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Unit information: Developmental and Cellular Physiology of the Specialised Cell in 2014/15

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Unit name Developmental and Cellular Physiology of the Specialised Cell
Unit code PHPH20010
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Davies
Open unit status Open




School/department School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

This unit highlights aspects of developmental and cellular physiology, focussing on the specialised cell, for example, neuron, hair cell, cardiac myocyte, airways epithelium, endothelium and macrophage. It will include information on aspects of cellular development and physiology that are unique to cell types, for example the hair bundle in the sensory hair cell, and also those that are shared by a number of cell types, for example ion channels in neurones, sensory cells, epithelial cells etc.

The unit includes a 3 practical classes and a four week poster presentation project. These tasks are aimed at developing scientific and transferable skills with a particular focus on collaborative work, preparing students for the final year of the Physiology programme.

The aims are:

• To gain knowledge and understanding of aspects of developmental and cellular physiology of selected specialised cells

• To provide a link between the first and third year of the Physiology programme in content

• To further develop transferable and scientific skills in preparation for the final year of the programme

These aims will be accomplished through lectures, practical classes, class tutorials, directed self education and independent work.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the this unit students should (Mapping to Physiological Science programme learning outcomes in brackets):

1. Be able to give accounts of how the development and cell biology of selected cells supports their ability to perform specialist functions (A6)

2. Be able to synthesise, understand, manage and summarise information from a number of sources (B1, C4)

3. Carry out experiments guided by worksheets (B2)

4. Be able to interpret and manipulate scientific data (B3)

5. Read and understand scientific literature (B4)

6. Be able to communicate clearly in writing (C1)

7. Be able to communicate ideas orally (C1)

8. Work effectively as part of a team (C2)

9. Be able to use IT facilities for data handling and presentation of written work (C3)

10. Manage own time effectively (C5)

11. Plan projects and problem solve (C6)

Teaching Information

• Lectures (30)

• Practical classes (2hrs; 3 weeks)

• Poster workshop and presentation (3hrs; 4 weeks)

• Class tutorials (4:DIQ, Techniques in cell and developmental biology, essay plan, Neurosim)

• e-learning (eBiolabs pre- and post-practicals exercises)

Assessment Information

The unit will be assessed through a combination of course work undertaken throughout the unit and written exam at the end of the unit.

Coursework (20%)

1. eBiolabs (5%)

2. Essay (5%)

3. Posters (10%)

The summative coursework will be supported by class tutorials. A focus will be on researching, organising and producing a poster on a course-related topic within groups. This will be both academic- and peer- assessed during preparation and presentation of the poster.

Final Exam 2.5hrs (80%)

Essay (1 of 4), EMQ (2), MCQ (18), DIQ (1)

Reading and References

At level 2 you will be expected to draw on information from a number of sources for any one topic. Individual lecturers are likely to make recommendations of useful information sources, both textbooks and reports in scientific journals. Some may recommend web -based materials.

In this context useful textbooks include:

• Gilbert, Developmental Biology, 9th Ed, • Alberts et al, Molecular Biology of the Cell, 5th Ed.

• Berne and Levy Physiology, 6th Ed

• Berne and Levy Principles of Physiology, 4th Ed.

• Cooper, G.M: The Cell: A Molecular Approach, 3rd Ed. 2004, ASM Press ISBN 0878932143

• Kandel, Schwartz & Jessell: Principles of Neural Function ISBN 0071120009, 2000 Ed.

Useful for experimental data analysis (simple and adequate for most problems you will encounter)

• Medical Statistics at a Glance, Blackwell, A. Petrie & C. Sabin

• An Introduction to Medical Statistics, Oxford, M. Bland

Useful resources for numeracy and writing skills:

• Maths skills for advanced sciences, by Ken Price, Oxford University Press, ISBN 019914740X

• The Complete Plain Words, Ernest Gowers, Penguin.

• Eats Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. Lynn Truss, Profile Books.