NUS Life Sciences
Levels 1000 and 2000 LSM Modules – Syllabus
The following are the 4 essential (3 foundation and 1 technique) modules for Life Sciences Major/Second Major. LSM22xx are foundation elective modules, usually read in the Year 2 of studies.
- LSM1102 Molecular Genetics
- LSM1105 Evolutionary Biology
- LSM1106 Molecular Cell Biology
- LSM2191 Techniques in Life Sciences
More information: https://nusmods.com/modules/LSM1102/molecular-genetics
- Introduction; Overview of Genetics and Chromosome in Eukaryotes
- Cellular Division: Mitosis and Meiosis; Non-Disjunction and Polyploidy
- Chromosome in Prokaryotes, Genetic Transfer and Mapping Analysis in Microorganisms
- Chromosome Compaction, Structure, Organization
- Chromatin Remodeling and Gene Expression
- Chromosome Recombination
- Molecular structure of DNA and RNA; DNA Replication
- Gene Transcription and RNA Processing
- Translation of mRNA
- Molecular genetic methods (genetic screening, recombinant and transgenic technologies, RNAi, reporter tagging etc.)
- New genetic technology (genome editing, next generation sequencing, omics)
- Model organisms in genetic studies
- Mendelian Genetics – Terminologies, Mendelian Laws
- Mendelian Genetics – Sex Linkage, Modes of Inheritance, Pedigree Analysis, Penetrance, Expressivity, Pleotrophy
- Variations to Mendelian Genetics – Multiple Alleles, Epistasis
- Variations to Mendelian Genetics – Lethal Genes, Linkage
- Population Genetics – Hardy Weinberg Equilibrium, Allele Frequencies, Non-random Mating
- Population Genetics – Mutation and Selection Forces, Maintenance of Genetic Polymorphism
- Quantitative Genetics – Statistical Description of Quantitative Traits
- Quantitative Genetics – Polygenic Inheritance, Heritability, Breeding, Heterosis
More information: https://nusmods.com/modules/LSM1105/evolutionary-biology
- What is Evolution?
What is the evidence for evolution?
- How did life evolve?
How do variations come about?
- How do variations get fixed in populations via random processes?
How do variations get fixed in populations via Natural Selection?
- What is the outcome of Natural Selection?
What is Artificial selection, and how do we use it in our lives?
- How does evolution lead to variation in Life Histories?
How does the environment determine phenotypes?
- How do we connect genotypes to phenotypes?
What are the major transitions in Evolution?
- What are species?
- How does speciation occur?
How do we reconstruct species relationships and interpret phylogenies?
- Why sex?
What is sexual selection?
- What is evolutionary genomics?
What is evo-devo and how do novel traits originate?
- What is coevolution?
What is convergent evolution?
- How does sociality and altruism evolve?
How did humans evolve?
- How does evolution affect our lives?
More information: https://nusmods.com/modules/LSM1106/molecular-cell-biology
- Dynamics of Cellular Structures & Functions
(Analysing & Visualizing Cell dynamics, Cell as a Complex System.)
- Major types of biomolecules of cellular structures
(Cellular membrane, nucleus and cytoplasm, Intra-/extracellular structures.)
- Fundamental Forces & Chemicals in cells
(Water, Acid/Bases, Buffer, Non-Covalent Forces, H-bonds, Amphiphiles.)
- Structures & Functions of Proteins
(Amino Acid Structures & Properties, Protein Biosynthesis, Shape & Structure of Proteins, Domains & Motifs, Protein Families; Post Translational Modifications, Folding and Dynamics of Proteins in Cellular Compartments; Forms & Functions of Enzymes, Enzymatic Kinetics, Cellular and Pharmacological Inhibitors, Enzymatic Regulation of Cellular Functions, Cellular Oxygenation.)
- Structures & Functions of Carbohydrates
(Structures of polysaccharides; Physiologically important carbohydrates; Mitochondria & Bioenergetics; Oxidative and Non Oxidative Metabolism; Overview of a system approach to the Organization & Regulation of Metabolic Pathways.)
- Structures & Functions of Nucleic Acids
(Structure & Function of nucleic acids; DNA Replication and Repair; Analysis and Manipulation of DNA.)
- Integration of the roles and functions of various classes of biomolecules in cellular communication
(Introduction to molecular aspects of signal transduction – from membrane to gene expression.)
More information: https://nusmods.com/modules/LSM1301/general-biology
- Science of Biology
Attributes of a living thing. Classification of living things. Scientific method and the limits of science.
- Chemistry of Life
Functional groups. Condensation and hydrolysis. Structure and function of biological molecules – carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids.
