Faculty of Science

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton Second semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Rob Bryson-Richardson


The structure, function, variation and evolution of DNA and of genomes are examined at both the individual and population levels in a range of organisms, including humans. Topics include: genome structure and approaches to genome analysis; genome projects and bioinformatics; functional and comparative genomics; evolution of gene families and movement of genes from organelle to nuclear genomes; genome variation between individuals and species and its applications in genetics; processes that change the genetic constitution of populations and species during evolution.


On completion of this unit students will:

  1. be able to explain how genes are organised in chromosomes and genomes and the implications of this for gene expression and function;
  2. be able to describe the differences in genomes, and the uses of genomics in modern genetic research;
  3. be able to explain how genomes are mapped and sequenced, and how genes and genomes are analysed at a molecular level;
  4. be able to describe how studies of gene expression and function are performed on single genes and across entire genomes;
  5. be able to illustrate how DNA and genomes change and the implications of this for evolution and its uses in modern applications such as DNA profiling;
  6. be able to explain how genes behave in populations, describe concepts such as mutation and genetic drift, and illustrate how genetic variation can result in fitness differences that may drive evolution through the process of natural selection;
  7. have developed skills in a range of techniques and approaches used in population genetics and genomic analysis, and in data collection and analysis necessary in the preparation and presentation of scientific reports, including the use of simple statistical concepts;
  8. be competent in basic genetic laboratory techniques, have learned the value of working with peers as part of a team, understand the principles underlying experimental design, and have developed important problem-solving skills.


Examination (3 hours): 50%
Practical work (practical reports, project, mid-semester and end-of-semester tests): 45%
Weekly problem sets: 5%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Rob Bryson-Richardson

Contact hours

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


BIO1011 and one of BIO1022 or BIO1042, plus GEN2041