This course explores the biology of human and animal viruses and their unique properties that enable their persistence and spread. We will examine viral structure, classification, molecular virology, laboratory diagnosis, and applications of viruses in biotechnology. The pathogenesis of viral diseases is discussed in the context of virus-host interactions, as is viral persistence, transmission and control of viral infections in the community. The course will outline the common steps used by viruses for successful replication within a host cell, by using examples taken from a set of representative significant animal and human viruses. Studying virology enables a deeper understanding of the function of molecules, cells and has provided fundamental understanding of molecular and cell biology in general.
Practicals are designed to provide students with opportunities to see how antivirals are developed, analyse viral structure and explore viruses using molecular biology, serology and viral culture techniques. Viral evolution and recombination will also be dissected using bioinformatic approaches. An online component of the course allows students to engage in on-line computer activities including group discussions. The final "consultancy brief" project provides students with an opportunity to gain experience in working in consultancy teams to facilitate research on a current topic in virology for a "client", and produce a professional report and a short seminar.
Note: It is highly recommended that students take BIOC2201.
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