3rd Year Nerd Fest

// February 8th, 2011 // Geekery, Study

If anyone is interested, here’s the subjects I’m doing in the third year of my B.Sc. at Sydney Uni.

A unit of study comprising lectures, practical assignments and tutorials on the application of bioinformatics to the storage, retrieval and analysis of biological information, principally in the form of nucleotide and amino acid sequences. Although the main emphasis is on sequence data, other forms of biological information are considered.The unit begins with the assembly and management of nucleotide sequence data and an introduction to the databases that are normally used for the storage and retrieval of biological data, and continues with signal detection and analysis of deduced products, sequence alignment, and database search methods. Phylogenetic reconstruction based on distance-based methods, parsimony methods and maximum-likelihood methods is described and students are introduced to the idea of tree-space, phylogenetic uncertainty, and taught to evaluate phylogenetic trees and identify factors that will confound phylogenetic inference. Finally, whole genome analysis and comparative genomics are considered. The unit gives students an appreciation of the significance of bioinformatics in contemporary biological science by equipping them with skills in the use of a core set of programs and databases for “in silico” biology, and an awareness of the breadth of bioinformatics resources and applications.

A unit of study with lectures, practicals and tutorials on the application of recombinant DNA technology and the genetic manipulation of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. Lectures cover the applications of molecular genetics in biotechnology and consider the impact and implications of genetic engineering. Topics include the cloning and expression of foreign genes in bacteria, yeast, animal and plant cells, novel human and animal therapeutics and vaccines including human gene therapy, new diagnostic techniques for human and veterinary disease, the transformation of animal and plant cells, the genetic engineering of animals and plants, and the environmental release of genetically-modified (transgenic) organisms. Practical work may include nucleic acid isolation and manipulation, gene cloning and PCR amplification, DNA sequencing and computer analysis of gene sequences, immunological detection of proteins, and the genetic transformation and assay of plants.

The aim of this course is to provide students with an introduction to the structure and function of the nervous system and to the main concepts of processing of sensory information. Understanding basic sensory transduction mechanisms and the function of the sensory systems is necessary to understand how perceptual processes work in normal and disease conditions and provides a gateway to unravel the complexity of the mind. Basic aspects of low and high level sensory processing in all sense modalities will be covered, with a special emphasis in the auditory and visual systems. The relationship between sensory systems, perception and higher cognitive functions will be addressed.

The aim of this course is to provide students with an introduction to the structure and function of the nervous system. Our current knowledge of how the brain works is based on the analysis of the normal structure of the nervous system and its pathways, the functional effects of lesions and neurological diseases in different parts of the nervous system, and the way that nerve cells work at the molecular, cellular and integrative level. This course focuses on to the neural circuits and the mechanisms that control somatic and autonomic motor systems, motivated behaviours, emotions, and other higher order functions. The lecture series addresses the different topics, each of which offers special insight into the function of the nervous system in health and disease.

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