BIOINF 7110 - Biology for Bioinformatics

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2019

Biology for Bioinformatics provides the basis of the biology required to conduct bioinformatics research and analysis, presenting biology in the context of informatics problems. Bioinformatics falls within the broader domain of data science; Biology for Bioinformatics introduces students to the structural and functional aspects of biology that impact on approaches to developing solutions to bioinformatics problems. Structural aspects of biology covered will include molecular and informational structure within cells, genomes, organisms and populations, while functional aspects will include the processes involved in replication and transmission of genetic information. The consequences of biological structure and function on error profiles in experimental data will be examined.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code BIOINF 7110
    Course Biology for Bioinformatics
    Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 12 x 1 hour Lectures; 12 x 2 hour Tutorials; 3 x 4 hour Workshops
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites Introduction to Biology or equivalent, Maths IA/1B or equivalent
    Restrictions Available to Graduate Certificate in Bioinformatics, Graduate Diploma in Bioinformatics and Master of Bioinformatics (Translational).
    Course Description Biology for Bioinformatics provides the basis of the biology required to conduct bioinformatics research and analysis, presenting biology in the context of informatics problems.

    Bioinformatics falls within the broader domain of data science; Biology for Bioinformatics introduces students to the structural and functional aspects of biology that impact on approaches to developing solutions to bioinformatics problems.

    Structural aspects of biology covered will include molecular and informational structure within cells, genomes, organisms and populations, while functional aspects will include the processes involved in replication and transmission of genetic information. The consequences of biological structure and function on error profiles in experimental data will be examined.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor David Adelson

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

    1. Describe the relationships between underlying biology (structure and function) and error profiles in experimental data.

    2. Evaluate, select and use appropriate contemporary bioinformatics technologies for a given biological system/bioinformatic problem.

    3. Analyse an experimental biological system in order to develop an approach to a bioinformatic analysis.

    4. Evaluate an approach to analysing a biological system bioinformatically given the limitations of the available technology.

    5. Communicate research findings to an audience of peers.

    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)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1-4
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2,3,4
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    5
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    2,3,4
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    Lectures are supported by face-to-face tutorials that build on student’s understanding of structural and functional aspects of biology, and the consequences of these on bioinformatics problems. The preparation and presentation of workshops based on biological problems will help develop students’ capacity to work in small groups, analyse and develop bioinformatics solutions and communicate these to others.

    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).
    Learning Activities Summary

    The course covers concepts in three themes: Biological Structure, Biological Processes and Bioinformatic Consequences.

     Biological Structure:

    • Molecular and informational (e.g. genic/chromosomal/genetic) structures

    • Concept of genome ploidy state

    • Genetic linkage

    • Population structure

       

      Biological Processes:

    • Replication and transcription

    • Genetic recombination

    • Transposition and translocation by various causes (transposable elements or other)

       

      Consequences:

    • Error profiles in experimental data

       

      The lecture stream for this will be:

      4x Molecular and informational structures

      1x Replication/transcription

      3x Mendelian genetics / linkage / polygenic traits

      1x Small damage processes – chemical / replicative / non-ionising radiation

      1x Large damage processes – ionising radiation / transposable elements

      2x Integrative lectures based on case studies

       

      Lectures will have associated tutorials.

       

      Workshops will be held three times in which students will present their research.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Percentage of total assessment Hurdle Yes/No Learning Outcome Approximate timing of assessment
    Tutorial Tasks Formative & Summative

    20%

    No 1,2,3,4 Weekly
    Workshop presenttions/Practical reports Formative & Summative 40% No 1,2,3,4,5 Weeks 4,8,12
    Exam Summative 40% No 1,2,3,4 Exam Period
    Assessment Detail

    Tutorial tasks (total of 20%)

    Each tutorial will include an assessment task which may be one of 1) a short answer quiz at the start of the tutorial or 2) a short written piece on the topic of the tutorial directed by provided questions, to be submitted at the beginning of the subsequent tutorial.

     

    Workshop presentations/reports (3x: total of 40 %)

    Groups of students will be given a choice of topics in biology relating to bioinformatics to select from. In groups, the students will research approaches to analysing the biological system using bioinformatics techniques. The research will include analysis of the problems associated with the approaches. Individually, students will write a 1500 word report on their research. Students will present a 20 min group oral presentation as well as hand in a copy of their presentation and the associated report. Students will also complete a peer assessment for their group members, which will be taken into account in allocating the final mark.  The report and the workshop presentation components would contribute equally to the assessment weighting. The contribution of the peer assessment task would make up 10% of the report component and be comprised a brief (less than one page) assessment of the contributions of each of the members of the group, including the assessing student.

     

    The assessment breakdown for each workshop will be 60% for the report and 40% for the group presentation.

     

    Theory exam (40%)

    The final theory exam will examine all components of the course. It will consist of short answer and long answer questions.

     

    Submission

    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that the assignment is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment.

    Course Grading

    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.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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