- Cell Structure and Function
Size of a cell. Biological membranes. Structures and functions of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
- Energy and Life
Energy release in cells. Aerobic cellular respiration – glycolysis, acetyl-CoA formation, citric acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation. Fermentation. Breakdown of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins.
- DNA and Heredity
Genetic material. DNA structure and replication. DNA sequencing. Mitosis and meiosis.
- Gene Expression
Central dogma of molecular biology. RNA molecules and genetic code. Transcription, translation and mutations. Regulation of gene expression in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
Genetically modified organisms – bacteria, plants and animals. DNA profiling. Genetic screening and gene therapy. Environmental, safety and ethical issues.
History of evolutionary thought. Theory of natural selection. How populations evolve. Evidence for evolution.
Species concepts. Identification, naming and classifying of organisms. Constructing and interpreting cladograms.
- Plant Form and Function
Major plant groups. Plant tissue types. Photosynthesis. Plant growth and reproduction.
- Animal Form and Function
Major animal groups. Animal tissues and selected organ systems. Homeostasis.
Population growth. Community interactions. Ecosystem dynamics. Human impacts on the environment.
- Overview and RNA Methodologies: RNA Isolation and mRNA Expression
- Molecular Cloning
- DNA Sequencing
- Protein expression and extraction including buffer preparation
- Chromatographic methods: ion exchange, gel filtration and affinity chromatography
- Electrophoresis and Western blot
- Strategies for developing protein purification methods
More information: https://nusmods.com/modules/LSM2211/metabolism-and-regulation
- Overview of metabolism and general features in regulation of metabolic pathways.
ATPases, substrate-level phosphorylation, redox potential and
free energy release
- Carbohydrate Metabolism
Glycolysis and its regulation
Metabolism of other hexoses
Glycogen: metabolism and regulation
Gluconeogenesis and pentose phosphate pathway
- Lipid Metabolism
Digestion, absorption and transport
β-oxidation of fatty acids
Fatty acid biosynthesis
Synthesis of eicosanoids and membrane phospholipids
- Amino Acid Metabolism
Overview of amino acid metabolism
Transamination and deamination
Urea synthesis and the urea cycle
Metabolic fates of the carbon skeletons of amino acids
Metabolism of selected amino acids
Other specialised products derived from amino acid decarboxylation
- Regulation and integration of metabolism
Enzyme and hormonal regulation of metabolic pathways
Cellular compartmentation and organ specialization
Fuel metabolism in the starve-fed cycle and during exercise
Integration of metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins to ATP synthesis
More information: https://nusmods.com/modules/LSM2212/human-anatomy
- Cells and Tissues of the Body
- Respiratory System
- Endocrine System
- Musculoskeletal System
- Cardiovascular System
- Digestive System
- Urinary System
- Reproductive System
- Immune System
- Nervous System
More information: https://nusmods.com/modules/LSM2231/general-physiology
- Photosynthesis: from light to chemical energy
- Water and solute transport: ATP and chemical potential energy
- Water flux in plants
- Food and energy intake in animals
- Cellular respiration: production of cellular chemical energy (ATP)
- Diffusion, facilitated diffusion and active transport: from chemical energy to chemical potential energy
- Ionic gradients and membrane potential: from chemical potential energy to electrical energy
- Neural signals
- Cilia, flagella and amoeboid movement: from chemical energy to mechanical energy
- Muscle contraction
- Heat production and heat loss
Genes & Genome Dynamics
- Introduction – Landmark discoveries & current trends in molecular biology
- Gene density; complexity and genome manipulation.
