Applied Molecular Biology


Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

● Provide an account of the various techniques available to study DNA
● Provide an account of the various techniques available to study RNA


This new module is needed to develop the basic concepts and understanding of molecular biology learnt in the first year. Knowledge of (and skills in) these areas are crucial for a future career in life sciences. A more advanced course in part 2 will provide enhanced opportunities for developing a secure skills base for students in their third year. This module is a most welcome addition to IBS's portfolio and it will have significant impact on the potential employability of our students.

Brief Discription

Molecular Biology is concerned with understanding biological processes at the molecular level. This module develops a better understanding of the many molecular methodologies that are utilized in current research. This module will therefore deepen the students understanding of molecular biological processes and the techniques available to study them. This will be provided via consideration of DNA, RNA and proteins separately. A detailed account will be provided of how they are made and of the available methods for studying and manipulating them. Methodologies for the creation of transgenic organisms will also be provided. Student will also gain hands on experience of some of the basic skills in molecular biology.


The module will focus on the following key topics.

Introduction and recapitulation of what should be known from first year.

• DNA replication
• DNA repair
• Study of chromosomes, FISH, GISH
• DNA cloning vectors and methodologies
• advanced PCR techniques
• Foot print technologies

• RNA synthesis including a basic understanding of control points to be provided via studying the lac operon
• RNA splicing
• techniques for measuring transcript levels
• generating cDNA and cDNA libraries
• reporter gene technologies

• Synthesis of proteins
• How to study protein-protein interactions - yeast 2-hybrid and immuno precipitation technologies.
• gene fusions, epitope- and fluorescent-tagging of proteins

How transgenic organisms are made
• concept of marker genes for selections,
• examples of generating transgenic plants and animals.

The practical component of the module will focus on experience of PCR, restriction digestion, ligation, selection of recombinant colonies and expression of recombinant proteins.