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IB Cell and Developmental Biology : Genetics teaching components

The following segments of the course are taught by members of the Department of Genetics:

Dr Marisa Segal : Eukaryotic Cytoskeleton & Mitotic Cell Division [4 lectures]

Aims: To review the basic repertoire of cytoskeletal components in a typical eukaryotic cell ; To study the basic properties of cytoskeletal polymers and their modulation in cells ; To explore the role of the cytoskeleton in fundamental processes - cell shape and motility; mitotic cell division

Professor Alfonso Martinez Arias : Gene Expression and Cell Decisions [3 lectures]

Lecture 1 - The lac Operon: essential features of a genetic regulatory circuit for an inductive system
Lecture 2 - Lambda: a genetic switch, the circuitry of a decision and the programme it regulates
Lecture 3 - Gene expression in eukaryotes: s. cerevisiae Gal4 as a guide for universal principles of transcriptional regulation

Dr David Summers: Genetic Systems of Prokaryotes [3 lectures]

Strategies of gene expression and organisation in prokaryotes - bacteriophage lambda, the prokaryotic cell cycle, nucleus, prokaryotic genomes (chromosomes and plasmids) and the genetic flexibility of prokaryotes.

Section 1 - LIFE WITHOUT A NUCLEUS : The Prokaryote Cell Cycle ; The Prokaryote Nucleoid and its Structure ; Lack of a Nuclear Membrane has Consequences for Gene Regulation
Section 2 -  PROKARYOTE GENOMES : The Prokaryotic Chromosome ; Bacterial Plasmids ; Plasmid structure ; Plasmid-encoded phenotypes ; Plasmid Maintenance ; Active Partition of Low Copy Number Plasmids ; Site-Specific Recombination Assists Partitioning Maintenance of Multicopy Plasmids ; Multimer Resolution Systems
Section 3 - THE GENETIC FLEXIBILITY OF PROKARYOTES : Gene Transfer by Conjugation ; Mobile Elements ; Insertion Sequences (IS) ; The Tn3 Transposon Family

Dr Cahir O’Kane : Genome Organisation and Genomics [5 lectures]

We now have overwhelming amounts of data on the organisation and behaviour of DNA in genomes. In your 1A Biology of Cells lectures last year, you were introduced to genomes and genomics. Here you will hear more about the tools of genomics, how genomes are structured and evolve, and how genomics can be used in cell and developmental biology. Introduces many of the techniques routinely used in genetics labs (e.g. microscopy, sequencing, Southern, northern, western blotting, PCR, DNA microarrays, RNAi, transgenesis, systems biology)

The 5 lectures will cover the following areas, approximately one topic per lecture:
Genome content and how to sequence it ; Genome sequence variation and what we can learn from it ; Copy number variants and how they evolve ; Mobile DNA – biology and evolution ; Genome engineering and its uses in cell and developmental biology

Professor Erik Miska : Molecular Biology of the Cell Nucleus II

[Details to follow]


Professor Alfonso Martinez Arias ; Dr Marisa Segal ; Dr Cahir O'Kane ; Dr Catherine Lindon

Further information about the course

Website :

Programme specification/Aims & outcomes :

Course organiser : Dr Christine Farr, Department of Genetics

Course administaror : RozMcKenzie, Department of Genetics

Contact : [Roz McKenzie]

Contributing Depts : Plant Sciences, Genetics, Zoology and Biochemistry