3576.22 - Molecular Cell Biology II

Course number
Molecular Cell Biology II
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 cell biology and related molecular courses, like 3514 Biochemistry, 3518 Molecular cell biology I, 3516 Genetics.
To provide the students with considerable insight into and knowledge of some central topics of interest for molecular cell biology and biomedicine.
Signal transduction at the cell membrane. Intracellular signaling pathways and cellular responses. Cell cycle and its regulation and controls. Roles and functions of stem cells. Cell death and its regulation. Neurobiology: cells, ion channels, synapses, senses, memory. Immunology: host defenses, immunoglobulins, B-cells, T-cells, MHC and antigen presentation, innate and adaptive immune system. The making of cancer and its characteristics.
Learning and teaching approaches
Lectures. Problem solving (as individual students and as groups). Discussions. Student presentations.
Learning outcomes
On completion of the course, the successful student should be able to: 1. Compare and describe in considerable detail how extracellular signals are detected by receptors, transmitted across the cell membrane, and subsequently conveyed into different intracellular signaling pathways, of which some give rapid and reversible responses, and others give slow and long-lasting responses by changing gene expression. 2. Describe and explain how cell cycle is controlled and regulated, including the roles of different molecular participants. 3. Explain the concept of stem cells and their niches, describe different examples of stem cells (including human examples), and discuss the biological importance of stem cells and health implications of the concept. 4. Compare symmetrical and asymmetrical cell division, describe the biological importance of polarized cells, and the biological and molecular link between asymmetrical cell division and cell polarity. 5. Discuss the importance of regulated/programmed cell death, and describe the parts, functions and mechanisms of the molecular machinery in regulated cell death. 6. Describe the major cell types in the nervous system, how nerve signals are transmitted through a single cell and between cells, and the molecular participants in signal transmission. 7. Explain and describe how the nervous system are involved in sensing the external environment (in broad sense), including the functions and mechanisms of the molecular participants in this sensing. 8. Describe in some cellular and molecular details the formation and storage of memories. 9. Describe the parts and functions of the innate and adaptive immune system, including how pathogens are detected, how the immune systems reacts exogenous agents, and how different parts of the immune system collaborate. 10. Contrast the biology, genomics and behavior of cancer cells and normal cells, and in considerable detail describe how cancer cells originate and develop. 11. Connect and combine information from different parts of the present curriculum. 12. Connect and combine information from the present curriculum with those of previous courses, in particular “Biochemistry”, “Molecular cell biology I” and “Genetics”.
Assessment method
Combination of 1) accepted obligatory exercises and presentations and 2) graded written examination. 1) The obligatory exercises and presentations must be delivered within the specified deadlines. The answers must be accepted (no grading) by the instructor. 2) Four-hour written examination. No auxiliary materials allowed, except for electronic calculator. The written examination will be performed in Wiseflow with the student’s own computer. If this is not possible, the examination will be with pen and paper. When the exercises and presentations have been accepted, they are also valid in case of re-examination.
Marking scale
H Lodish et al. Molecular Cell Biology 9th ed. W.H. Freeman Macmillan Learning, 1264 pages. Paperback ISBN-13: 978-1-319-36548-6 (blackwells.co.uk or amazon.co.uk) E-book ISBN: 978-1-319-36502-8. Handouts.
Svein-Ole Mikalsen