Techniques of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
Run by School of Natural Sciences
20.000 Credits or 10.000 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Dr Anil Shirsat
Overall aims and purpose
Please note: This module is only available to students in the School of Natural Sciences Degree Programmes
The module provides a firm background and training in the analysis of nucleic acids. It is presented by the Course Director who is involved in day to day research using these techniques. The aim of the BSM-4104 module is to provide understanding and experience of a number of key research techniques used in molecular biology and biotechnology research and to develop the ability to produce a written reports to a standardized format used for a scientific research projects and theses. The practical elements are delivered in a state of the art teaching/research laboratory to provide sufficient time for students to both develop extensive ‘hands-on’ practical experience. In the laboratory, practical tuition will be supported and enhanced via extensive use of audio/visual tutorials. Practical training will be delivered by staff who are expert in the techniques of molecular biology and biochemistry.
This is a practical module designed to equip the student with expertise in standard molecular biology techniques.
1) Extraction and analysis of plant DNA. 2) Extraction and analysis of plant RNA 3) Restriction enzyme mapping of plasmids 4) Analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms in human DNA 5) Analysis of Variable Numbers of Tandem Repeats in the human genome.
Pass (50 – 59%) Written practical reports should demonstrate at least a basic knowledge and understanding of the essential facts and key concepts of all the subjects covered in this module, and in addition, demonstrate a basic appreciation of how practical reports should be presented. A report in this category will have errors in the presentation and analysis of data.
Merit (60 – 69%) Thoroughly competent written practical report with no major errors or misunderstandings. Presentation of the material in a logical and ordered manner, but with some errors in presentation. The report may show some evidence of gleaning information from background reading. The level of written English will be below that expected from a report in the "Distinction" category.
Distinction (70% and above) An outstanding written practical report, showing complete familiarity with the subject, confidence in handling data. The report should have no errors of presentation of figures and graphs. There should be very few errors in written English. The report should convey the impression that the writer is an authority on the subject, and may present information gleaned from outside reading.
The extraction of RNA in an undegraded form from plant tissues.
The analysis of DNA and RNA nucleic acids on agarose gels, and understanding the electrophoretic parameters associated with such analyses.
Mapping unknown plasmid DNA molecules with respect to number and position of restriction enzyme sites.
The extraction of human DNA from cheek cells.
The use of the polymerase chain reaction and primer design.
The analysis of human single nucleotide polymorphisms using RFLPs.
The analysis of VNTRs in the human genome (DNA fingerprinting)
The extraction of DNA from plant tissues, including overcoming the problems of DNA extraction.
|COURSEWORK||Isolation and analysis of plant DNA||20.00|
|COURSEWORK||Isolation and analysis of plant RNA||20.00|
|COURSEWORK||Analysis of human single nucleotide polymorphisms||20.00|
|COURSEWORK||Human DNA Fingerprinting||20.00|
Teaching and Learning Strategy
|Practical classes and workshops||
6 full days of practical classes - each day consists of 7 hours of practical time (42 hours)
The time will be devoted to researching the practicals, and writing them up in the prescribed format.
Feedback sessions will be held in order to give feedback to each of the students.
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
- Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
Subject specific skills
- Conduct fieldwork and/or laboratory work competently with awareness of appropriate risk assessment and ethical considerations
- Apply subject knowledge to the understanding and addressing of problems.
- Collect, analyse and interpret primary and/or secondary data using appropriate qualitative and/or quantitative techniques.
- Engagement with current developments in the biosciences and their application.
- Appreciation of the complexity and diversity of life processes through the study of organisms.
- Undertake field and/or laboratory studies of living systems.
- Undertake practical work to ensure competence in basic experimental skills.
Resource implications for students
Pre- and Co-requisite Modules
Courses including this module
Compulsory in courses:
- C7AA: MSc Molecular Biology with Biotechnology year 1 (MSC/MBB)