Genes and Environment

Subject BIOL10003 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 1 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2013:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 3 x one hour lectures per week, 18 hours of workshops (1 hour of theory workshop and 2 hours of practical workshop per fortnight), 6 hours of additional problem solving classes (1 hour per fortnight), 24 hours of pre-and post laboratory activities (2 hours per week), 24 hours of e-learning, online activities including independent learning tasks (2 hours per week).
Total Time Commitment:

Estimated total time commitment of 120 hours





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:

Credit cannot be gained for this subject and any of

  • 650-132 Biomed: Genetics & Biodiversity (prior to 2008)
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering applications for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005) and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, this subject requires all students to actively and safely participate in laboratory activities.

Students who feel their disability may impact upon their participation are encouraged to discuss this with the Subject Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Assoc Prof Dawn Gleeson


Biology Laboratory

Level 5 Redmond Barry Building

Tel: (03) 8344 4881
(03) 9347 0604

Subject Overview:

The objective of this subject is to familiarise students with the modern concepts of genetics, human evolution and model organisms used in biomedicine research.

Topics include the genetic consequence of meiosis; inheritance; chromosomes, genes/alleles, dominance relationships, autosomal/sex-linked inheritance; one locus, blood groups, pedigree analysis, examples of human genetic disease; more than one locus, gene interaction, linkage, multifactorial/quantitative inheritance, heritability; DNA structure and function, replication, transcription, translation, mutation; genes and development; tools used for molecular genetic analysis: restriction enzymes, PCR, gel electrophoresis, aims of the Human Genome Project; recombinant DNA technology; genes in populations; human diversity, polymorphisms, selection, the theory of evolution; species; biodiversity and genetic resources; model systems for research in biomedicine; bacteria: beneficial and harmful bacteria; viruses and infectious molecules; fungal pathogens and the role of fungi in medicine; evolution of primates and humans.


At the completion of this subject, students should be able to

  • understand the various transmission and invasion strategies of parasites.
  • understand the taxa of parasites and the importance of sexual and asexual reproduction to them.
  • understand how natural selection works and resistance evolves.
  • understand the evolutionary history of humans
  • describe the basic mechanisms of inheritance, including the relationship between phenotype and genotype, transmission genetics, recombination and multifactorial inheritance
  • explain the structure of DNA, its replication and the molecular basis of gene expression,transcription, translation, the genetic code and mutation.
  • describe tools used in molecular genetic analysis and aims of the Human Genome Project
  • describe the nature of genetic variation in populations, natural selection, microevolution, reproductive isolation and speciation
  • explain the evidence for the evolution of life including molecular, fossil and phylogenic data with emphasis on primate evolution
  • appreciate the biodiversity of life including the importance of bacteria, viruses and fungi in biomedical science

A 45 minute, multiple choice test held mid-semester (10%); work related to practical classes during the semester (35%), made up of a combination of assessment of practical skills within the practical class, completion of up to 5 on-line pre-practical tests; written work within the practical not exceeding 500 words; up to 5 short multiple choice tests, and a written assignment based on the practical content not exceeding 1000 words; completion of 5 Independent Learning Tasks throughout the semester (5%); a 3hr examination on theory and practical work in the examination period (50%).

A pass in the practical work is necessary to pass the subject.

Prescribed Texts:

D Sadava, D M Hillis, H G Heller, M R Berenbaum, Life. 9th Ed. Sinaver/Freeman, 2009

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

At the completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • plan effective work schedules to be prepared for tutorials, practical classes and examinations.
  • be familiar with electronic forms of communication and be discerning in the use of the web for seeking information.
  • integrate the computer software packages into the course to assist learning.
  • be able to complete basic manipulations with laboratory equipment, for example the microscope and gel electrophoresis.
  • develop skills in recording observations, analysis and interpretation of data
  • develop basis skills in statistical analysis of genetic data.
  • access basic information from the library both electronically and in a traditional way.
  • begin to develop skills in working collaboratively with other students in a practical class.

This subject is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Biomedicine.

This subject involves the use of animals that form an essential part of the learning objectives for this subject. Please note: There are some non-dissection alternatives for those who have strong philosophical objections and these and other alternatives can be discussed with the subject co-ordinator.

Required Equipment - laboratory coat, microscope slides, coverslips & marker pen.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Biomedicine

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