– DNA topology, packaging & hierarchy of the eukaryotic genome;
– Nucleosomes; solenoids; loops; scaffolds;
– Telomeres and centromeres;
– Satellite DNA; repetitive DNA; gene families
- Organelle genomes (mitochondrial and chloroplast genomes)
Gene Expression and Regulation in Prokaryotes
- Gene transfer & genetic recombination: homologous, site-specific & transpositional recombination
- DNA rearrangements, mutation and repair
- Prokaryotic RNA polymerase and transcriptional regulation;
- Regulatory elements
- Prokaryotic operons & regulatory circuits;
- Positive & negative control systems; catabolic response, attenuation, antitermination
- Mutations to identify functionalities of operator, regulator & repressor
Gene Expression and Regulation in Eukaryotes
- Promoters; cis-elements (enhancers, silencers, LCRs…) in eukaryotes
- Eukaryotic RNA polymerases; transcription preinitiation complex
- Transcription factors (Zn fingers; coactivators; repressors…)
- Chromatin remodelling, Histone modifications
- Post-transcriptional processing: 5’capping; polyadenylation; splicing, mis-splicing and diseases
- Differential gene expression (spatial and temporal);
- RNA interference (RNAi) – gene silencing in control of expression
- Translational control
More information: https://nusmods.com/modules/LSM2233/cell-biology
- Organelles and Parkinson’s disease
- Organelle and Infection
- Intracellular protein trafficking and Diabetes
- Intracellular cell signaling
- Cellular proliferation and Cancer
More information: https://nusmods.com/modules/LSM2234/introduction-to-quantitative-biology
- Course Introduction and maths basics
- Building blocks of the cell by numbers; units and measurements
- Scales in biology and numerical applications
- Probability and randomness in biology
- Energy and forces in biology
- Entropy and transport and applied thermodynamics problems
- Kinetics (chemical kinetics and reaction rates; biological processes)
- Diffusive and directed transport processes in biological systems
- Fluids in biological systems
- Conductance and electrostatics
- Applied problems to biological systems
More information: https://nusmods.com/modules/LSM2241/introductory-bioinformatics
- Introduction, biological databases and bioinformatics sofware
- Pairwise alignments
- Searching sequence databases
- Multiple sequence alignments and databases
- Introductory molecular phylogenetics
- Genome browsers and personal genomics
More information: https://nusmods.com/modules/LSM2251/ecology-and-environment
- Course overview. What is Ecology?
- The Physical & Aquatic Environments.
- Individuals: Physical variables; thermal and water relations; evolution and extinction.
- Population ecology: distributions and abundance; population dynamics; population growth – models and reality; life history strategies.
- Ecological interactions: intra- and inter-specific competition; niches; predation; herbivory; parasitism and disease; mutualisms.
- Community ecology; assemblages or superorganisms; types of communities; community structure; diversity and stability; succession.
- The ecosystem concept: ecological energetics; primary production; energy flow; trophic levels; energy and carbon; nutrient cycling.
- Landscape ecology: landscape structure and processes; landscape change; global ecology; the Gaia hypothesis; human impacts on global processes.
More information: https://nusmods.com/modules/LSM2252/biodiversity
Introduction, Sytematics & Conservation
- Learning Outcomes & Methods
- Classification & Systematics
- The Sixth Extinction & Conservation of Biodiversity
- The Kent Ridge and LKCNHM Practicals
- Botany 1: Archaea, Cyanobacteria, red & green algae
- Botany 2: Non-vascular and vascular seedless plants
- Botany 3: Gymnosperms & Angiosperms (Part 1)
- Botany 4: Angiosperms (Part 2) & Fungi
- Introduction & Tree of Life
- Biodiversity Conservation
- Zoology 1: Non-photosynthetic Protists, Trends in the Animal Kingdom
- Zoology 2: Animal Phyla trends; Parazoa and Radiata (Porifera, Cnidaria & Ctenophora)
- Zoology 3: Protostomes 1 Lophotrochozoa (Platyhelminthes & Annelida)
- Zoology 4: Protosomes 2 Ecdysozoa I (Mollusca, Nematoda, Tardigrada)
- Zoology 5: Protosomes 3 Ecdysozoa II (Arthropoda & Onychophora)
- Zoology 6: Deuterostomes 1 (Echinodermata, Hemichordata, Protochordata)
- Zoology 7: Deuterostomes 2 (Vertebrates I: Fishes & Amphibia); Deuterostomes 3 (Vertebrates II: Reptiles including Birds & Mammals)
- Review of basic concepts.
- Experimental design in ecology.
- Introduction to R.
- Univariate tests.
- Linear and multiple regression.
- ANOVA and ANCOVA.
- Generalized Linear Models.
- Difficulties of ecological data: spatial and temporal correlation. GIS in R.
- Linear mixed-effects models.
- Generalized mixed-effects models.
- Multivariate statistics.
More information: https://nusmods.com/modules/LSM2254/fundamentals-of-plant-biology
- Importance of plants
- Plant structure, growth and development
- Unique aspects of plant cells and tissues
- The model plant Arabidopsis
- Sensing the environment
- Light perception and transduction
- Responses to abiotic stress
- Responses to pathogens
- Coordinating growth through plant hormones
- Perception, signaling and action
- Plant biotechnology and genetic engineering
- Introduction to the diversity of microbial world and phylogeny
- Isolation and identification of microbes
- Microbes in the environment: Where are microbes found and
why are they there
- Microbes and immunity
- Soil microbiology: Isolation, identification and characterization (antibiotic producers, polysaccharide producers)
- Water-borne pathogens: Isolation, enumeration, physiology and behaviour outside the host
- Food microbiology: Isolation, enumeration and characterization (yeast, lactic acid bacteria, enteric bacteria)
- Human skin microbiology: Isolation, are they pathogens?