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The University of Southampton

BIOL2010 Flow of Genetic Information

Module Overview

This module focuses on nucleic acid and protein biogenesis with particular emphasis on the flow of genetic information from DNA to RNA to proteins and key regulatory steps. Material relating to both prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms will be covered.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Identify the problems for the replication of DNA created by its structure
  • Consolidate material covered in lectures, by using advanced laboratory techniques used in research.
  • Provide evidence of understanding of the processes of initiation and termination of DNA replication and ascribe functions to enzymes/proteins at the replication fork
  • Identify processes that lead to DNA damage and the mechanisms and enzymes involved in DNA repair
  • Explain how information is transferred from DNA to RNA and explain how it is regulated in both eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms
  • Describe the post-transcriptional modifications (processes of mechanisms) associated of protein coding RNA in eukaryotes
  • Describe the process of information transfer from mRNA to protein including the roles for ribosomal proteins and translation factors
  • Explain the processes by which excess or damaged proteins are cleared from the cell
  • Demonstrate essay-writing skills
  • Use presentational skills associated with giving a short oral presentation on a specific topic


This module covers the flow of genetic information considering genome replication, the biosyntheses of RNA and proteins. Where appropriate the regulatory mechanisms controlling key stages will be studied.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching will be by 20 lectures, with revision support provided as drop-in sessions. Two compulsory practicals will provide students with an understanding of key techniques that help us understand how proteins are made and degraded, and also common approaches to expressing genes of interest. The write ups from these practicals will be assessed formatively, with further summative assessment under examination conditions. Students will also attend two tutorials. In the first, students will have beforehand answered an essay question under exam conditions. The tutorial will then discuss an optimal answer. In the second, each student will present a single slide "flash" presentation on an aspect of eukaryotic gene expression.

Independent Study120
Practical classes and workshops10
Total study time150



Lab Report


MethodPercentage contribution
Individual Oral Presentation 10%
Written assessment 80%
Written essay 10%


MethodPercentage contribution
Individual Oral Presentation 10%
Written assessment  (2 hours) 80%
Written essay 10%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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