Biology 450

BIOL 450: Molecular Biology

Prerequisites: A grade of “C” or better in BIOL 131, BIOL 132, BIOL 231, BIOL 232, and CHEM 102

Credit Hours: (4) Three hours lecture, three hours laboratory

Covers the structure and function of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the flow of information from DNA to ribonucleic acid (RNA) to protein, and the regulation of gene function in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Laboratories will focus on the techniques and applications of recombinant DNA technology, including cloning and DNA fingerprinting.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

1. Subjects which may be included in the lecture portion of the course:

        a. Historical Background from Mendel to the Genetic Code.
        b. Genetic Systems of Bacteria and their Viruses.
        c. Structure and Replication of DNA.
        d. Recombination, Mutations, and Repair of DNA.
        e. Transfer of Information from DNA to RNA to Protein.
        f. Regulation of Gene Function in Bacterial Cells.
        g. Eukaryotic Gene Regulation.
        h. Recombinant DNA Technology.
        i. Molecular Biology of Cancer.
        j. Applying DNA Science to Human Genetics.
        k. Applying DNA Science to Agriculture, Medicine, and Industry.

2. Subjects which may be included in the laboratory:

        a. Measurements, Micropipetting, and Sterile Techniques.

                1. Isolation of Individual Colonies
                2. Overnight Suspension Culture
                3. Mid-log Suspension Culture

        b. DNA Restriction Analysis
        c. Effects of DNA Methylation on Restriction
        d. Rapid Colony Transformation of E. coli with Plasmid DAN
        e. Purification and Identification of Plasmid DNA

                1. Plasmid Minipreparation of pAMP
                2. Restriction Analysis of Purified pAMP

        f. Recombination of Antibiotic Resistance Genes

                1. Restriction Digest of Plasmids pAMP and pKAN
                2. Ligation of pAMP and pKAN Restriction Fragments

        g. Transformation of E. coli with Recombinant DNA

                1. Classic Procedure for Preparing Competent Cells
                2. Restriction Analysis of Purified Recombinant DNA

        h. Replica Plating to Identify Mixed E. coli Populations
        i. Purification and Identification of Recombinant DNA

                1. Plasmid Minipreparation of pAMP/KAN Recombinant
                2. Restriction Analysis of Purified Recombinant DNA

        j. Southern Hybridization
        k. Construction and Analysis of Genomic Library
        l. Cloning with Polymerase Chain Reaction
        m. Human DNA Fingerprinting by Polymerase Chain Reaction
        n. Restriction Mapping of Linear and Circular DNA Molecules

                1. Lambda DNA
                2. Plasmid DNA


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Biology 450 is taught as a lecture/discussion with frequent writing-to-learn assignments. Because the field is expanding so rapidly, students will be required to read original papers on current topics. Computer-assisted instruction is an integral feature of the course. The laboratory exercises are designed to impart the most recent advances in DNA technology. Problem solving and creativity in designing experiments will be emphasized as much as excellence in technique.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Having successfully completed this course the student will be able to:

1. Demonstrate the skills and techniques expected of a professional molecular biologist: perform restriction analysis, transformation, and replica plating experiments; purify and identify plasmid and recombinant DNA; perform a Southern hybridization; construct a genomic library; clone with the polymerase chain reaction; perform DNA fingerprinting and restriction mapping of DNA molecules.
2. Know the history of recombinant DNA technology, understand the basic tools of DNA research, and apply this knowledge to the study of cancer, human genetics, agriculture, medicine, and industry.
3. Solve the kinds of problems molecular biologist encounter and be creative in designing experiments in the field.


Assessment Measures

1. Examination. Students in Biology 450 will take three one hour examinations and comprehensive final exam.
2. Writing-to-learn. Student's will be expected to participate in informal writing experiences and will receive credit for doing so.
3. Laboratory results. Students will be assessed on the quality of their laboratory results, e.g., gel separation of DNA
4. Laboratory practical and written examinations


Other Course Information

1. The Biology Computer Center will be available for use by students taking Molecular Biology.
2. Outside readings will be assigned.


Review and Approval

September 2001 Dr. Charles M. Neal, Chair

Revised    2/6/09    Gary Coté

July, 2010

Revised: March 6, 2012