LSC-20003 - Gene and Protein Engineering
Coordinator: Roberto Galizi Tel: +44 1782 7 32745
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 734414

Programme/Approved Electives for 2022/23


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2022/23

This module will detail how the manipulation of genetic material, DNA, is carried out using landmark techniques developed over the past few decades which have transformed the whole range of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, and Biotechnology. These techniques will be introduced to students via traditional and selective interactive lectures, ranging from basic PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to complex CRISPR gene editing, which now allow us to study the structure and function of single genes, to design and produce modified and novel DNA molecules, and subsequently to produce novel gene products, i.e. proteins. In laboratory sessions, students will learn practical skills in genetic manipulation in order to isolate and clone a fragment of the gene encoding the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase from E. coli. In workshops, students will be given revision opportunities, and introduced to bioinformatics tools as well as ethical issues associated with gene and protein engineering. Students will be assessed on their practical work in the form of a lab pro forma, and for the module overall in a final examination. An understanding of these important techniques is key across the Biochemistry and Biomedical Science programmes; this module therefore provides students with essential background knowledge of the techniques which play key roles in modern molecular biology or biomedical laboratories.

The manipulation of the genetic material, DNA, using techniques developed in the past 30-40 years, has transformed virtually the whole range of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. These techniques now allow us to study the structure and function of single genes, to design and produce modified and novel DNA molecules, and subsequently to produce novel gene products, i.e. proteins. This module aims to provide the essential background knowledge of the molecular tools used for this purpose and to build on this to describe some of the ways in which these tools are used in Biochemistry, in other Biomedical Sciences, and in Biotechnology. The module includes practical manipulation of DNA and the use of techniques such as DNA cloning and polymerase chain reaction which play key roles in modern molecular biology.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Explain the principles and significance of nucleic acid hybridisation and apply them to the analysis and manipulation of DNA and RNA in vitro
: 2
Explain the principles of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), molecular cloning and DNA sequencing, and apply them to the analysis and manipulation of DNA
: 2
Describe the strategies and techniques used in cloning genomic DNA and cDNA, and apply them to the expression of recombinant proteins for the analysis of gene function and other applications of modern biotechnology
: 1
Recognise and discuss key ethical issues related to the use of DNA manipulation and the information derived from it: 1
Describe the principles and current technologies associated with human genetic sequencing, and apply this knowledge to areas of genomics, proteomics and the implications for Genetically Modified Organisms: 1

Study hours

16 Scheduled Learning/Teaching Hours:
1 hr x 1 introduction to module
1 hr x 5 guidance and Q&A on assessment and lecture content
2 hr x 5 workshops/flipped lectures
134 Independent Study Hours:
20 hr short (10-30 minutes) pre-recorded presentations
32 hr private study to support asynchronous activity including preparations for workshops, directed reading and additional resources
12 hr reflection from labs delivered as part of the LSC-20107 Practical Skills in Bioscience module
35 hr revision for ICA
35 hr revision for final exam

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Open Book Examination weighted 75%
Online open-book exam
The paper will be released on KLE as a Word document at 9am on the morning of the exam. Section A will ask you to assess an experimental plan through a series of short answer questions. You should pay careful attention to the number of points that each question is worth. In general, we would expect only one or two sentences for each point available. Section B will present you with 3 essay-based questions. You need to choose 1 to answer. Typical answers would be in the range of 500-750 words per question. We recommend that you do not exceed 750 words as we will be assessing the quality of your answer, not the quantity. You should answer all questions using Word, clearly labelling each question. Work should be submitted to Turnitin no later than 5pm on the day of release. International students should notify the School if they need an extension due to different time zones. Although you have been given significant time to complete this exam script, we expect most students to spend no more 2 hours. Answers should be as accurate and concise as possible.

2: Assignment weighted 25%
In-course summative assessment (Structured Proforma)
Structured Proforma consisting of short answer questions submitted via Turnitin. Typical word count = 500-750. The students will have approximately 5 weeks to work towards a mix of short answer questions and exercises (recommended 500-750 words overall) assessing knowledge and skills related to the first part of the module (specifically ILOs 1 and 2). The scheduled lab sessions delivered as part of the LSC 20107 Practical Skills in Bioscience module will supplement the content delivered as part of this module and relevant to the in-course assessment. Dedicated schedule sessions will be delivered to provide guidance and opportunity for Q&A and revisions before and after the ICA.