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

In this module you will learn how we can manipulate genetic material (i.e. DNA) and how that continues to transform our understanding of Biology, Biomedical Science and Biotechnology. These techniques will be introduced via an interactive blend of teaching approaches to deliver contents covering a range of basic methods (e.g. DNA hybridisation, PCR and molecular cloning) and more complex techniques (e.g. CRISPR gene editing) used in genetic engineering. You will see how these techniques can be used to study the structure and function of single genes, design and engineer modified or novel DNA molecules and produce novel gene products such as new drugs and vaccines.
This module builds on some of your laboratory sessions (delivered as part of LSC 20107 Practical Skills in Bioscience) where you will gain hands-on experience in performing PCRs and other techniques involved in molecular cloning.
Tutorials and workshops will also give you a valuable insight into a range of essential considerations when working in gene and protein engineering such as computational design, bioinformatics and ethics.
Ultimately, this module will provide you with essential knowledge of gene and protein engineering techniques and an insight into the key role that they play in modern molecular biology or biomedical laboratories. Your knowledge and skills will be assessed through the completion of a coursework and a open book assessment.

The manipulation of genetic material (primarily DNA) has transformed virtually the whole range of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. Genetic editing 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 such as new proteins. These can find use in therapeutics, diagnostics, agriculture, food and energy production, and many other applications. This module aims to provide the essential background knowledge of the core concepts and 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, 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 replication and hybridisation, and apply them to the analysis and manipulation of DNA and RNA in vitro
: 1
Explain the principles of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), molecular cloning and DNA sequencing, and apply them to the analysis and manipulation of DNA
: 1
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
: 1,2
Recognise and discuss key ethical issues related to the use of DNA manipulation and their implications for the development of Genetically Modified Organisms: 2
Describe the principles and current technologies for genome sequencing and genome editing and apply this knowledge to the main areas of biotechnology: 2

Study hours

Scheduled Activities (18 hours)
1 hr x 1 Introduction to module
1 hr x 4 Guidance on assessments and workshops
2 hr x 1 Drop-in Session (Week 7)
1 hr x 1 Drop-in Session (Week 12)
2 hr x 4 Workshops
2 hr x 1 Interactive lecture
Independent Study (132 hours)
1 hr x 20 to engage and take notes from short (10-30 minutes) pre-recorded lectures
30 hr of private study to support asynchronous activity including preparations for workshops, directed reading and additional resources
12 hr for reflection from laboratory work delivered as part of the LSC-20107 Practical Skills in Bioscience module
35 hr for revision for coursework assessment
35 hr for revision for final open book assessment

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Coursework weighted 25%
Structured Proforma
Structured Proforma consisting of a mix of multiple choice and/or short answer questions/exercises submitted via Turnitin, total maximum word count of ~1000 words. The students will have 3 weeks to work on the assessment, which will be released in week 5 and submitted by week 8. The assessment will cover core material delivered within the first 5 weeks. Practical lab sessions delivered as part of the LSC 20107 module will supplement the content delivered as part of this module and relevant to the coursework assessment.

2: Open Book Examination weighted 75%
Open book assessment (2-hour with an 8-hour window)
Students will be asked to assess a series of experimental plans through three short answer questions. The recommended maximum length of each answer will be 250 words for each answer). The paper will be released on KLE as a Word document at 9am on the morning of the exam with deadline for submission set on the same day at 5pm . Students are expected to spend an average of 2 hours to complete this assessment and the assessment type/period for completion reflects real-world contexts where evaluation of experimental procedures/results could be expected.