In this module you will learn about how microorganisms impact on humans, both in the context of health and disease and by looking at how humans have exploited microorganisms.
In the Human Health and Disease section you will learn about three of the major groups of disease causing microorganisms; bacteria, fungi and viruses, with emphasis on the underlying mechanisms by which these organisms cause disease. As the course progresses you will begin to recognise that common themes underpin our understanding of the diseases caused by these quite different groups of microorganisms; these themes will be explored in the overview session at the end of this section of the course.
Many of the topics in the Exploitation of Microorganisms section also relate to protecting human health, including antibiotic, vaccine and medicinal protein production. You will also look at how our understanding of microbes has been enhanced by genome sequencing and how micro organisms can be abused as agents of biowarfare and bioterrorism.
In the practical component of the course you will carry out and compare classical and molecular approaches used for the identification of bacteria. This will give you hands on experience of handling bacteria and give you the opportunity to put into practice the aseptic technique that you learned in the first year. The molecular approach for identification is based on PCR and sequencing and will build on what you learned in the first semester module Molecular Biology and its Applications (BIO230).