Bioinformatics and Biochemistry of Nucleic Acids

Module code: NT3005

This module will provide grounding regarding the structure of proteins, how this relates to their function and the mechanisms responsible for regulating gene expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Through lectures, laboratory classes, tutorials and computer-based practical classes, this module will give you a thorough understanding of molecular aspects of the expression and regulation of genetic information in living cells. 'Bioinformatics' gives an introductory overview of the underpinning principles of molecular biology that allow the acquisition, analysis and storage of information about genomes, transcriptomes and proteomes.

This module will also illustrate how to use computers to investigate the organisation and evolution of genes and genomes. You'll take a "hands-on" approach during the practical sessions held in computer laboratories. You'll consider a wide range of genes and genomes, particularly focusing on those of model systems (yeast, Drosophila, mouse) and humans. Plus, you'll also discuss the principles, practices and challenges of curating and making accessible biological information in databases.

Topics covered

  • Access of bioinformatics databases
  • Analysis of genomic data
  • Determination and modelling of protein structure
  • DNA and protein sequence analysis
  • Transcription and RNA processing
  • Translation of RNA into protein
  • Regulation of gene expression
  • DNA molecular manipulation

Learning

  • 45 hours of lectures
  • 15 hours of tutorials
  • 12 hours of practical classes and workshops
  • 228 hours of guided independent study

Assessment

  • 2 exams, 2 hours each (60%)
  • Coursework (20%)
  • Computer practical report (5%)
  • Bioinformatic analysis (5%)
  • Summary of practical data analysis (5%)
  • Long-format writing task (5%)