ANAT SC 3102 - Comparative Reproductive Biology of Mammals III
North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015
General Course Information
Course Code ANAT SC 3102 Course Comparative Reproductive Biology of Mammals III Coordinating Unit Anatomy and Pathology Term Semester 1 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 6 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Assumed Knowledge ANAT SC 2109 or ANAT SC 2500 or ANAT SC 2200 or ANAT SC 2501 Course Description The course provides an overview of mammalian reproductive biological processes with an emphasis on the diversity of reproductive mechanisms that have evolved in placental, marsupial, and monotreme mammals. The lecture topics include sex determination and sex differentiation, development of the gonads, gonadal ducts and external genitalia, the differentiation, and dynamics of production, of the male and female gametes together with changes that occur to the spermatozoon during transit of the male and female genital ducts. The cell and molecular biology of sperm-egg interactions at the time of fertilisation are then given, followed by the processes involved in egg activation and differentiation of the early embryo. Macromorphological and cellular changes associated with implantation, placentation and lactation in various groups of mammals are then covered. This is followed by an overview of the causation of, and ways of overcoming, sub- and infertility in the human species. Finally an outline of the biological principles underlying contraceptive technology, and the application of assisted reproductive technology to the conservation of rare and endangered species of placental and marsupial mammals is given. Tutorials cover a variety of reproductive biological topics ranging from an overview of the biology of carcinoma of the prostate gland and breast in the human to the unique reproductive biology of the echidna. For practical work students carry out a research project that involves hypothesis testing and utilises a variety of light and electron microscopical techniques - the latter in Adelaide Microscopy. Students who undertake this course will obtain background knowledge that will ideally suit them for future courses in either reproductive health or in wildlife biology.
Course Coordinator: Dr Eleanor PeirceCourse Coordinator: Dr Eleanor Peirce
Phone: +61 8 8313 5191
Location: Room N131b, level 1, Medical School North
Tutor: Hanna McLennan
Phone: +61 8 8313 5743
Location: Room N116, Medical School North
Tutor: Romany Stansborough
Phone: +61 8 8313 5743
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes
1 Have gained an overview of the science of comparative mammalian reproductive biology. 2 Have gained factual background knowledge of morphological, and in particular cellular, basis of reproductive biology with an overview of the evolution of mammalian gonads, gametes and their interaction at fertilisation. 3 Have basic understanding of the practical application of assisted reproductive technology to animal breeding and conservation programs of rare and endangered species of mammals. 4 Have obtained background knowledge, and an historical overview, of the development of contraceptive technologies. 5 Have learnt how to plan, and carry out, a research investigation that will involve hypothesis testing, development of time management skills, and the writing of a research report in the form of a scientific paper with appropriate referencing to relevant background literature. 6 Have basic understanding of skills required to work in the field of human reproductive health and animal reproduction. 7 Have gained experience in the use of various microscopical techniques.
University Graduate Attributes
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:
University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s) Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 2, 3, 4 The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1, 5 An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 4, 5, 6, 7 Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 2, 3, 5 A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 5, 6, 7 A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1 An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 6
Required ResourcesM H Johnson (2013) Essential Reproduction 7th Edition. Publisher - Blackwell, Oxford
Recommended ResourcesC R Austin & R V Short (1982) Reproduction in Mammals, Second edition, Volumes 1 – 3. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
Online LearningCourse contents (lecture notes, laboratory and tutorial handouts) on MyUni
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesAttendance at most of the tutorials and the completion of a written research report is essential for successful completion of this course. A mid-semester test will be held at which time students will gain experience in answering questions on the theoretical background knowledge gained up until that time.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.Students are expected to carry out independent reading of research papers around the research topic of their project and to gain a comprehensive knowledge of that field so that they can put their research findings into context of what has already been published. They will be expected to write up the report of their project in the form of a research paper as if were to be submitted to a relevant scientific journal for publication. They should expect to spend at least 4 hours per week on their project work and the relevant reading of the scientific literature.
