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Unit of study_

OLET1674: Modern Alchemy: Antibiotic vs Antiviral

What are antibiotics and how do they kill bacteria? Why don't they work against viral diseases like COVID19, and why aren't they as effective as they used to be? Chemicals like penicillin have saved millions of lives. How do they work, why do they kill some microbes and not others, why is resistance a really big problem, and what ways do we have to combat viruses? This unit will shine a light on antimicrobial drugs and uncover their life-saving chemistry. You will learn to identify broad structural features of molecules and gain an appreciation of how structure relates to function. You will gain a perspective on the discovery and invention of new antimicrobial molecules, and an understanding of the ongoing, rapidly evolving nature of this field. In the 2CP unit, you will build on the core content discussed in the 0CP unit to develop skills in communicating your knowledge of these molecules, their context and properties to others. By doing this unit, you will become a more informed patient, better able to understand the medicines you are prescribed, and you will be able to communicate what you've learned to your friends, family and community.

Code OLET1674
Academic unit Chemistry Academic Operations
Credit points 2

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

  • LO1. Identify the active chemical ingredients in important antimicrobial medicines and understand the molecular basis of their activity.
  • LO2. Apply these concepts to categorise molecules according to key structural elements and physical properties.
  • LO3. Reflect on the origins of modern antimicrobial agents in traditional knowledge of flora and fauna.
  • LO4. Create learning resources that explain the chemical ingredients of antimicrobial agents and so communicate scientific information appropriately.

Unit outlines

Unit outlines will be available 1 week before the first day of teaching for the relevant session.