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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Comparative Genomics & Developmental Biology
Module Code BE310
School School of Biotechnology
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Denise Harold
Semester 2: Denise Harold
Autumn: Denise Harold
Module TeachersAnne Parle-McDermott
Denise Harold
Linda Holland
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat examination

This module will introduce students to the field of comparative genomics and it's many applications and to the field of developmental biology with a focus on the molecular processes underlying Eukaryotic development.

Learning Outcomes

1. Discuss the basic concepts of comparative genomics and developmental biology from both a computational and cellular perspective
2. Describe the process of analysing biological sequence data from databases to statistical methods for analysing/assessing data signal
3. Discuss concepts in molecular evolution
4. Applications of comparative genomics: across species, within species and within individuals
5. Consideration of the concepts development and the main model organisms used in this field.
6. Demonstrate an understanding of cell differentiation and it's reversibility in different contexts.
7. Knowledge of the physiology of human development and current research to investigate its molecular aspects.
8. An understanding and being able to describe the molecular detail of Drosophila early development.
9. Knowledge of specific laboratory techniques that have relevance of investigation of development processes.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Online activity30Asynchronous lectures
Tutorial10No Description
Independent Study85reading of recommended book chapters and publications recommended to you by your lecturer (these may change year on year)
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Comparative Genomics
Introduction to Comparative Genomics, key concepts including homology, orthology and paralogy. Major comparative genomic methods will be dealt with in detail, including pairwise and multiple alignment methodologies, probability and statistical analysis of sequence alignments, databases and mining, phylogeny reconstruction. Applications of comparative genomics across species, within species and within individuals will be explored.

Developmental Biology
A brief history of developmental biology. Early key experiments and milestones. Introduction of model organisms such as Xenopus, zebrafish, chick,mouse, Drosophila and C. elegans. Basic stages of development:comparison of model organisms. Focus on Drosophila lifecycle and development. Drosophila developmental genetics- establishment of body plan: anterior-posterior axis, dorsal-ventral axis.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment20% Examination Weight80%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentLoop assignments20%As required
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 3
Indicative Reading List

  • Jonathan Pevsner: 0, Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics, 3,
  • David W Mount: 0, Sequence and Genome Analysis,
  • Scott F. Gilbert: 0, Developmental biology, 7,
  • Lewis Wolpert: 0, Principles of Development, 3,
  • J.M.W. Slack: 0, Essential Delevopmental Biology, 2,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
AFUAge Friendly University Programme
BSSAStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
BSSAOStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
GCBBSc in Genetics & Cell Biology
HMSAStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
HMSAOStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
IESAStudy Abroad (Institute of Education)
IESAOStudy Abroad (Institute of Education)
SHSAStudy Abroad (Science & Health)
SHSAOStudy Abroad (Science & Health)
Date of Last Revision21-MAY-08

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