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BL4279   The CRISPR system for Antiviral Defence and Genome Engineering

Academic year(s): 2018-2019

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 15

ECTS credits : 7

Level : SCQF level 10

Semester: 1

Availability restrictions: Not automatically available to General Degree students

Planned timetable: To be arranged

The discovery of the CRISPR system, which provides adaptive antiviral immunity in prokaryotes, has made facile genome engineering a reality. This has resulted in an ongoing revolution in molecular biology and opened the door to a wide variety of applications in healthcare, agriculture and biotechnology. It also raises many ethical considerations. In this module, students will study the molecular biology of the CRISPR system in prokaryotes in depth, touching on the history of discovery, biological mechanisms and the context of antiviral defence systems. Building on this, students will gain an appreciation of the potential applications of this technology in biotechnology and healthcare, and develop a proposal for a novel application, taking into account the practical and ethical considerations.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass BL3302

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 2 lectures (x 5 weeks), 3 seminars (x 3 weeks)

Scheduled learning hours: 19

Guided independent study hours: 132

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: Coursework = 60%, 1.5-hour Written Examination = 40%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 40%
Practical examinations : 0%
Coursework: 60%

Re-assessment: Coursework = 60%, 1.5-hour Written Examination = 40%


Module coordinator: Professor M F White
Module teaching staff: Prof M White