Module Identifier BS22520  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Dr Gerard Bishop  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Dr David Lamb, Dr Glyn Jenkins, Dr Mustak Kaderbhai  
Course delivery Lecture   30 Hours  
  Practical   6 Hours (3 x 2 hours)  
Assessment Practical exercise   Continuous assessment of practical work   30%  
  Exam   3 Hours One 3-hour theory paper   70%  
  Resit assessment   3 Hours One 3-hour theory paper (plus resubmission of failed coursework or an alternative)    

Aims and objectives

The module is aimed at providing the background knowledge and understanding of molecular approaches in tackling biological problems.


This is a core module for those wishing use molecular approaches in biology.
Initially the module will focus on the molecular basics of DNA replication, DNA transcription and RNA translation.
Detailed description of DNA replication, the enzymes involved and how replication proceeds will be presented.
Enzymes and mechanisms involved in the transcription of both eukaryotic and prokaryotic genes will be described.
The components and machinery of RNA translation will be presented.
A basic understanding of the lac operon will also be explained.
The concepts of gene cloning and recombinant gene expression will be presented.
Uses of Plasmid vectors, antibiotic resistance and restriction endo-nucleases will be explained
Choice of cloning vector for the size of DNA to be cloned and organism for gene cloning will be explained.
Techniques for making and screening recombinant DNA or cDNA libraries will be explained.
Including, agarose gel electrophoresis, DNA-gel blot analysis (Southerns).
Essentials of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) techniques will be taught.
Techniques for studying DNA, including DNA sequencing and synthesis, DNA modification kinases, methylases and their uses will be presented.
Techniques for studying RNA, including RNA-gel blot analysis and quantitative RT-PCR will be taught.
Techniques for studying proteins, Western blots, 2-D gels, elisa techniques will be presented.
More sophisticated techniques of in situ hybridisation will be presented.
Basic molecular biology of model organisms will be presented namely Yeast, Arabidopsis thaliana (a plant) and mice. Including how transgenics of these organisms can be made and studied.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module the student will

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Glick, B.R. & Pasternak, J.J.. (1998) Molecular biotechnology. 2nd. ASM Press.
Lewin, B.. (2000) Genes VII. Oxford Unviersity Press
Lodish,H., Berk, A., Zipursky, S.L., Matsudaira, P., Baltimore, D., Darnell, J.,. (2000) Molecular cell biology. 4th. W.H. Freeman & Company