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During 2021 we will continue to support students who need to study remotely due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and travel restrictions. Make sure you check the location code when selecting a unit outline or choosing your units of study in Sydney Student. Find out more about what these codes mean. Both remote and on-campus locations have the same learning activities and assessments, however teaching staff may vary. More information about face-to-face teaching and assessment arrangements for each unit will be provided on Canvas.

Unit of study_

OLET1508: Health Challenges: Evolution Health and Disease

This unit of study has been developed by academics in the University's Charles Perkins Centre, an interdisciplinary education and research hub where researchers produce novel solutions to chronic disease. Chronic diseases are the leading cause of death, disability and reduced quality of life across the world. Generating innovative solutions to combat these global health challenges requires us to rethink our traditional approaches to their causes, where medical or biological factors are considered in isolation from their societal, and environmental contexts. In this OLE, students will learn how an approach to these challenges using evolutionary thinking can generate new ways of identifying potential solutions. Global leaders in the field will provide an insight into the topics: introduction to evolutionary thinking; life history and health; materno-fetal conflict and its longer-term health consequences; human variation and its health consequences; and an overview of the many other topics in the physiology and medicine of chronic disease that can be addressed from an evolutionary perspective. By the end of this OLE students will be able to utilise evolutionary thinking for a truly multidisciplinary approach to hypothesis development to address health challenges.

Details

Academic unit Department of Medical Sciences
Unit code OLET1508
Unit name Health Challenges: Evolution Health and Disease
Session, year
? 
Semester 1, 2021
Attendance mode Online
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 2

Enrolment rules

Prohibitions
? 
None
Prerequisites
? 
None
Corequisites
? 
None
Available to study abroad and exchange students

No

Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Paul Griffiths, paul.griffiths@sydney.edu.au
Tutor(s) Isobel Ronai , isobel.ronai@sydney.edu.au
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Module 1 quiz
online quiz
10% Week 13
Due date: 04 Jun 2021
unlimited
Outcomes assessed: LO1
Assignment Module 2 quiz
online quiz
10% Week 13
Due date: 04 Jun 2021
unlimited
Outcomes assessed: LO1
Assignment Module 3 Quiz
online quiz
10% Week 13
Due date: 04 Jun 2021
unlimited
Outcomes assessed: LO1
Assignment Module 4 quiz #1
online quiz
10% Week 13
Due date: 04 Jun 2021
unlimited
Outcomes assessed: LO1
Assignment Module 4 Quiz #2
online quiz
5% Week 13
Due date: 04 Jun 2021
unlimited
Outcomes assessed: LO1
Assignment Module 5 quiz
online quiz
10% Week 13
Due date: 04 Jun 2021
unlimited
Outcomes assessed: LO1
Assignment Written Assignment
short essay
45% Week 13
Due date: 04 Jun 2021
500wds
Outcomes assessed: LO1
  • Module 1 Quiz. Select correct responses 10% Due June 4th
  • Module 2 Quiz. Select correct responses 10% Due June 4th
  • Module 3 Quiz. Select correct responses 10% Due June 4th
  • Module 4 Quiz #1. Select correct responses 10% Due June 4th
  • Module 4 Quiz #2. Select correct responses 5% Due June 4th
  • Module 5 Quiz. Select correct responses 10% Due June 4th
  • Written Assignment: Choose a pathological condition from the list below, and explain how an Evolutionary Medicine perspective could provide new insights about the condition, and/or change the way the condition is understood, treated and managed at the individual and population level.
    Some references will be provided as a starting point for each example
    Influenza
    Angelmans Syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome
    Coronary heart disease
    Schizophrenia
    Substance abuse and addiction
    Celiac disease
    Word limit: 500 words not including references  45% Due June 4th

Assessment criteria

We are looking for two things. First, accurate recall and application of the concepts covered in the course and referred to in the Learning Outcomes. These include both general concepts in evolutionary theory and specific concepts from evolutionary medicine. Second, demonstration of transfer of knowledge, critical thinking and problem solving through the application of the above concepts to a novel example.

Pass Students should demonstrate an understanding of the relevance of Evolutionary Medicine to their chosen example, make some use of relevant conceptual tools that can be applied from Evolutionary Medicine, and display only a small number of minor errors in their use of evolutionary concepts and understanding of the biological example.


Credit Students should demonstrate an understanding of the relevance of Evolutionary Medicine to their chosen example, make use of relevant conceptual tools that can be applied from Evolutionary Medicine, and accurately use multiple evolutionary concepts, demonstrating an understanding of the biological example.

Distinction Students should demonstrate an understanding of the relevance of Evolutionary Medicine to their chosen example, make use of relevant conceptual tools that can be applied from Evolutionary Medicine, elaborating on those provided in the course, and accurately use a range of evolutionary concepts, demonstrating a good understanding of the biological example that goes beyond the provided readings.

High Distinction Students should demonstrate an understanding of the relevance of Evolutionary Medicine to their chosen example, make use of a significant range of relevant conceptual tools that can be applied from Evolutionary Medicine, elaborating on those provided in the course, and accurately use a wide range of relevant evolutionary concepts, demonstrating a high level of critical thinking in the way they
apply evolutionary concepts, as well as an excellent understanding of the biological example that goes beyond the provided readings

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

None - special consideration requests should be sought

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic honesty, academic dishonesty, and the resources available to all students.

The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic dishonesty or plagiarism seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of dishonesty, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week -02 Why does Evolution matter to medicine II (3 hr)  
Week 01 Why does evolution matter to medicine? (3 hr) LO1
Week 03 Evolution: The basics (3 hr) LO1
Week 04 Evolution: The basics II (3 hr) LO1
Week 05 Life-history evolution (3 hr) LO1
Week 06 Life-history evolution II (3 hr)  
Week 07 Materno-Fetal conflict (3 hr) LO1
Week 08 Materno-Fetal conflict II (3 hr) LO1
Week 09 Settling the Earth (3 hr) LO1
Week 10 Settling the Earth II (3 hr) LO1
Week 11 Where now with Evolutionary Medicine? (3 hr) LO1
Week 12 Where now with Evolutionary Medicine? II (3 hr) LO1
Week 13 Research final assignment topic (8 hr) LO1

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 2 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 40-50 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. 1 Describe the key concepts of evolutionary theory 2 Demonstrate knowledge relating to the thematic modules of evolutionary concepts in disease 3 Demonstrate principles of evolution and its application in the broader context of human reproduction and lifestyle choices 4 Apply the principles of evolutionary medicine to examples of non-communicable diseases

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
GQ1 GQ2 GQ3 GQ4 GQ5 GQ6 GQ7 GQ8 GQ9
No changes have been made since this unit was last offered

Disclaimer

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