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BIOL364 – Symbiosis in Health and Disease

2017 – S2 Day

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff
Michelle Power
Credit points Credit points
3
Prerequisites Prerequisites
39cp at 100 level or above including 12cp from BIOL units at 200 level or above
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
Symbiotic interactions underpin all biological systems. Symbiosis is defined as two (or more) species living together. Symbiotic interactions may be mutualistic, with both organisms benefiting from the partnership, or parasitic, where one of the partners is harmed. The association may be short-term or for the life of the organisms, with many symbiotic interactions essential for survival of the organisms. In this unit we explore diverse symbiotic partnerships spanning microbial, plant and animal taxa. We will investigate symbiosis in the context of biological roles and outcomes including health and disease of diverse taxa, co-evolution, and immunity. We will also address current issues of significance to symbiosis such as antibiotic resistance, emerging disease, ecosystem health and global change. Students who are interested in medical science, marine biology, conservation, evolution and ecology will enjoy this unit.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Differentiate key taxonomic groups of commensal, mutualisitc and parasitic organisms
  2. Critique origins of endosymbiotic organelles
  3. Identify and differentiate symbiotic and pathogenic interactions
  4. Compare and contrast the innate and adaptive immunity
  5. Identify trends which have moulded the evolution of pathogens and parasites
  6. Design a process to test infection/transmission/virulence
  7. Identify how interactions with other microbial communities affects disease susceptibility
  8. Communicate human impacts on symbioses to stakeholders

General Assessment Information

Assessment details

Details of assessments will be provided on iLearn and in class.

 

Assignment submission

All assignments will be digitally submitted through the appropriate Turnitin submission link on iLearn. An A3 printout of your poster is the only assessment that will be provided in hardcopy (and via Turnitin). All assessments need to be written in the students own words. 

 

Academic honesty

All assessments need to be written in the students own words. The penalties imposed by the University for plagiarism are serious and may include expulsion from the University. ANY evidence of plagiarism WILL be dealt with following University policy. Penalties for plagiarism will be imposed for each assessment and clearly defined in marking guides. Further penalties imposed by the Faculty disciplinary committee may range from a loss of all marks and awarding of a zero depending on the circumstances. 

 

Extensions, penalties and Disruptions to Studies

The deadlines for assignments are not negotiable. If an assignment is submitted late a penalty of -10% of the mark allocated for the assignment will be deducted per day that any work is submitted late (i.e. 5 days late = -50% of marks available).

If you experience a serious and unavoidable disruption to your studies and require an extension for an assessment please submit a Disruptions to Studies notification via ask.mq.edu.au with supporting documentation, and a Professional Authority Form completed by your health care professional. If you anticipate a potentially serious and unavoidable disruption (e.g. upcoming surgery) speak to the unit convenor early and apply for an extension before the due date.

 

Unit completion

To pass this unit, students need to achieve an overall minimum grade of 50% and attend a minimum of nine lectorial classes and nine practical classes. The work undertaken in lectorial and practical classes forms the basis of assessments and these cannot be completed without participation in relevant classes. A role will be taken for each class. 

 

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Learning Journal 30% Weekly
Poster 15% Week 6
Experimental protocol 20% Week 8
Devil diagnostic report 20% Week 10
Resistance in the wild 15% Week 12

Learning Journal

Due: Weekly
Weighting: 30%

Completion of a series of pre and post laboratory associated tasks and activities from the weekly lectorial sessions will 

  1. Prepare you for performing the practical tasks
  2. Place the content of each practical into context with the broad field of symbiosis
  3. Evaluate laboratory and lectorial outcomes

The tasks will be diverse and include reading papers and answering questions via on-line quizzes, making a post on the unit discussion board, informal group presentations in lectorial classes. You will need to keep an on-line journal in iLearn that comprises answers to questions and your opinions on topics. More information is detailed in instructions for these on iLearn and during weekly sessions.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Differentiate key taxonomic groups of commensal, mutualisitc and parasitic organisms
  • Critique origins of endosymbiotic organelles
  • Identify and differentiate symbiotic and pathogenic interactions
  • Compare and contrast the innate and adaptive immunity
  • Identify trends which have moulded the evolution of pathogens and parasites
  • Identify how interactions with other microbial communities affects disease susceptibility