Learning Activities Summary
Sex determination & differentiation in mammals
Evolution of sex determining mechanisms in vertebrates
Mammalian testis exocrine function, spermatogenesis and the development of sperm form during spermiogenesis
Prostate structure and the cell biology of prostatic cancer
Testis endocrine function; steroid biosynthetic pathway and androgen control of spermatogenesis
Clinical andrology and its practical application in assessing sperm function and male fertility
Oogenesis and ovarian follicular development
Mammalian ovarian cycles; their variation in length and control by various luteotrophic and luteolytic mechanisms
Gonadal ageing: puberty induction and development of fertility; menopause and associated endocrine changes
Ovarian endocrine activity and its effects on the rest of the female tract especially the uterus
Oocyte selection and ovulation
Sperm transport and sperm selection in the female reproductive tract
Sperm-egg interactions, egg coat penetration, and sperm-oolemma binding and fusion
Fertilisation, zygote formation and egg activation
Early embryo development in eutherians and marsupial mammals
Immunology of reproduction and why is the fetus not rejected by the mother.
Comparative invasive and non-invasive implantation in mammals and occurrence of delayed implantation.
Cell biology of placentation
Development of milk synthesis and secretion; lactation
Reproductive technology & its application to overcoming subfertility & infertility in humans
Reproductive technology & its application to conservation of rare and endangered species of mammals
Control of fertility, its historical background & biological basis of contraceptive technology
Tutorial topics are variable but include the following:
· The Red Queen Hypothesis – its significance & importance
· Research project topic presentations
· Discussion of post-meiotic sperm development and evolution of sperm form
· Monotreme reproduction and its seasonality
· Totipotency of the early mammalian embryo and early embryo differentiation
· Intracytoplasmic sperm injection of human eggs - its advantages and disadvantages
· Cell biology of breast cancer
· Application of reproductive technology for maximising livestock production
· Australia’s future population trends and predictions on environmental sustainability (Australian Academy of Sciences video)
Small Group Discovery ExperienceFor the practical component, small groups of students (maximum of 4 per group) will undertake a research project on some aspect of reproductive biology. A selection of topics will be provided for students to choose from by the course coordinator taking into account the resources and material available. The project will introduce students to the various stages of the research process, from the development of a research proposal, to formulating an hypothesis, executing a series of experiments to investigate the topic in hand, critically evaluating the results, the discussion of them in the light of the current literature, and the writing a research report in the form of a scientific paper. Typically the carrying out of the research will involve the use of a variety of microscopical techniques which will be supervised by the two teaching assistants.
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed Midsemester test (on materials presented in weeks 1 to 6) Summative 10% 1-2 Project proposal Formative N/A 3, 5, 6 Research report Summative 30% 3, 5, 6 Final exam Summative 60% 1, 2, 4
Research Project Timeline:
Background reading and preparation of a draft research proposal - Weeks 1-3
Submission of draft research proposal - 11.30pm, Friday Week 3
Appointment with coordinator for discussion and evaluation of draft research proposal - during Week 4
Submission of revised research proposal - 11.30pm Friday Week 4
Execution of research project - Weeks 5-12 (including mid-semester break)
Submission of final research report - 11.30pm, Friday Week 13
Assessment DetailStudents will be assessed on their theoretical knowledge base in both the midsemester test and in the end of semester examination. Each student's ability to synthesise relevant literature, plan a research project and analyse data using relevant statistical methods will be assessed in the written research project submission at the completion of the semester.
SubmissionThe final research report must be submitted online via Turnitin in MyUni. Reports submitted later that the 11.30pm Friday Week 13 deadline will be marked "without prejudice", but marking penalties will apply.
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme) Grade Mark Description FNS Fail No Submission F 1-49 Fail P 50-64 Pass C 65-74 Credit D 75-84 Distinction HD 85-100 High Distinction CN Continuing NFE No Formal Examination RP Result Pending
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.
Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.
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