University of Technology Sydney

69506 Biomolecular Science

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2022 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Science: Life Sciences
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.

Recommended studies:

A general science background is recommended, including foundation areas such as chemistry, cell biology, anatomy, physiology, immunology and biodiversity.

Description

This subject explores how tissue samples are examined for diagnosis in modern laboratories. The first module explains normal tissue morphology and the routine processing techniques used in histology. This subject includes a module which contextualises patient backgrounds and cultural diversity in relation to pathology testing. Students are introduced to molecular biology and molecular diagnostic techniques currently used in research applications as well as in public microbiology laboratories. The final module investigates abnormal tissue samples and how they are diagnosed in an antomical pathology lab, including special stains, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridisation and molecular pathology methods.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Describe, compare and contrast normal and pathological appearance and function of selected tissue samples.
2. Explain the rationale and procedures for different techniques and tests used to determine pathological changes.
3. Identify significant issues, challenges or opportunities involved with a diversity of patient samples and experiences.
4. Explore and review the theory underpinning human genetics and molecular biology.
5. Communicate effectively and demonstrate English Language Proficiency.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the development of following course intended learning outcomes:

  • Analyse: Critically engage with the appraisal of knowledge in pathology in the context of medical laboratory management. (1.1)
  • Synthesise: Develop a professional identity through engagement with scientific knowledge to demonstrate depth, breadth, application and interrelationships of analytical laboratory skills. (1.2)
  • Evaluate: Critically evaluate the application of in-depth and up-to-date technical knowledge and research principles in pathology, in a context relevant to professional and laboratory practice. (1.3)
  • Analyse: Critically evaluate relevant scientific literature in the investigation of complex medical and diagnostic problems. (2.1)
  • Evaluate: Assess and conduct appropriate approaches to independent research adopting relevant analytical testing techniques in the context of laboratory pathology. (2.3)
  • Analyse: Collaborate in laboratory work practices that demonstrate a high-level understanding of health and safety requirements, ethical conduct, risk management, organisation and collaborative skills and record keeping in the context of a professional pathology laboratory. (3.1)
  • Synthesise: Appraise and challenge ethical solutions to pathology testing problems that can impact on society. (3.2)
  • Evaluate: Design, collaborate and execute appropriately judged professional and technical solutions to diagnostic problems incorporating a regard for, and understanding of, the needs and consideration of relevant stakeholders within the profession. (3.3)
  • Analyse: Deliberate on the value, integrity and relevance of multiple sources of information to derive solutions to complex diagnostic problems. (4.1)
  • Evaluate: Create and evaluate solutions to medical diagnostic needs through innovation, creativity, curiosity, application of technologies, and commitment to self-directed learning. (4.3)
  • Analyse: Adapt appropriate communication approaches from a variety of methods (oral, written, visual) to communicate with discipline experts, scientists, industry, and the general public. (5.1)
  • Synthesise: Articulate complex ideas and justifications in a rigorous, effective and professional manner across all mediums to a range of audiences using appropriate media. (5.2)
  • Analyse: Adjudicate on historical and contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Knowledges and attitudes with respect to laboratory diagnostics. (6.1)
  • Evaluate: Distil and articulate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in relation to professional laboratory practice. (6.3)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

1. Disciplinary Knowledge - Specialist knowledge of laboratory diagnosis of disease in the fields of microbiology, biochemistry, molecular biology and cellular pathology.

Disciplinary knowledge will be assessed through topic quizzes and through the completion of the ‘Reports’ and 'Essay’ assessment tasks. You will demonstrate your understanding of the theoretical and technical components in the subject.

2. Research, inquiry and critical thinking - The ability to apply scientific methods to investigate diagnostic techniques through experimental observation, understanding of analytical laboratory testing, critical evaluation and data analyses.

Critical thinking will be assessed in your ability to conduct independent research and assimilate the findings will be assessed through the ‘Reports’ and 'Essay’ assessment tasks.

3. Professional, ethical and social responsibility - A capacity to work ethically and professionally using technical, practical, and collaborative pathology skills within the context of the workplace and apply these to meet the current and future needs of society.

Your ability to place these topics within a professional, ethical and scoail framework will be assessed in the ‘Reports’ and 'Essay’ assessment tasks.

