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Semester 1

The Dynamic Cell 2 (BILG08009)







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Equivalent of the courses listed above

Course Summary

This core biology course covers the dynamic nature of cells and their molecular constituents as well as the metabolic processes that occur within cells. The lecture material is complemented by a laboratory practical, an extended assessed exercise, feedback sessions and Q&A sessions.

Course Description

In this course we shall study the basic unit of life - the cell. It is important not to view cells merely as the highly organised, static structures built up from lipids, proteins and polysaccharides that we see in electron micrographs. We shall learn that cells are, first and foremost, dynamic entities. A typical cell is in a state of constant flux a multitude of exquisitely regulated metabolic pathways are in operation; energy is harnessed, stored and released; genes are expressed selectively and polypeptides are synthesised on sophisticated molecular machines; polypeptides are modified, folded up into proteins, transported to appropriate compartments, put to work, and then disposed of when no longer needed; membranes are recycled; subcellular components are towed around the cell by molecular motors. The cell can alter both its proteome and metabolic profile in response to external signals and threats or changes in its surroundings. Viruses, which heavily outnumber cells in the environment and can exchange genetic information with cells, rely on cellular machinery to replicate themselves; resistance and adaptions to viral invasion are drivers in the evolution of the cell that can repair itself when damaged or commit suicide. Of course, cells can copy themselves, communicate and respond to one another and assemble themselves into tissues, organs and organisms.To help you develop key graduate attributes as follows:You will deepen your knowledge and understanding of cells as detailed above. Your lecturers are research scientists active in the field with cutting-edge knowledge of the material they deliver. They will share their enthusiasm for understanding biology at a fundamental level.You will gain experience of research and enquiry in the practical session as well as by tackling the assessed exercise. By engaging with live online sessions involving other students and course staff, and by reading around the topics introduced within each lecture block, you will further enrich your experience of communicating scientific concepts.You will develop personal and intellectual autonomy that will enhance your capacity for life-long and independent learning through: studying for the multiple-choice test based on the self-taught material; through preparing for live online sessions and participating in Discussion Boards, and through the work involved in successfully addressing questions set as part of the Assessed Exercise. We encourage you to develop the collaborative working skills essential for every scientist through working with others on the Assessed Exercise, and through participating in the Discussion Boards on the course Learn site as you progress through the course (note that work destined for assessment must be entirely your own and submitted to BTO, by the deadline, individually).This course has multiple components, some running in parallel, and you will need to organise and summarise your thoughts and material in a flexible and accessible way thus helping you develop the tools needed to maximise your personal effectiveness.In the laboratory practical exercise we will teach you modern experimental methods, the rudiments of experimental design, data recording and analysis and interpretation skills, and if physical distancing rules allow, good laboratory practice and awareness of health and safety; thus equipping you with technical and practical skills that are required by many employers.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 100%, Practical Exam 0%

Additional Assessment Information

In-course assessed (ICA) components 100%The ICA work consists of:Multiple-choice test: 10%Assessed Exercise (three Sections worth 13.33% each): 40%End-of-Block tests/exercises (five Assessments worth 8% each): 40%Write-up of laboratory practical exercise: 10%

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