Poster

Due: Week 6
Weighting: 15%

One of the exciting aspects of being a scientist is participation in scientific conferences. The role of a conference is to enable dissemination of research outcomes in oral or poster format. As symbiotic interactions are so diverse we are not able to cover all of them in the unit. Hence you will design and present a poster on a symbiotic interaction of your choosing.  Posters will be displayed in the practical class and you will be expected to stand with your poster and answer questions by other students and teaching staff. 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Differentiate key taxonomic groups of commensal, mutualisitc and parasitic organisms
  • Identify and differentiate symbiotic and pathogenic interactions
  • Identify how interactions with other microbial communities affects disease susceptibility
  • Communicate human impacts on symbioses to stakeholders

Experimental protocol

Due: Week 8
Weighting: 20%

In the first major practical task (Grow your own nodules) you examined the symbiotic associated between legumes and soil bacteria belonging to the Alpha-Proteobacteria e.g. Rhizobium. For this assessment you need to design a follow-up experiment to test the host specificity of Rhizobium and to demonstrate that Rhizobium are integral to the development of the nodules. You will need to develop hypotheses, predictions, brief experimental protocol and define what data will be collected. We will provide a template for this assessment. 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify and differentiate symbiotic and pathogenic interactions
  • Design a process to test infection/transmission/virulence

Devil diagnostic report

Due: Week 10
Weighting: 20%

You will prepare a report on parasites in Tasmanian devils that will include egg counts, parasite images, prevalence comparisons and recommendations for management. 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Differentiate key taxonomic groups of commensal, mutualisitc and parasitic organisms
  • Communicate human impacts on symbioses to stakeholders

Resistance in the wild

Due: Week 12
Weighting: 15%

You have examined the occurrence of antibiotic resistance genes in wildlife from urban backyards. Using the data from the practical class you need to generate an infographic to report the class findings to the general public. These will be displayed in the Department and may be chosen for the 'scoop a poop' citizen science website, 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify and differentiate symbiotic and pathogenic interactions
  • Identify trends which have moulded the evolution of pathogens and parasites
  • Communicate human impacts on symbioses to stakeholders

Delivery and Resources

DELIVERY

BIOL364 is being offered for the first time this session (S2 2017). The unit is divided into themes and material presented in weekly lectures, lectorials and practical classes complement weekly themes. 

Lectures

Weekly lectures provide broad overviews to the topics that we explore each week. The lecture material complements material presented in practical classes and lectorials. To ensure that your performance and understanding of material on practicals and lectorials is optimal, we expect you to attend the lectures or listen to them before the lectorial and practical classes of the same week. 

Lectorials

Weekly lectorials delve deeper into the weekly unit themes. Lectorials comprise mini-lectures that are accompanied by small group tasks. Activities in the lectorial form the basis of content for your learning journal assessment. 

Practical classes

There are three major practical themes that will be covered in BIOL364. Practicals will run for several weeks. Some material required for the learning journal will be gathered in practical classes and two major assessments are based in practical activities

Dress for laboratory sessions

  • You must wear sturdy shoes that cover your feet.
  • You must wear a lab coat to protect your clothes.
  • Although the material that we will use has been rendered non-infectious good laboratory practice of wearing protective clothing when working with organisms that potentially cause disease is required. ALWAYS wash hands before leaving laboratory.
  • PLEASE NOTE: Inappropriate shoes (covered) = no laboratory access

 

RESOURCES

There are no required text books for BIOL364 Symbiosis in Health and Disease. we will provide references to many research papers that will assist with weekly unit themes. 

Unit Schedule

Week Date Weekly topic Practical topic
1 Jul 31 Introduction and overview of symbiosis No practical
2 Aug 7 Spectrum of symbiosis Spectrum of symbiosis
3 Aug 14 Bacteria-bacteria interactions Grow your own nodules I
4 Aug 21 Microbe-animal interactions Grow your own nodules II      
5 Aug 28 Animal – plant interactions Grow your own nodules III
6 Sept 4 Animal-animal interactions Poster session
7 Sept 10 Disease susceptibility and microbial interactions Parasites in Tasmanian devils
  Recess    
8 Oct 2 Lectorials only this week - quiz  public holiday
9 Oct 9 Evolution of virulence Scoop a poop 1
10 Oct 16 Antibiotic resistance  Scoop a poop 2
11 Oct 23 Co-evolution of host and parasite Scoop a poop 3
12 Oct 30 Human infectious diseases through history Summary
       
       

 

 

 

 

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy (in effect until Dec 4th, 2017): http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html

Special Consideration Policy (in effect from Dec 4th, 2017): https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/special-consideration