4. Reflection, Innovation, Creativity - The ability to design creative solutions to contemporary diagnostic issues using reflective practices and self-directed learning.

This attribute will be assessed in the ‘Reports’ and 'Essay’ assessment tasks.

5. Communication - Effective and professional communication skills for a range of scientific audiences.

Effective and professional communication skills will be assessed through the ‘Reports’ and 'Essay’ assessment tasks. and English language proficency will be assessed in the 'Essay' assessment task.

6. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Knowledges and Connection with Country - A deep understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Knowledges, culture, history and people as relevant to scientific laboratory management and diagnostic pathology testing.

The essay assignment will be used to assess your ability to identify and appreciate how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Knowledges, culture, history and people may contribute to different experiences in relation to pathology testing.

Teaching and learning strategies

This course is completed via the online learning environment of UTS CANVAS. Throughout the session, students will work their way through four independent, self-directed learning modules. All subject material will be delivered online. There are no practical classes or on-campus activities associated with this subject. Learning content will be delivered in dynamic formats and may include expert interviews, interactive activities, videos, lecture recordings, readings (including scientific research and technical literature), library tutorials, and other online media. There will be multiple small progress quizzes associated with each module and two assessment items to submit.

There will be a scheduled time for all students to meet and converse with classmates and the subject facilitator via a weekly Zoom session. While it is not mandatory students are encouraged to attend as many as possible to stay connected. Occasionally, guest speakers may be invited to give a talk at this time or small tutoraisl may be held however not all these sessions will be recorded. It is an opportunity to touch base and participate in a collegiate scientific environment.

Feedback will be provided to students through small formative self-guided tests and activities throughout each module and through the end of module quizzes. Students can also discuss their learning and assignment progress in live ZOOM classes and in discussion board in CANVAS.

One aim of this course is to help you develop the academic and professional language and communication skills needed to succeed at university and in the workplace. During this subject, you will complete a milestone assessment task that will, in addition to assessing your subject-specific learning objectives, assess your English language proficiency.

Content (topics)

Module 1 - Weeks 2 to 4 - Histology: This module is an introduction to human tissue appearance, function, and identification. You will examine basic tissue types and selected organs in comprehensive detail. Routine tissue processing techniques and staining procedures used in current laboratory practice will be explained.

Module 2 - Week 5 - Pathology in the Community: This module is aimed at increasing awareness and understanding of patient diversity and how different people have different experiences in relation to pathology testing.

Module 3 - Weeks 6 to 8 - Molecular Genetics: This module is an introduction to molecular biology and the current techniques used to identify changes in gene expression or gene modification.

Module 4 - Weeks 9 to 12 - Anatomical Pathology: This module expands upon knowledge of tissue analysis into the diagnostic field and explores more advanced and complex methods used in Australian and international laboaratories to confirm a histological diagnosis.

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Module quizzes

Intent:

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

1. Disciplinary Knowledge

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2 and 4

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

1.1, 1.2 and 1.3

Type: Quiz/test
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 40%
Criteria:

Marks will be awarded for correct answers to questions presented in a quiz / test format.

Assessment task 2: Report

Intent:

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

1. Disciplinary Knowledge

2. Research, inquiry and critical thinking

3. Professional, ethical and social responsibility

4. Reflection, Innovation, Creativity

5. Communication

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2, 4 and 5

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.3, 3.1, 4.1, 5.1 and 5.2

Type: Report
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%
Length:

1500-2000 words for all parts

Criteria:

You will be assessed against a marking rubric which will be available to view in CANVAS.

Assessment task 3: Essay

Intent:

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

1. Disciplinary Knowledge

2. Research, Inquiry and Critical Thinking

3. Professional, Ethical and Social Responsibility

4. Reflection, Innovation, Creativity

5. Communication

6. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Knowledges and Connection with Country

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

2, 3 and 5

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

1.1, 2.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.3, 5.1, 6.1 and 6.3

Type: Essay
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%
Length:

1000-2000 words

Criteria:

You will be assessed against a marking rubric which will be available to view in CANVAS.

Minimum requirements

English language proficiency: It is a requirement of this subject that you complete Assessment task 3. Should you receive an unsatisfactory English language level, you may be required to complete further language support after the completion of this subject.