Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Molecular Biology and Genetics

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Faculty of Medicine and Surgery

DESCRIPTION This Study-unit discusses the molecular nature and metabolism of genetic material, its synthesis and repair. It describes how the structure, function, development and reproduction of the organism depend on the regulated expression of genes and the properties of the proteins produced. Molecular Biology and Genetics encompasses the principles of human variation and heredity and illustrates how genes are the primarily determinants of life processes, responsible for both structure and function.

This Study-unit describes the principles of heredity, identification of disease genes, the distribution and behaviour of genes in populations. The genetic basis and ethical issues of inherited and acquired disorders are also discussed.

The accompanying tutorials are student-centred and conducive to independent learning as a prelude to continuing life-long education. These sessions provide a platform for discussion and the active participation of the students.

This Study-unit includes a seminar that will apply basic scientific principles to a clinical setting.

Study-unit Aims

To provide the scientific foundation necessary to understand the molecular mechanisms that cause disease.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding: By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. Outline the transfer of genetic information from DNA to RNA to protein
2. Illustrate how structure of DNA and RNA allows these genetic molecules to perform their specific functions.
3. Extrapolate the relationship between DNA mutation, protein function and disease
4. Describe the mechanisms of genetic inheritance
5. Discuss the molecular mechanisms that prevent and cause the development of cancer.
6. Describe how genes interact with environmental factors to cause disease.

2. Skills: By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1] Identify genetic and environmental factors that cause disease
2] Detect polymorphisms
3] Interpret genetic linkages
4] Construct a medical pedigree
5] Apply basic science to the understanding of medical molecular diagnosis

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings

Mark's Basic Medical Biochemistry: A Clinical Approach.
Michael Lieberman,Allan D. Marks
Third Edition
Walters Kluwer/ Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
ISBN 0-13:978-0-7817-7022-4

Secondary Review Text for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Lippincott's Illustrated reviews: Biochemistry
Pamela C. Champe, Richard A. Harvey, Denise R. Ferrier
Fourth Edition
Walters Kluwer/ Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
ISBN 0-7817-2265-9

Online resources

Main Text for Genetics

Turnpenny, P. and Ellard, S. Emery’s Elements of Medical Genetics (13th
edition, 2007) Churchill Livingstone.
ISBN-13: 978-0702029172

Further reading

Sudbery Peter. Human molecular genetics (2nd edition) Pearson Education
ISBN: 0 130 42811 6

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Independent Study, Seminar and Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (2 Hours) Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Jean Calleja Agius
Gianluca A Farrugia
Gary J. Hunter
Therese Hunter (Co-ord.)
Christian Scerri

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.