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Registration for the Fall 2019 semester begins June 25.  Watch your email for more details.

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Nucleic Acids

Course Code: BIOL 3421
Faculty: Science & Technology
Department: Biology
Credits: 4.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture, Lab
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course focuses on the structure, function and metabolism of nucleic acids. Topics include nucleic acid metabolism and function, DNA structure and replication, RNA transcription and processing (capping, poly A tail addition, splicing), the formation and function of non-coding RNA (including, rRNA, tRNA, microRNAs and ribozymes), RNA folding, mRNA subcellular localization and RNA dependent RNA/DNA synthesis.

Course Content

1. OVERVIEW OF NUCLEIC ACIDS

  • Structure of a nucleic acid
  • Anabolism and catabolism of nucleic acids
  • Formation and properties of nucleic acid chains
  • Role of nucleotides in cellular functions

 2. STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION DNA

  • Structure of DNA helices
  • DNA replication
  • DNA damage and repair mechanisms
  • DNA recombination
  • DNA modifications

 3. STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION OF mRNA

  • DNA dependent RNA synthesis
  • mRNA structure
  • Splicing
  • mRNA stability and turnover
  • mRNA localization

 4. STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION OF tRNA and rRNA

  • tRNA formation, processing and function
  • rRNA formation, processing and function
  • RNA folding (secondary, tertiary and quaternary structures)

 5. STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION OF SPECIAL FUNCTION RNA MOLECULES

  • microRNA formation
  • ribozymes
  • RNA dependent DNA and RNA synthesis

Methods of Instruction

Lecture

Laboratory activities

Discussion groups

Readings from scientific journal articles

Guest lectures

Project (e.g. research paper on a topic of current interest, poster presentations)

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy. The instructor will present a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester. Evaluation will be based on the following:

Evaluation

Marks

Quizzes and assignments        

15-25

Laboratory 

15-25

Midterm examination 

25-35

Final examination

25-35

TOTAL

100

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, students should be able to:

  1. explain the basic principles of nucleotide metabolism
  2. describe the different functions of nucleic acids
  3. explain why nucleic acids fold and apply that knowledge to predict how a particular nucleotide sequence would fold
  4. describe how mature nucleic acids are formed
  5. explain how to isolate, purify and analyze nucleic acids
  6. analyze scientific data, be able to interpret them in the proper context, and to formulate hypotheses and design future experiments that build upon the data studied

course prerequisites

BIOL 2321 and BIOL 2421

Corequisites

None

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.

assessments

If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.