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01 May 2011
Genomes are composed of DNA, and a knowledge of the structure of DNA is essential to understand how it can function as hereditary material. DNA is remarkable, breathtakingly simple in its structure yet capable of directing all the living processes in a cell, the production of new cells and the...
Genes are units of inheritance that contribute to a person’s behaviour and health. In this unit you will learn what genes, DNA and chromosomes are and how they combine to make the human genome. You will also learn how the principles of inheritance work, the effect that our genetic make-up has on...
How do we become individuals? This unit looks at how genes and the environment interact making each of us unique. Looking at the period between conception and birth you will examine the issues of nature or nurture to see which has the greatest impact.
There are a wide range of interactions between ‘science’ and ‘the public’. Examples range from visiting a museum, or indulging in a science-related hobby, to reading a newspaper article about a breakthrough in the techniques of therapeutic cloning. Many of these interactions could be said...
This unit helps you understand the properties of nucleotides and how they contribute to secondary and tertiary structures of nucleic acids at the molecular level. You will learn about the different composition and roles of nucleic acids in the cell, their interactions with each other and the use of...
This unit looks at the methods that have been developed by organisms for the uptake, transport and storage of iron: a process made more complicated by the insolubility of its oxides and hydroxides. You will examine iron storage in mammals, including humans, is achieved by ferritin, which stores...
The extreme challenges of life in the polar regions require the animals who make their habitat there to make many adaptations. This unit explores the polar climate and how animals like reindeer, polar bears, penguins, sea life and even humans manage to survive there. It looks at the adaptations to...
Hibernation is an ingenious adaptation that some animals employ to survive difficult conditions in winter. This unit examines the differences between hibernation and torpor, and discusses the characteristic signs of hibernation behaviour. It explores the triggers that bring on hibernation, and...
Animal life has adapted to survive in the most unlikely and inhospitable habitats. This unit looks at the surprisingly diverse desert climates throughout the world and mammals, birds, lizards and amphibians that survive there. It splits these animals into three groups according to their strategy...
Vaccinations are now considered a part of everyday life, but how do they work? This unit will help those with a background in biology understand the historical development of vaccination, assess the various types of vaccines used today, examine their production and explore the limitations that are...