Programme/Approved Electives for 2021/22
Available as a Free Standing Elective
Advances in biotechnology, biology and biomedicine, and their impact on the quality of life, the economy, medicine and health care increasingly depend on the application of structural biology which provides detailed three-dimensional structural information at the atomic level of the proteins which are central to all life processes. While structural biology includes a variety of different techniques such as crystallography and electron microscopy, this module concentrates on the outcomes of these techniques rather than the techniques themselves, with in-depth analysis of how proteins, enzymes and viruses recognise and bind their targets, and how detailed structural information is used to intervene in or enhance these processes. An important aspect of health and well being in all forms of life is the ability to prevent, resist, fight and recover from infection and disease, and much of the module concentrates on how an increased understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved provides a unique opportunity for the design of potential diagnostic and therapeutic agents and strategies.
The aims of this module are to show how our knowledge and understanding of biological function and the molecular basis of disease are enhanced and underpinned by detailed structural information and to develop skills in the evaluation of published scientific literature.
Intended Learning Outcomes
describe and critically discuss examples of the contribution of structural information to our understanding of the molecular basis of disease: 2describe and critically discuss the importance and uses of structural information in the detailed investigation of some or all of enzyme function, DNA recognition, tumorigenic mutations, cell signalling, recognition in innate immunity, virus architecture and pathogenicity, structure and function in adaptive immunity, cell cycle regulation, apoptosis: 2describe and critically discuss examples of the uses of structural information in the design of therapeutic agents: 2search for, select and retrieve information from the scientific databases and literature: 1abstract, synthesise, integrate and critically evaluate information from the scientific literature: 1describe and critically discuss examples of the relationship of protein structure to its function: 1,2
12 Hours Live sessions (demonstrations, seminars, tutorials, discussions) 12x 5 hours engagement with asynchronous content02 Hours end of module examination in a 9-5 session format40 Hours research and completion of in-course report36 Hours private study and preparation for examination
1: Report weighted 40%
Description of Module Assessment
Report 1500-2000 wordsEarly in the module students are given the reference of a published scientific paper in structural biology. They are expected to find this paper on the web of knowledge (WOK) or through the Keele electronic on-line Journal facility and to write a short summary of its major findings. Students then locate other published papers in the same scientific field through the WOK, choose 5 of these to study, and discuss briefly how each of these relates scientifically to each other and to the original article. Based on the available objective evidence, including the number of citations of each paper and the impact factor of the journals, students then estimate and discuss the relative importance and impact in the field of both the original paper and the 5 additional papers. The completed report is to be submitted via the KLE (Turnitin).2: Open Book Examination weighted 60%
Online open book examThe exam paper will be released on KLE as a word document at 9am on the morning of the exam with the requirement to submit through Turnitin by 5pm. International students will be asked to notify the School if they need an extension due
to different time zones. The exam paper will consist of essay style questions only with two out of four questions to be answered. The recommended length for each essay answer will be stated on the exam paper as 500-750 words. We recommend that students do not exceed 750 words per essay-based question as we will be assessing the quality of the answer, not the quantity.
Although students have been given significant time to complete this exam script, we expect most students to spend no more than 2 hours. Answers should be as accurate and concise as possible. Additional time has been given simply to provide a more flexible and inclusive approach, for example, required for students with disability, specific learning requirements, caring responsibilities and so on.