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

Discipline Specific Knowledge and Skills

Our graduates will take with them the intellectual development, depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content in their chosen fields to make them competent and confident in their subject or profession. They will be able to demonstrate, where relevant, professional technical competence and meet professional standards. They will be able to articulate the structure of knowledge of their discipline, be able to adapt discipline-specific knowledge to novel situations, and be able to contribute from their discipline to inter-disciplinary solutions to problems.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Differentiate key taxonomic groups of commensal, mutualisitc and parasitic organisms
  • Critique origins of endosymbiotic organelles
  • Identify and differentiate symbiotic and pathogenic interactions
  • Compare and contrast the innate and adaptive immunity
  • Identify trends which have moulded the evolution of pathogens and parasites
  • Design a process to test infection/transmission/virulence

Assessment tasks

  • Learning Journal
  • Poster
  • Experimental protocol
  • Devil diagnostic report

Problem Solving and Research Capability

Our graduates should be capable of researching; of analysing, and interpreting and assessing data and information in various forms; of drawing connections across fields of knowledge; and they should be able to relate their knowledge to complex situations at work or in the world, in order to diagnose and solve problems. We want them to have the confidence to take the initiative in doing so, within an awareness of their own limitations.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Design a process to test infection/transmission/virulence

Assessment tasks

  • Learning Journal
  • Experimental protocol

Effective Communication

We want to develop in our students the ability to communicate and convey their views in forms effective with different audiences. We want our graduates to take with them the capability to read, listen, question, gather and evaluate information resources in a variety of formats, assess, write clearly, speak effectively, and to use visual communication and communication technologies as appropriate.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Critique origins of endosymbiotic organelles
  • Design a process to test infection/transmission/virulence
  • Communicate human impacts on symbioses to stakeholders

Assessment tasks

  • Learning Journal
  • Experimental protocol
  • Devil diagnostic report
  • Resistance in the wild

Capable of Professional and Personal Judgement and Initiative

We want our graduates to have emotional intelligence and sound interpersonal skills and to demonstrate discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgement. They will exercise initiative as needed. They will be capable of risk assessment, and be able to handle ambiguity and complexity, enabling them to be adaptable in diverse and changing environments.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Communicate human impacts on symbioses to stakeholders

Assessment task

  • Resistance in the wild

Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

We want our graduates to be capable of reasoning, questioning and analysing, and to integrate and synthesise learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments; to be able to critique constraints, assumptions and limitations; to be able to think independently and systemically in relation to scholarly activity, in the workplace, and in the world. We want them to have a level of scientific and information technology literacy.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Differentiate key taxonomic groups of commensal, mutualisitc and parasitic organisms
  • Identify and differentiate symbiotic and pathogenic interactions
  • Compare and contrast the innate and adaptive immunity
  • Identify trends which have moulded the evolution of pathogens and parasites
  • Design a process to test infection/transmission/virulence

Assessment tasks

  • Learning Journal
  • Experimental protocol
  • Devil diagnostic report
  • Resistance in the wild

Creative and Innovative

Our graduates will also be capable of creative thinking and of creating knowledge. They will be imaginative and open to experience and capable of innovation at work and in the community. We want them to be engaged in applying their critical, creative thinking.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Assessment tasks

  • Learning Journal
  • Poster
  • Experimental protocol
  • Resistance in the wild

Engaged and Ethical Local and Global citizens

As local citizens our graduates will be aware of indigenous perspectives and of the nation's historical context. They will be engaged with the challenges of contemporary society and with knowledge and ideas. We want our graduates to have respect for diversity, to be open-minded, sensitive to others and inclusive, and to be open to other cultures and perspectives: they should have a level of cultural literacy. Our graduates should be aware of disadvantage and social justice, and be willing to participate to help create a wiser and better society.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Communicate human impacts on symbioses to stakeholders

Assessment task

  • Resistance in the wild

Socially and Environmentally Active and Responsible

We want our graduates to be aware of and have respect for self and others; to be able to work with others as a leader and a team player; to have a sense of connectedness with others and country; and to have a sense of mutual obligation. Our graduates should be informed and active participants in moving society towards sustainability.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Communicate human impacts on symbioses to stakeholders

Assessment tasks

  • Devil diagnostic report
  • Resistance in the wild

Changes from Previous Offering

BIOL364 Symbiosis in Health and Disease is a new unit being offered for the first time in 2017

Changes since First Published

Date Description
04/08/2017 Removal of non-teaching staff
01/08/2017 Unit completion requirements and class attendance was clarified relative to the hurdle policy.
17/07/2017 Hi I altered an assessment to align to practical classes and also changed the theme of a practical class from possums to Tasmanian devils. thanks Michelle