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BIO3207 Cell and Molecular Biology 2

Semester 2, 2020 On-campus Toowoomba
Short Description: Cell & Molecular Biology 2
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Sciences
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 010901 - Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 19 September 2020


Examiner: John Dearnaley


Pre-requisite: BIO2107


Significant advances have occurred in the in the fields of cellular biology, molecular technology and genetic engineering. An appreciation of the cellular mechanisms provides an understanding of the potential applications for molecular technologies and is becoming of growing importance in many areas of medical research and diagnostics. This course serves to develop an understanding of the fundamental principles and current techniques in cell and molecular biology. The potential impact of this technology particularly in the field of pathology diagnostics and medical research are explored. The course will provide students with a theoretical knowledge in advanced cell biology and molecular methods. The course particularly aims to provide an understanding of the regulation of subcellular and intercellular processes through on line lecture and tutorial materials, together with interrogation of relevant databases. This course will provide an in depth understanding of current investigative molecular tools in cell and molecular biology that are both laboratory and in silico based.


This course is for students who have completed a basic course in cell and molecular biology. Drawing on this knowledge base, the course addresses the nature of gene organisation, replication and expression in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems. Potential applications of recombinant DNA technology and bioinformatics in biotechnology and medicine are also discussed. This course also examines advanced aspects of cell structure, transport and membrane function. Signalling processes that regulate cell function both in healthy and diseased states are also investigated, together with the regulation of the cell cycle, programmed cell death and tumorigenesis. Students will gain experience in the development and application of conventional, in silico and molecular technologies for organizing, analysing and interpreting complex cellular function and signalling data.


On the successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the current concepts of DNA structure, maintenance and repair
  2. explain the processes involved in gene organisation, replication and expression in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems
  3. demonstrate an understanding of the tools used in recombinant DNA technology including: enzymes, host-vector systems and techniques for gene isolation, cloning and characterization
  4. comment on the applications of molecular biology and bioinformatics to recent advances in biology and medicine
  5. comment on the various debate positions presented by both critics of and advocates of the use of recombinant DNA technology
  6. demonstrate an understanding of current concepts of cell structure and function
  7. explain the major processes involved in cell membrane functioning
  8. demonstrate an understanding of advanced cell signalling processes
  9. demonstrate an advanced understanding of the role of regulation of the cell cycle in healthy tissues and diseased states
  10. access and apply appropriate databases and computer-based tools to the study of cell biology


Description Weighting(%)
1. Genome organisation and Genomics 12.00
2. Genome packaging 8.00
3. Prokaryotic gene expression and development 4.00
4. Eukaryotic gene expression and development 12.00
5. Genome Recombination and Repair 8.00
6. Molecular Databases (Bioinformatics) 4.00
7. DNA cloning and manipulation 12.00
8. Cell membrane functions: compartments, transport and signalling 12.00
9. Signalling cascades in cells 8.00
10. Regulation of the Cell Cycle, Apoptosis and Tumorigenesis 8.00
11. Advanced Techniques in Cell Biology 12.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Brown, TA 2018, Genomes 4, Garland Science, New York.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Alberts, B, et al 2015, Molecular Biology of the Cell, 6th edn, Garland Publishing Inc, New York.
Iwasa J & Marshall W 2016, Karp's Cell and Molecular Biology: Concepts and Experiments, 8th edn, John Wiley, New York.
Krebs JE, Goldstein ES & Kilpatrick ST 2018, Lewin's Genes, 12, Jones &Bartlett.
Lodish, H, et al 2016, Molecular Cell Biology, 8th edn, Scientific American Books, New York.
Nelson, DL & Cox, MM 2017, Lehninger principles of biochemistry, 7th edn, WH Freeman, New York.
Sambrook, J, Fritsch, EF & Maniatis, T 2012, Molecular Cloning: a laboratory manual, 4th edn, Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbour.
Voet, D & Voet, JG & Pratt CW 2015, Fundamentals of Biochemistry, 5th edn, John Wiley and Sons, New York.
Weaver, RF 2012, Molecular Biology, 5th edn, McGraw Hill, Boston.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Examinations 2.00
Lectures 26.00
Private Study 134.00
Tutorials 13.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 100 20 21 Aug 2020
ASSIGNMENT 2 100 20 09 Oct 2020
Online Exam 100 60 End S2 (see note 1)

  1. This will be an open examination. Students will be provided further instruction regarding the exam by their course examiner via StudyDesk. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the official Alternate Assessment Schedule has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

    Requirements after S2 2020:
    To complete each of the assessment items satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each assessment item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

    Requirements after S2 2020:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are:
    An Open Examination is one in which candidates may have access to any printed or written material and a calculator during the examination.

    Requirements after S2 2020:
    Candidates are allowed access only to specific materials during a Restricted Examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are: writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination); calculators which cannot hold textual information (students must indicate on their examination paper the make and model of any calculator(s) they use during the examination). Students whose first language is not English, may, take an appropriate unmarked nonelectronic translation dictionary (but not technical dictionary) into the examination. Dictionaries with any handwritten notes will not be permitted. Translation dictionaries will be subject to perusal and may be removed from the candidate's possession until appropriate disciplinary action is completed if found to contain material that could give the candidate an unfair advantage.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are:
    The details regarding deferred/supplementary examinations will be communicated at a later date.

    Requirements after S2 2020:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. In order to attend laboratory classes, students must provide and wear appropriate personal protective equipment. This shall include a laboratory coat, closed in shoes, and safety glasses. Such equipment must be approved by supervising staff. Failure to provide and wear the appropriate safety equipment will result in students being excluded from classes.

  2. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded the temporary grade: IM (Incomplete-Make-up). An IM grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non directed personal study. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete-Deferred Examination); IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  3. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. If requested by the Examiner, students will be required to provide a copy of assignments submitted for assessment purposes. Such copies should be despatched to USQ within 24 hours of receipt of a request being made. The examiner of a course may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances. The Faculty will normally only accept assessments that have been written, typed or printed on paper-based media. The Faculty will NOT accept submission of assignments by facisimile. Students who do not have regular access to postal services or who are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements. In the event that a due date for an assignment falls on a local public holiday in their area, such as a Show holiday, the due date for the assignment will be the next day. Students are to note on the assignment cover the date of the public holiday for the Examiner's convenience.

Other requirements

  1. All lecture and tutorial content will be delivered on-line.

Date printed 19 September 2020