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Module BIOETHICS & BIOTECHNOLOGY

Module code: BI411
Credits: 5
Semester: 1
Department: BIOLOGY
International: Yes
Overview Overview
 

How ethicists work; basic Western ethical ideas including classical and preference utilitarianism, Kant and deontological theory, rights approaches, virtue ethics, feminist thought, the void; application to issues in biology, biotechnology, medicine and environment. Current cases histories with stakeholder analyses: these may include genetic engineering, cloning, patenting of biological material. Detailed knowledge of relevant biotechnological science will form a central part of the bioethics component of this module.. Fungi are amazing reservoirs of bioactive molecules, such as penicillin and statins, which are used to treat human diseases. Collectively, these molecules are known as natural products (NP) or secondary metabolites (SM) and are made by fungi, and bacteria, using processes known as non-ribosomal peptide synthesis or polyketide synthesis. This course will provide the student with a thorough understanding of these biosynthetic processes at the molecular and proteomic level. This topic is of special relevance as many microbial genome mining programmes are identifying ever more genes involved in NP biosynthesis. Consequently, research in this area is beginning to reveal a range of new molecules with biomedical potential.

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