Module Identifier BS21520  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr David J Hopper  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Dr Mustak A Kaderbhai  
Pre-Requisite BS10910 - Introductory Biochemistry, BS12020 - Cell Structure, Metabolism & Function  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   1 Hours  
  Practical   80 Hours (Up to twenty, 4-hour practical sessions)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours One 2-hour practical examination  30%
Semester Assessment Lab Work And Report: Continuous assessment of practical work throughout the module and presentation of selected experimental work in thesis format70%
Supplementary Assessment2 Hours One 2-hour practical examination (plus resubmission of failed or missing coursework or an alternative)   

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module students should


The aims of this module are to give students the opportunity to acquire the necessary skills to enable them to understand and interpret experimental protocols, and to carry out practical work to an acceptable level of accuracy with a variety of biological materials. This will be done by careful choice of experiments to ensure their exposure to a wide range of equipment and preparative practical procedures.


As a prelude to commencing experimental work students will attend an introductory session in which essential information about the course will be dealt with on an interactive basis. This will include aspects of laboratory safety, COSHH regulations, and the handling and presentation of experimental data.   
The experimental work will be organised so that each student has the opportunity to experience a broad range of experimental procedures. Experiments offered are designed to familiarise the student with the laboratory facilities available and the range of equipment in routine use and, at the same time, develop qualitative and quantitative skills that will be essential for successful research project work at level 3.
Experiments can be grouped under the following general headings:
(1) Isolation of biological molecules. Purifications of the periplasmic enzyme, alkaline phosphatase from Escherichia coli and of cytochrome c from heart tissue make use of ion exchange and molecular exclusion chromatography. Isolation of trehalose from yeast and glycogen from rat liver both exploit differential solvent extraction and isolation of D-a-tocopherol from egg yolk provides experience of partition chromatography.   
(2) Analytical techniques. The isolation of these biological materials leads logically to the use of a range of different techniques for analysis and determination of purity. These include various procedures leading to spectrophotometric measurements, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of proteins and TLC. Enzymes, their assay and characterisation play a fundamental role in many areas of biochemistry and the alkaline phosphatase is further exploited in kinetic studies that provide an intensive exercise in quantitative spectrophotometry.

Other experiments, designed to provide 'hands on' experience of specialised equipment include gas-liquid chromatography of fatty acids, radioactive monitoring of the products of an enzymic reaction, assessment of the metabolic versatility of bacteria and metabolic pathway selection by respirometry, fluorimetric analysis of protein-lizard binding sites and the use of endonucleases in DNA fingerprinting.

Reading Lists

** Multiple Copies In Hugh Owen
Dawes, E.A. (1980) Quantitative problems in biochemistry 6th. Livingstone.
Price, N. C. & Dwek, R.A. (1989) Principles and problems in physical chemistry for biochemists 2nd. Oxford: Oxfrod University Press


This module is at CQFW Level 5