LSC-20003 - Gene and Protein Engineering
Coordinator: Schammim R Amith Room: Hux169 Tel: +44 1782 7 33027
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 734414

Programme/Approved Electives for 2020/21


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2020/21

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 manipulation of DNA and RNA in vitro
: 1,2
Explain the principles of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA sequencing, and apply them to the analysis and manipulation of DNA
: 1,2
Describe the strategies and techniques used in cloning cDNA and genomic DNA, and apply them to the expression of recombinant proteins in biotechnology and in the analysis of gene function
: 1,2
Recognise and discuss key ethical issues related to the use of DNA manipulation and the information derived from it: 2
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: 2

Study hours

20 1-hour Lectures
6 1-hour Live Tutorials/Workshops
15 hours - Laboratory Practical Masterclasses
2 Hours Written Examination (8-hour window for submission)
107 Hours Guided Independent Study

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Report weighted 25%
Structured Proforma
Structured Proforma consisting of short answer questions. Submitted via Turnitin only, online marking.

2: 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. The exam will consist of of a choice of 2 out of 6 essay-based questions. Students should answer each question using Word, clearly labelling each question as they provide their answers. Work will be submitted to Turnitin no later than 5pm on the day of release. International students will be asked to notify the School if they need an extension due to different time zones. Although students have been given significant time to complete this exam script, we expect most students to spend no more than 2 hours on this exam. Answers should be as accurate and concise as possible. For essay-based questions, typical answers would be in the range of 500-750 words per question. We recommend that students do not exceed 750 words per essay-based question as we will be assessing the quality of your answer, not the quantity.