Course code BIO210

BIO210 Molecular Biology

Norsk emneinformasjon

Search for other courses here

Showing course contents for the educational year 2020 - 2021 .

Course responsible: Bao Dung Diep
Teachers: Thomas Førland Oftedal, Sofie Sagvaag Kristensen, Gro Anita Hvidsten Stamsås
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science
Teaching language: NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Autumn parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Autumn parallel.
Course frequency: Annually.
First time: Study year 2004-2005
Course contents:
  • DNA's structure and organisation in the cell.
  • DNA replication, recombination and repair.
  • Transcription and protein synthesis.
  • Transposons and bacteriophages.
  • Structures of operons, promoters, activators, repressors.
  • RNA splicing.
  • DNA binding motives in proteins.
  • Functional, small RNA molecules.
Learning outcome:

Knowledge: The course will give students a theoretical knowledge on DNA synthesis (replication, recombination and repair), RNA synthesis, protein synthesis and gene regulation, at a molecular level. Students will get a basic understanding on the interactions between DNA and proteins in connection with DNA and RNA synthesis, DNA packaging and gene regulation. Both bacterial and eukaryotic systems will be used, but with special focus on the former. We will focus on following model systems for gene regulation:

  • The lactose operon
  • Regulation of the tryptophan operon
  • The lambda bacteriophage
  • Catabolic repression


Students will have a detailed knowledge of all the important steps and proteins/enzymes involved in central biosyntheses, the interplay between the enzymes, the connections between the different biosyntheses. Students will also be able to understand how genes are expressed and regulated, and how cells/bacteria respond to changes in the environments, e.g., during energy limitations or DNA damages.

Acquired skills can later contribute in the development of various molecular tools to solve important problems in the society or in the environment. E.g., to

  • improve health by producing vitamines and better and healthier food,
  • secure life quality on land and in waters by removing toxic pollutants through enzymatic processes,
  • produce more food using genetic technologies, and
  • develop new medicines for human and veterinary use.

These opportunities and challenges are central in many UN sustainable development goals. 

General competence

The students shall after the course (i) have increased understanding on how central biosyntheses take place at a molecular level in cells, and (ii) can communicate and participate in discussions on topics related to biosynthesis, the buildup of macromolecules, gene regulation, DNA repair.

Learning activities:
Lectures and colloquia.
Teaching support:

The teacher has designated office hours for consultation.



Molecular Biology of the Gene 7th Edition by D. Watson  (Author), A. Baker&text=Tania A. Baker&sort=relevancerank&search-alias=digital-textTania A. Baker (Author), P. Bell  (Author), Gann  (Author), Levine&text=Michael Levine&sort=relevancerank&search-alias=digital-textMichael Levine (Author), Losick&text=Richard Losick&sort=relevancerank&search-alias=digital-textRichard Losick (Author)


Genetic information-build-up

Chapter 2: Genetic information.

Chapter 4: DNA.

Chapter 5: RNA.

Chapter 8: Genome structure, chromatin and the nucleosome.

Chapter 9: DNA replication.

DNA damages and repair mechanisms, mutations

Chapter 10: Mutability and repair of DNA.

Chapter 11: Homologous recombination.

Chapter 12: Site-specific recombination and transposition.

RNA synthesis

Chapter  13; Transcription.

Chapter 14: RNA splicing.

Protein synthesis

Chapter 15: Translation.

Chapter 16: Genetic code.

Gene regulation

Chapter 18: Gene regulation in prokaryotes. 

Chapter 19: Transcriptional regulation in eukaryotes.

Chapter 20: Regulatory RNAs.


Chapter 7: Techniques of Molecular Biology.

Biochemistry equivalent to KJB200.Genetics equivalent to BIO120.

Recommended prerequisites:
  • Cell Biology equivalent to BIO100.
  • Microbiology equivalent to BIO130.
Mandatory activity:
The lectures and colloquia are not compulsory but students are highly recommended to participate.

45 min mid term test (multiple choice): counts 20 %.

3.5 hour written final exam, counts 80 %.

Nominal workload:
  • Lectures: 46-48 hours.
  • Mid Term Test: 45 minutes
  • Colloquia: 20-24 hours.
  • Individual study: 230 hours.
Entrance requirements:
Special requirements in Science.
Type of course:

First three weeks: 3 x  2h-lectures per week. 

After that: 2 x 2h-lectures  and 1 x 2h-colloquium per week. 

Students must pass the exam in this course (or equivalent) to get admission to the course "BIO211 Laboratory course in molecular biology".

Mid term test: An external examiner approves the examination tasks, but is not involved in grading the test papers.

Final exam: An external examiner approves the examination tasks and grades a minimum of 25 selected exam papers.

Examination details: :