skill. 3. Experience the application of new technical knowledge and appreciate that the nature of data produced by different technologies decides what kinds of questions it can use to answer. 4. Develop an appreciation of the research process with respect to technology development and be able to discuss in some detail specific examples.

Learning Outcomes:  Learning outcomes: 1. For students to be familiar with some of the latest technical developments in molecular biology. 2. To be aware of which older technologies those considered may supercede and/or complement. 3. To apply the new knowledge to designing experiments. 4. Communicate effectively in oral presentation. 5. Understand complex ideas and relate them to specific problems or questions.

Offering School:  Life Sciences

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