3518.20 - Molecular Cell Biology I

Course number
Molecular Cell Biology I
A) Admitted to the bachelor programme in biology at the University of the Faroe Islands, and following the normal study progression, or B) Students following single courses need to have sufficient background in biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry, like: 3532/3533/3534 Introduction to biology I/II/III, 3512 General and inorganic chemistry; 3513 Organic chemistry; 3514 Biochemistry.
To provide the students with knowledge of cell structure and function, organelles, growth and cell cycle, and cellular and molecular interactions.
Structure of cells. Structure and function of organelles. Functions of DNA, RNA and proteins. Gene expression. Intracellular transport. Intercellular and intracellular communication: Hormones, growth factors, signal transduction. Genomes. Cell cycle and division. Evolution. Organization of tissues. Stem cells. Cancer. Laboratory demonstrations of cell culture, and laboratory exercises elucidating some cellular processes and some methods in cell biology, including use of light microscopy and epifluorescence microscopy.
Learning and teaching approaches
Lectures. Problem solving. Discussions. Student presentations. Laboratory demonstrations and exercises with making of report. Some tasks will be considered obligatory
Learning outcomes
On completion of the course, the successful student should be able to: 1. Describe the structures of eukaryotic cells and their major organelles. 2. Describe and discuss the most significant functions of the major organelles. 3. Describe regulation of proteins, chromatin structure and gene expression. 4. Describe in considerable detail the main parts of the cytoskeleton and its constituents. 5. Give a basic overview of methods used in analyzing genes and genomes. 6. Describe experimental methods and tools for studying the cytoskeleton, some membrane-enclosed organelles and their trafficking pathways, including basic theoretical background of the methods (for example: fluorescence or antibodies). 7. Perform some simple experiments that can elucidate the cytoskeleton, organelles and their trafficking pathways. 8. Examine and discuss evolution of genes and genomes at basic levels. 9. Examine and explain structure, functions and components of cellular membranes, including transport of molecules and ions across membranes and the importance of such transport in cell homeostasis and neuronal signaling. 10. Describe and categorize cellular signaling pathways, including the transfer of a stimulus across a cell membrane, and how the stimulus is propagated to its effector, it be an enzyme or one or several genes. 11. Describe and explain all parts of the cell cycle, including mitosis; give basic review over the regulatory mechanisms of the cycle, and mechanisms for controlled cell death. 12. Describe two major types of tissues (connective and epithelial tissues), the concept of cellular communities and their organization (like communication between cells and the adhesion between cells), and show how stem cells maintain and renew tissues. 13. Contrast cancer cells and normal cells, and show how cancer behaves and disobeys the "rules" of the normal cellular community. 14. Connect and combine information from different parts of the present curriculum. 15. Connect and combine information from the present curriculum with those of previous courses, in particular biochemistry.
Assessment method
Combination of 1) accepted obligatory tasks and obligatory laboratory report and 2) graded written examination. 1A) The obligatory tasks (presentations, problem solving, etc.) must be delivered within the specified deadlines, and they must be accepted (no grading) by the instructor before the exam. 1B) If the report is not submitted at the given deadline, the student is not allowed to participate in the exam. If the report is submitted within the specified deadline, but not yet accepted (for example because of required revisions), it is possible to attend the exam. The latest point of time for acceptance of the report is three weeks after the exam. If the report is not accepted at this point of time, the student will not pass the course. 2) Four-hour written examination. No auxiliary materials allowed, except for electronic calculator. Computers are not allowed. The course requirements are not fulfilled unless the obligatory tasks and the laboratory report are accepted. When the obligatory tasks and laboratory report have been accepted, they are also valid in case of re-examination. It will not be possible to attend a re-examination before all obligatory tasks and the laboratory report are accepted. The re-examination will normally follow point 2 above. A pre-qualifying examination (test examination with internal evaluation) may be required before a proper re-examination is scheduled.
Marking scale
Bruce Alberts et al. Essential Cell Biology 4th Ed. Garland Science. 2014, 864 pages. Hardcover: ISBN 978-0-8153-4454-4. Paperback: ISBN 978-0-8153-4455-1. Handouts.
Svein-Ole Mikalsen