BMB546: Cellular evolution

Study Board of Science

Teaching language: Danish
EKA: N200037112, N200037102
Assessment: Second examiner: None, Second examiner: External
Grading: Pass/Fail, 7-point grading scale
Offered in: Odense
Offered in: Spring
Level: Bachelor

STADS ID (UVA): N200037101
ECTS value: 5

Date of Approval: 26-10-2022

Duration: 1 semester

Version: Approved - active

Entry requirements

The course is only for students enrolled on a bachelor in BMB or Biomedicine

Academic preconditions

Students taking the course are expected to: Have knowledge of fundamental cell biology, including basic molecular chemistry and molecular biology.

Course introduction

The aim of the course is to give the student insight into, and an understanding of, the evolutionary mechanisms in various contexts, and the effects of these on the physiological parameters in various living organisms, focusing on mammals, including humans. In addition, the course will focus on enabling the student to transfer the understanding of evolutionary mechanisms to a broad range of areas, including bioinformatics and a self chosen topic.

The course builds on the fundamental understanding of cell biology, biochemistry and molecular biology, obtained earlier in the program, and gives a fundamental understanding of physiology, including the function of various organs and tissues and their interaction and development in an evolutionary context, which provides a foundation for studying these topics later in the program, including in the course BMB536, as well as courses in physiology and patophysiologi.
The course will also introduce the students to review papers, as part of the syllabus, and thus provides the student with insight into the function of this type of paper.

The course builds on knowledge of protein chemistry and bioinformatics achieved in courses such as BMB533 and BMB511, and gives the academic basis for subsequent electives within the field (i.e BMB836) as well as a masters project

The course will contribute to the following in the competency profile:
  • To understand the mechanisms that underlie evolution and natural selection, and be able to transfer these to other contexts including evolutionary computation
  • To approach scientific collaborations professionally, based on projects carried out in groups
  • To be able to apply knowledge of evolution and the mechanisms behind it to, in groups, chose a relevant project, where evolution is a consistent theme.
  • Be able to discuss various physiological aspects, and how evolution plays a part in these

Expected learning outcome

The learning objective of the course is that the student demonstrates the ability to:

  • Account for the mechanism behind evolution, including micro- and macroevolution
  • Account for the mechanisms of evolution on the genetic level
  • Describe the physiology of mammals in a evolutionary perspective
  • Explain the function of major hormones
  • Account for the mammalian digestion, excretion and cardiovascular systems
  • Account for the physiological function of selected organs and tissues, including the evolutionary development and variation
  • Explain the function of the nervous system and account for electrical signaling
  • Account for different types of reproduction
  • Account for the mechanisms in sensory organs at a cellular and molecular level
  • Account for the motor skills in muscles at the physiological, cellular and molecular level
  • Transfer knowledge of natural selection to other areas, including evolutionary computation


The following main topics are contained in the course:
  • Evolution - history and mechanisms
  • Micro - and macroevolution
  • The structure of the genome
  • The anatomy of mammals
  • Physiological regulation of water, salts, gasses and temperature
  • Hormones
  • The digestive system
  • The cardiovascular system
  • The excretion system
  • Reproduction
  • The nervous system, sensory and motor skills
  • Evolutionary computation


Campbell et al: Biology, 11th/12th ed and selected reviews
See itslearning for syllabus lists and additional literature references.

Examination regulations

Exam element a)




Written group assignment with oral presentation




Second examiner: None




Full name and SDU username


Normally, the same as teaching language

Examination aids

Allowed, a closer description of the exam rules will be posted in itslearning.

ECTS value


Additional information

Prepared in English

The exam form for the reexamination will be a short article on the form "Preview" or "editor's Choise", which accounts for the main points of a selected review of 1-2 pages. Supplementary literature (1-2 articles) supporting the main message of the article must be included along the way, and a summary figure will be produced summarising the conclusions.

Exam element a)


Spring and June


Port folio and test




Second examiner: External


7-point grading scale


Full name and SDU username


Normally, the same as teaching language


Electronic tests - 2 - 3 days
Written exam - 2 hours

Examination aids

Electronic tests: All aids.
Written exam: All common aids are allowed e.g. books, notes, computer programmes which do not use internet etc. 

Internet is not allowed during the exam. However, you may visit the course site in itslearning to fill in the MCQ test and to open system "DE-Digital Exam". If you wish to use course materials from itslearning, you must download the materials to your computer the day before the exam. During the exam you cannot be sure that all course materials is accessible in itslearning.

ECTS value


Additional information

The portfolio consists of three electronic tests on itslearning, held during the course, and a written exam in June. The three electronic tests during the course are with aids, and will be available for two to three days.

The written exam in June is with aids and will cover all topics of the course. An electronic test can only be taken once. Points are accumulated and the grade given based on the final number of points.

The point distribution between tests and exam is as follows: The three tests during the course each count 10% and the final written exam is 70%. When results from all the tests and the exam have been added, a final grade will be given based on the number of points obtained. Participation in the exam in June is mandatory in order to pass.

The form of reexamination will be a on-site exam which counts 100%. Points obtained during the three sub-exams and the written on-site exam in June will lapse and idoes not apply in the case of reexamination.

Indicative number of lessons

69 hours per semester

Teaching Method

The teaching method is based on three phase model.
  • Intro phase: 26 hours
  • Skills training phase: 30 hours, hereof tutorials: 30 hours
  • Study phase: 13 hours

Activities during the study phase:
As part the study phase single lessons will be scheduled before the lectures, to discuss the syllabus of the lecture. Each of these lessons should result in suggestions for the lecturer, in which the students specify which areas they find difficult,and would like the lecturer to focus on. This will be followed by a lecture, and subsequent tutorials, where the topics of the lecture will be discussed on the basis of set problems.

Teacher responsible

Name E-mail Department
Eva Bang Harvald Administration og Service


Administrative Unit

Biokemi og Molekylær Biologi

Team at Educational Law & Registration


Offered in


Recommended course of study

Transition rules

Transitional arrangements describe how a course replaces another course when changes are made to the course of study. 
If a transitional arrangement has been made for a course, it will be stated in the list. 
See transitional arrangements for all courses at the Faculty of Science.