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    Tools and Techniques in Biotechnology
    BIOL S406
      More information: Course Guide
    Tools and Techniques in Biotechnology
    Course Start Date
    Aut 2021
    Course Level
    Length in Terms
    1 term
    Fees ($) (including lab fees)
    Future Terms
    Quota and Schedule
    Start Date
    Course Level Length in Terms Credits
    Fees ($)
    (including lab fees)
    Future Terms
    Aut 2021
    Higher 1 term 5

    Course Coordinator: Dr Emily Wong, BCM (HKU), PhD (HKU)

    Course Developer: Dr Tsang Shun Wa, consultant

    This course will provide an in-depth explanation of various techniques used in modern biotechnology, covering basic molecular biology techniques, transgenic animals, and plant generation. Application s of biotechnology such as gene therapy will also be discussed. The course will begin with a description of gene structure, and will then discuss the use of DNA recombinant technology to manipulate the sequence of a gene and thus modify its protein product expression. Microbial biotechnology, and transgenesis in plants and various animals will then be described. Microorganisms are only used in food production, but also in waste treatment. Transgenesis techniques can aid in the generation of transgenic crops that are resistant to pests and diseases. In addition, the generation of mutations on a gene in an animal can help students understand its function. We will also discuss the application of, and the ethical issues arising from, biotechnology.

    Advisory prerequisite(s)
    You are advised to have completed BIOL S303 Molecular Biology and Microbiology before studying this course. 

    The overall aims of this course are to introduce you to the applications of biotechnology, with special emphasis on the fundamental principles of handling and manipulating DNA in different organisms, to discuss the techniques for isolating genes and the subsequent engineering of these genes, and to provide insights into the promises, risks and social dimensions of biotechnology.

    Topics to be covered in the course:

    • Basic principles in molecular biology
    • Recombinant DNA technology and protein expression
    • Microbial biotechnology
    • Plant biotechnology
    • Animal biotechnology

    Learning support
    There are regular tutorials, surgeries and practical laboratory sessions with your tutors throughout the course.

    Two assignments are designed to assess your progress in the course. All assignments count towards the overall continuous assignment score. There will be a three-hour final course examination at the end of the course. Students are required to submit assignments via the Online Learning Environment (OLE).

    Online support
    This course is supported by the Online Learning Environment (OLE). You can find the latest course information from the OLE. Through the OLE, you can communicate electronically with your tutor and the Course Coordinator as well as other students. To Access the OLE, you will need to have access to the Internet. However, the use of the OLE is NOT compulsory for the study of this course.

    Students will need access to a personal computer or other electronic devices with an Internet connection.

    Set book(s)
    Clark, D P and Pazdernik, N J Biotechnology: Applying the Genetic Revolution, 2nd Elsevier Academic Press.

    Students with disabilities or special educational needs
    Students with impaired vision may have particular difficulties but other students with disabilities or special educational needs should be able to cope with the essential parts of the course. If in doubt, advice should be sought from the Course Coordinator.

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