skip to primary navigationskip to content

Recent titles of projects and essays


The Department offers the choice of ‘wet’ or ‘dry’ projects, which are undertaken in the Lent Term.

Examples of project titles offered 2015

  • Investigating islands of divergence in the primate genome data using population genetics statistics
  • An RNAi screen for kinases that activate myosin II at the oocyte posterior
  • E-N Cadherin and the transition between self-renewal and differentiation in embryonic stem cells
  • Analysis of ectopic localisation of the mitotic protein Endos
  • Epigenetic control of the imprint memory in mammals
  • Study of the expression and function of Notch during early differentiation
  • Host adaptation of the non-structural influenza protein NS1
  • Using patterns of phylogenetic loss to predict functionally related genes and binding partners
  • Glaucoma in leonberger dogs
  • Tracking down function of the motor disease protein spatacsin by genetic interactions
  • Is there cellular mechano-sensing in yeast?  
  • Single cell analysis of neurons that provide non-olfactory sensory input into mushroom bodies of larval Drosophila
  • Expression of proteins at the Kt-MT interface
  • Analysis of gene structure and gene expression profiles using Drosophila embryogenesis
  • Indole signalling  and oxidative stress in E.coli

Examples of project titles offered 2014

  • The role of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor in Alzheimer's disease
  • Testing neurons for odour discrimination in larval Drosophila
  • Comparative analysis of phenotypes
  • What determines the evolutionary rates of pathogenic bacteria?
  • Sox100B target genes
  • A teaching resource for transcriptional regulation and transcription factor combinatorics
  • Tracking in vivo mobility of polarity determinants during the cell cycle
  • Indole Pulse Signalling and Stress Responses in E. coli
  • Screen for new chromatin regulators that function with heterochromatin proteins
  • Development of database mining approaches to identify new members of biological pathways
  • Maintaining ‘epigenetic’ memory - Characterisation of ZFP57 mutant mice
  • Use of photoconvertible fluorescent proteins to untangle the growth cascade of S. pombe
  • In silico characterization of mitochondrial proteins and RNAs in Drosophila
  • Mouse digestive tract development - Lineage tracing using Troy-GFP-ires-CreERT2 mouse line

Examples of project titles offered 2013

  • Generating tools for targeted expression in Drosophila inhibitory neurons
  • Evolutionary dynamics of carriage and disease in Bacteria
  • Do flies acquire immunity to viral infection?
  • Silencing of chalcone synthase (CHS) in Arabidopsis
  • Human topoisomerase 2α, SUMO and the centromere
  • What are the phenotypes of mutations in Drosophila spastic paraplegia genes?
  • Transcription factors that may regulate tissue or developmental-stage specific expression in Drosophila
  • How can we learn the most relevant functions in annotation-rich genes?
  • Protein functions in centriole biogenesis - looking for missing molecules of the jigsaw
  • Study of the variables controlling differentiation of ES cells
  • Application of in silico tools and techniques in translational research to uncover cross-species disease relationships
  • Mesodermal reporter expression in transgenic Drosophila embryos
  • What affects the rate of protein clearance in the brain?
  • Exploring the role of Miranda in asymmetric cell division

Extended Essays

An extended essay is completed over the Christmas Vacation

Examples of extended essay titles offered 2014/5

  • How have bdelloid rotifers avoided sex for so long?
  • Human (especially female) meiosis appears to be extraordinarily error-prone. What progress has been made in understanding this genetic problem?
  • To what extent can evolution be predicted?
  • Discuss the proposition that we can assign a function to 80% of the DNA in the human genome
  • Telomeropathies: Consider the contribution of telomere maintenance mechanisms to inherited genetic disease
  • The biology of Crispr/Cas systems and their uses in eukaryotic genome engineering
  • How can genomic data be used to understand cancer evolution and to assist with cancer therapy?
  • Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in mammals - fact or fiction?
  • How much can we learn about essential genes from RNAi screens in worm and fly?
  • Discuss the origin and biological significance of horizontal gene transfer events in higher plants
  • Why do endosymbiotic bacteria have small genomes?
  • How does a cell make a decision to divide or stop dividing?
  • What has experimental evolution taught us about how new species arise?
  • Discuss the limitations and potential of recent developments in haploid cell genetics

Examples of extended essay titles offered 2013/4

  • What can we learn from different types of biological networks using Gene Set Enrichment Analysis?
  • Discuss the methylome of higher plants
  • The limitations and potential of recent developments in haploid cell genetics
  • What has experimental evolution taught us about how new species arise?
  • In future antibiotics may be of decreasing use: Review the alternative or complementary anti-bacterial strategies that might avoid a healthcare disaster
  • How much can we trust biological databases?
  • Why do cancer cells have multiple centrosomes?
  • How have the recent findings of chromothripsis and kategis changed our view of carcinogenesis?
  • Properties and mechanisms of action of transcriptional enhancers
  • Discuss mitotic microtubule plus-end regulators in humans
  • Exploiting tumour epigenetics for cancer therapy
  • The cell cycle exit mechanism - how do cells brake division?
  • What can we learn about cell fate decisions from the analysis of single cells?
  • Is the eukaryotic genome organised into domains?

Examples of extended essay titles offered 2012/3 

  • What can we learn from different types of biological networks using Gene Set Enrichment Analysis?
  • Some higher plants have evolved the capacity to parasitise other higher plants. Discuss the interactions between these plants & hosts
  • Why do endosymbiotic bacteria have small genomes?
  • The role of centrosome deregulation in tumorigenesis & its potential as a clinical strategy to kill cancer cells by targeting centrosomes
  • Discuss the limitations and potential of recent developments in haploid cell genetics
  • Why do Y chromosomes degenerate?
  • Modelling segmentation in the fly embryo
  • The role of signalling in the control of single cell phenotypic variabilities during pattern formation in development
  • Discuss the contribution of genetics to our understanding of the cell cycle, and vice versa
  • Common fragile sites : What are they and are they of any biological significance?
  • Discuss spindle positioning mechanisms in vertebrate model systems : Comment on how spindle mispositioning may contribute to carcinogenesis