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GEN2052 - Human and population genetics

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Science

Leader: Associate Professor Steve McKechnie


Clayton Second semester 2007 (Day)


Genetic variation among human individuals and among populations provide the focus, as does the basic concepts of population and quantitative genetics. Topics include inbreeding, multifactorial traits in plants, animals and humans, genetics of cancer, selected congenital single-gene disorders, the human genome project, the genes and DNA profiling techniques of both forensic science and paternity testing.


On completion of this unit, students will have an understanding of variation and inheritance of most types of human characteristics. Students will gain an understanding of the fundamental processes of mutation, genetic drift and selection that change the genetic constitution of populations and species during evolution. The nature of mutations that underlie many human diseases, and their role in affecting multi-factorial traits such as disease resistance and susceptibility, will be explained. An appreciation of the contribution that the study of model organisms provides to our knowledge of human genetics and evolution will be gained. The Human Genome Project will be explored and its contribution to our understanding of the entire human genome and the integrated function of individual genes will be explained. Skills in data collection, data organisation and data analysis, including simple statistical concepts, necessary in the preparation and presentation of scientific reports will be developed. Problem-solving and data-interpretation skills will also be taught, as will be several basic laboratory techniques and principles that underlie experimental design. The skills and value of working in a team will be developed.


Examination (3 hours): 60%
Practical work (mid-semester and end-of-semester test, 50 mins each): 35%
Satisfactory completion of five brief (<300 words) written reports
Weekly assignments: 5%

Contact hours

Two 1-hour lectures and one 3-hour combined tutorial/laboratory session per week


BIO1011 and either of BIO1022 or BIO1042, GEN2041