GEN5010 - Advanced genetics and biotechnology - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

School of Biological Sciences

Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Sureshkumar Balasubramanian


Associate Professor Sureshkumar Balasubramanian

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2018 (On-campus)


This unit will explore the latest approaches and techniques for the genetic manipulation of organisms and their applications in contemporary biotechnology. Students will gain hands on experience in advanced molecular genetic techniques used to study and manipulate gene function and for generating a range of different transgenic organisms, including microbes, plants and animals. The application of these techniques in biotechnology will be demonstrated using a range of examples such as: bioremediation, bioprospecting, crop modification, disease modelling, gene drives, phage therapy, nanotechnology and assisted reproduction. Students will also gain appreciation of relevant ethical and regulatory considerations and of impacts of genetic biotechnology on society.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate and apply knowledge of contemporary areas of molecular genetics and biotechnology, and the challenges faced;
  2. Illustrate and explain how transgenic organisms are produced via genome manipulation across a range of species;
  3. Source, synthesise and critically analyse literature to form the basis of a project;
  4. Independently design and implement experimental approaches to solve a research problem in genetics and biotechnology;
  5. Demonstrate proficiency in molecular genetics laboratory techniques, in problem-solving and experimental design, and in data collection, analysis, interpretation and presentation;

  6. Convey to a non-specialist audience the relevance and value of genetics and biotechnology to human society.


Project proposal (3,000 words): (30%)

Journal club presentation: (10%)

Practical reports: (30%)

End of semester written exam (2 hour open book): (30%) (Hurdle)

Workload requirements

  • 5 contact hours (2 hours lectures/seminars and 3 hours practical/ workshop
  • 7 hours of private study (assignments/projects and designated pre-class and post-class online learning activities to prepare for classes and consolidate knowledge)

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study