Warning! This unit contains mature content and may not be suitable for some students. Any student under the age of 16 who would like to enrol in this unit must first complete a Parental Consent Form.

Warning! This subjects requires on campus attendance. Refer to Special Requirements for more information.

Subject details

This subject is intended to be an introduction to the inter-related topics of genetics, immunology and microbiology.

In microbiology the subject is designed to provide students with a basic understanding at a basic level of the structure, replication and colonial growth of a wide range of micro-organisms (including viruses) of significance to health, industry and the environment: it will introduce them to the methods used to examine, isolate, transfer and culture micro-organisms. In Immunology the features and functions of the mammalian immune system will be examined in health and disease. In genetics, the subject seeks to provide information to allow students to understand the processes and mechanisms which determine the inheritance of traits in biological organisms. We will use the current understanding of the molecular and chromosomal mechanisms which determine the inheritance as a reference point. We will also provide historical insight into how the current understanding of the processes developed, drawing on experiments of Mendel, Morgan and others. Topics include, but are not limited to, the molecular basis of inheritance, principles of genetic transmission - Mendelian inheritance, chromosomal basis of inheritance, gene mutations.

It is intended to cover the capabilities of: knowledge, technical expertise, problem solving, communication, personal and professional awareness, and integrated practice.

This subject will develop the graduate capabilities of knowledge (of genes, mammalian immunology and microbiology), problem solving (relating to sterilisation and disinfection, the principles behind safe working procedures for isolating, growing and identifying microbes) and technical ability in application of these principles in practical situations. Successful completion of this subject will enable students to understand safe work practices in microbiology and have competency in basic microbiological technique such as microscopy, aseptic technique and streak dilution.

The subject seeks to develop in the student:

  • an awareness of ubiquitousness and diversity of micro-organisms
  • an understanding of the methods and applications of sterilisation, disinfection and prevention of diseases caused by micro-organisms
  • knowledge of the physical nature of inheritance of traits and a detailed understanding of the mechanisms of gene expression and the development of an organisms phenotype, including both microbes and multicellular organisms
  • an understanding of how genetic variation can arise, both at the phenotypic, chromosomal and molecular level and an understanding of the environmental factors that can lead to increased incidence of these mutation processes
  • skills that will enable the student to explain modes of inheritance at a genetic and molecular level
  • an understanding of the mechanisms of microbial challenge in mammals and the immunological responses in the host
  • through a knowledge of, and ability to articulate to others, the basis of the basic methods used in molecular biology
  • knowledge of the types of immune cells and their diversity in mammals
  • the necessary foundation knowledge in microbiology and immunology to understand and interpret the latest rapidly emerging advances in the areas of disease prevention and control, including vaccine development.
    • Introducing Microbiology
    • Structure and Function of Microbes
    • Growing Microbes in the Laboratory
    • Interactions of Microbes and other Organisms
    • Control of Microbial Growth
    • Overview of the Non-specific Immune Response
    • Natural and Acquired Immunity, Immunodeficiency
    • Serology and Applications of Immunology
    • The molecular basis of inheritance
    • Principles of genetic transmission
    • Mendelian principles in humans
    • Chromosomal basis of inheritance
    • Gene mutations
  • Study resources

    • Online materials

      • Resources and Links
      • Audio-Video streaming
      • Online Assessment
      • Quizzes
    • Other materials

      • Practicum

You are recommended to have completed the following subjects(s) or have equivalent knowledge before starting this subject:

Special requirements

  • AttendanceDetails - The practical component is held over 5 consecutive mornings of one week and attendance at the RMIT University practical Laboratories on the City Campus during that week is compulsory.
  • OtherDetails -

    You must pass the final exam and the microbiology practical component of this subject to pass the entire subject. The final exam mark only counts if you pass the microbiology practical component. 

This subject introduces the interrelated topics of genetics, immunology and microbiology. It covers the structure, replication and colonial growth of a range of micro-organisms of significance to health, industry and the environment. It also explores the methods used to safely examine, isolate, transfer and culture micro-organisms. You will study this in conjunction with an introduction to the mammalian immune system. You will study inheritance, genetic transmission, Mendelian inheritance, Mendelian principles in humans, and also the chromosomal basis of inheritance and gene mutations.

Please note the dates below for the compulsory requirements for this subject to attend laboratory classes at RMIT University's City Campus in central Melbourne:

2019, Study Period 3:

  • Nov 18 - 22, 2019 9:30pm - 12:30pm*

*More details will be provided at the commencement of the relevant Study Period and available on Blackboard.

The assessment will be combined in the proportions of 60% microbiology and immunology and 40% genetics. Passing the practical component is a hurdle for passing this subject.

  • Quiz (10%)
  • Practical requirements (30%)
  • Invigilated exam (60%)

Textbook information is pending.

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