"Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun."

Mary Lou Cook

Academic Integrity

Welcome to Southern Cross University. Starting university study is really exciting. There are a lot of new ideas, people, traditions and expectations to learn about, while also fitting study into your life. When joining a new community it can be hard to know what is expected and how to do the right thing. But everyone at SCU wants to welcome new students, and help set you up for study success. Most new students experience waves of excitement, moments of challenge, and have lots of questions. For example, students know that academic integrity is important, and want to do the ‘right thing’ and follow the rules. At the same time, academic integrity can be a confusing idea at first, and most new students are not sure what they need to do to practise Academic Integrity. As a new student, you may not realise if you have breached academic integrity, and that there can be serious penalties. At Southern Cross University, success as a student depends, in many ways, on your Academic Integrity, particularly when completing assessments It involves being honest about what is your work, what is influenced by other people's work and what is directly borrowed from someone else. The rules and practices of academic integrity at SCU could be very different to the ones you know from previous studies and workplaces. So, it is important you learn about what it means in the SCU context. At SCU, we want to help set you up for study success. We understand that new students need to be given opportunities to learn about academic integrity This is why at SCU we give new students, in their first study session, the opportunity to learn how to practise academic integrity. You will find lots of academic integrity support, including in-class and online activities, assessment feedback, Learning Zone resources and options to talk with the Learning Coaches. We have developed an Academic Integrity Module to help you understand the rules and expectations and how to practise integrity in your academic work. But ultimately, you are responsible for the academic integrity in your work. You will also need to continue to be honest and ensure that you do the right thing when submitting your assessments. As you study, keep developing your toolbox of assessment skills. Practising academic integrity is important. These integrity skills will set you up for success at university, and in your future professional role. Make sure you use your first study session to access academic integrity support, talk to your teachers and other students, ask questions, act on feedback, and develop your toolbox of skills. So, let’s get started!

How Genes Work: Revision

This is a space filling model of a section of a DNA molecule. Recall that DNA is a double helix – two strands wound around each other somewhat like a spiral staircase. The ‘staircase rails’ of DNA are composed of sugar phosphate groups linked together and pointing in to the centre are the four different bases, in varying order along the chains.
If we simplify the space filling model and designate the different bases by the letter A, C, G or T, you can notice that A (adenine) always pairs with T (thymine) and C (cytosine) with G (guanine). The instructions for the sequence of amino acids of protein molecules is coded within the sequence of the bases in the centre of the molecule. In addition to the codes for the protein amino acid sequences there are instructions on which cell types each protein should be synthesised in, at what stage and how much should be made and there may be feedback mechanisms regulating this via the DNA.
In bioinformatics we usually only consider the composition of one strand of the DNA sequence, since the other is rather like a mirror image and can  be found quite simply by using the base pairing rules just mentioned. In the cell, the ‘coding’ strand is used as a template for the synthesis of messenger RNA (or mRNA as it is abbreviated to). The messenger RNA sequence is specified by similar base pairing rules except Uracil replaces Thymine in this single stranded molecule. The messenger RNA travels out of the nucleus and into the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells where it is decoded on the ribosomes to make specific protein molecules according to the DNA and mRNA sequence.
In bioinformatics then we just consider the sequence of bases of one strand of DNA and computationally the sequence of the complementary strand is taken into account. So we go from a molecule with a particular sequence of nucleotide bases that we record simply as letters in a sequence of text. Computations can be carried out with this sequence of text – for example to find matching sequences in a database of DNA sequences.