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To participate in the rapidly expanding fields of genome research and protein structure-function analysis it is necessary to have an understanding of the techniques used in these areas.
This subject provides practical training in the technologies of molecular biology, protein expression and molecular cell biology. Analysis of the data derived from these techniques is also integral to these studies.
Areas covered include the use of recombinant DNA for the investigation of gene function, the use of bacterial expression systems for the production and analysis of recombinant proteins; mass spectrometry to identify proteins and the use of fluorescently labelled proteins to understand sub-cellular targetting in mammalian cells.
Specific experiments will deal with DNA cloning and sequencing, enzyme mutagenesis and expression, the identification of proteins in mammalian sera and using fluorescent microscopy to localise subcellular localisation of proteins in mammalian cells.
Students will learn how to maintain a laboratory notebook to record their experiments and how to compose a scientific report. In addition, students will develop an appreciation for the current scientific literature and collaborate in student presentations.
The experimental work is supported by a lecture series providing an overview of technologies used in class and in research.
Intended learning outcomes
- to provide practical experience in a variety of techniques used in biochemistry and molecular biology.
- to give instruction in the correct methods for keeping scientific records and writing scientific reports.
- to provide experience in simple experimental design and problem solving.
- to extend students' knowledge of the use of bioinformatics in the analysis of DNA and protein sequence data and in data derived by mass spectrometry.
- to assist students in the evaluation of scientific literature and to develop skills in the presentation of scientific data in oral and written formats.
On completion of this subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:
- Hands-on experience in a variety of techniques, generating results for analysis.
- Design and execution of simple experiments.
- Analysis of experimental data using spreadsheets and bioinformatics resources.
- The ability to keep complete and accurate records of experimental results and to use these records to prepare a scientific report.
- Evaluation and presentation of scientific literature to an audience.
- The ability to interpret scientific literature and interpret data from electronic databases.
- The capacity to integrate knowledge across disciplines.
- The ability to comprehend a question, evaluate the relevant information and communicate an answer.
Last updated: 2 December 2019