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Information for module BIOL3010

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Module code:BIOL3010(Add to my personalised list)
Title:Molecular Evolution
Credit value:.5
Division:Division of Biosciences
Module organiser:Prof Ziheng Yang FRS
Organiser's location:Biological Sciences
Available for students in Year(s):3,4,
Module prerequisites:BIOL1005 and BIOL1002 or equivalents. BIOL2015 (Computational Biology) highly recommended. This module assumes a good understanding of probability and statistics, such as probability distributions (Poisson, binomial, normal, etc.) and hypothesis testing (z test, t test, chi square test, etc.). The module is aimed primarily at MSi and Masters students. Third-year undergraduates wishing to take the module should discuss this with the course organiser, Prof Ziheng Yang. Please see course organizer's notes below. 
Module outline:In the last few decades, molecular genetics has grown explosively, and generated an enormous amount of DNA and protein sequence data. The trend is continuing as many whole genomes are now being sequenced in various genome projects. There is now an acute need for making sense of this flood of data, and for training in bioinformatics to take advantage of the available methods. Evolutionary analysis has been ever more important in this effort. By comparing genes and genomes across species, one can interpret Nature�s grand experiment over millions of years of evolution and detect evidence of natural selection on genes and gene regions, thus gaining insights into their functional significance. In this course, students will learn about exciting new developments in comparative genomics and the tools and techniques of modern molecular evolution, bioinformatics, and phylogenetics.  
Module aims:To provide students with bioinformatics skills useful in molecular data analysis, as well as to test recent theories of molecular evolution. 
Module objectives:Molecular evolution is a young and exciting field and combines advances in molecular biology and computer technology. This course covers major areas of molecular evolution and bioinformatics tools used in analysing phylogeny. The student will learn about different types of molecular data and their collection; major transitions of evolution; genomic evolution and genome projects; comparison of DNA sequences to calculate genetic distances; phylogeny reconstruction by parsimony, distance, likelihood and Bayesian methods; test of the molecular clock and dating speciation events; Darwinian selection at the molecular level, and methods for detecting it; within-species variation and evolution of modern humans; and mechanisms of molecular evolution and the neutral theory. A computer-based bioinformatics practical will allow students to familiarise themselves with the most up-to-date software used in molecular phylogenetics. The course should be attractive to a diverse range of students in Biology, Ecology, Genetics, Human Genetics, Zoology, Anthropology and Human Sciences, Anatomy, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, as well as related disciplines. 
Key skills provided by module:Bioinformatics skills for accessing public databases such as GENBANK/EMBL, aligning sequences, and conducting phylogenetic analyses. Skills for writing up reports. Team-work skills. The course will in particular provide skills for many M Sci research projects in evolution, biodiversity. The experience will also provide a basis of knowledge useful in graduate studies or careers in fields as diverse as Human Molecular Genetics, Medical Genetics, Virology, Evolutionary Biology, and Conservation Genetics. 
Module timetable: 
Module assessment:Unseen two-hour written examination 70.00%.
Coursework (1,500 words) 30.00%. 
Notes:Course organizer's note: Please make sure you meet the prerequisites listed above. A few lectures in this course require a basic understanding of statistics or biostatistics. If you have never heard of the normal distribution, the chi square, hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, etc., please do not take this course. Also please do not take this course if you hate equations. If unsure, please contact the course organizer. To register for this module please apply using Portico and await approval from the Teaching office.  
Taking this module as an option?: 
Link to virtual learning environment(registered students only) 
Last updated:2015-01-12 17:42:24 by