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Unit information: Recombinant DNA Technology in 2020/21

Unit name Recombinant DNA Technology
Unit code MOLG22100
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Kuwabara
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Biochemistry
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences


This unit examines the methodology and applications of recombinant DNA technology. Topics covered include: genome organisation; procedures for cloning and analysing genes; methods for analysing gene expression; the creation and use of transgenic microorganisms and animals; gene editing; synthetic DNA and genomes; protein engineering; bioinformatics; microarray technology. Some prior knowledge of molecular biology (eg equivalent to Biochemistry: Cellular Composition) is recommended.

The main aim of this Unit is to provide students with a good understanding of the techniques used to clone, analyse and modify genetic material in microorganisms, plants and animals. Further aims are to improve their ability to critically assess experimental data.

Intended learning outcomes

Learning outcomes: knowledge and understanding

Upon completion of this course students should understand and be able to explain:

  1. the organisation of prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes;
  2. the methods commonly employed for manipulation and analysis of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA);
  3. the methods commonly employed for the creation of genetically-modified cell lines and organisms (microbes and animals);
  4. the applications of bioinformatics and functional genomics;

Learning outcomes: skills

Upon completion of this course students should have acquired the skills necessary to:

  1. understand how to undertake simple gene-cloning experiments;
  2. interpret experimental data obtained using the techniques described in the course;
  3. present experimental work in a clear and concise written report.

Teaching details

Lectures, tutorials and practicals

Assessment Details

Continual assessment: 40% of the total marks for the unit are awarded on the basis of assessment exercises undertaken during the course. *15% of the final assessment mark is awarded for a data-handling exercise. *10% of the final a mark is awarded for one assessed essay. *15% of the final mark is awarded for a practical write-up. Sessional exam: 60% of the final assessment mark is awarded for a timed essay.

Reading and References

Core reading

  • "Molecular Biology of the Gene" 7th ed. (2013) by J. Watson et al. (Pearson) or
  • "Genomes 4" (2018) by T. Brown (Garland Science) or
  • "Gene Cloning & DNA analysis" 7th ed (2016) by T. Brown (Wiley Blackwell)

Additional/supplemental reading

  • "Gene Cloning. Principles and Applications" (2007) by J. Lodge et al. (Taylor & Francis) or
  • "Instant Notes in Molecular Biology" 3rd ed (2012) by A. McClennan et al. (Taylor & Francis) or
  • "Gene Cloning & Manipulation" 2nd ed (2007) by C. Howe (Cambridge University Press)