Course code BIO325

BIO325 CRISPR genome editing

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2021 - 2022 .

Course responsible: Guro Katrine Sandvik
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Faculty of Biosciences
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Because we have limited capacity in the laboratory, this course will maximum take 20 students. 
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2020-2021
Preferential right:
Priority is given to students admitted to the Master program Genome Science (M-GS) because this is an obligatory course for them. Students admitted to the Master program Plant Sciences (specialization Biotechnology) are also given priority. 
Course contents:
This course will give a thorough introduction to CRISPR technology through lectures, group teaching and hands-on lab experience. This course will give a solid background of CRISPR and the molecular mechanisms underlying this technique. Furthermore, the course will give an introduction to what CRISPR can be used for, delivery techniques, newer CRISPR methodology such as activation and repression of transcription, mRNA interference, base editing, prime editing and knock-in. Also new Cas variants will be discussed, and CRISPR methods for labeling DNA, RNA, enrichment for sequencing etc. The course will also discuss methods for evaluating off-target effects and will also cover challenges and opportunities for CRISPR in different models, such as fish, mammals and plants, whole organisms and cell cultures. The ethics around CRISPR technology and the laws in different countries will also be a subject in this course. In the lab course the students will get practical hands-on experience with CRISPR. They will learn to design gRNA targeting different genes, Golden Gate cloning,  and they will make knock-out cells and knock-out fish embryos (e.g. medaka, zebrafish, salmon) and plants (e.g. Arabidopsis). Finally, they will analyze the effect of the CRISPR treatment with various molecular biology techniques. In addition to learning CRISPR, the students will also use many common molecular biology techniques, such as pcr, gel analysis, miniprep and DNA extraction. In addition, they will get experience in advanced techniques such as microinjection of fish embryos, cell culturing and transfection, and sequencing. Please note that this course is under development and not everything listed is guaranteed to be taught.
Learning outcome:

Knowledge: The students will have knowledge about gene editing theory, mechannisms and history. They will also have overview of new gene editing techniques and the potential these techniques have for science, agri- and aquaculture. Moreover, they will have knowledge about regulation of CRISPR in Norway and in other countries, and which type of discussions that are going on around the use of this technique. 

Skills: The students will be able to plan their own CRISPR experiment after completion of this course. They will be able to assess different methods and what kind of adjustments these needs to make them work in different organisms. The students will also be able to do CRISPR experiments with plants, fish and cells and assess the success of the gene editing. They will also be able to discuss the ethics around genome editing. 

General competence: The students will be able to critically assess which way to use a genome editing technique to find knowledge about different genes in different species. Through theoretical training and discussions and reflections about ethical perspectives in the course, they will be able to contribute to a healthy debate in the society around this subject. 

Learning activities:

The course includes several learning methods. These include lectures, groupwork, lab work and colloquium teaching.

Assignments will be given to make the students reflect on central topics. One assignment is to plan a CRISPR experiment, design and evaluate gRNA for a gene the student is interested in, or a given gene The student will present their gene and the plan for CRISPR experiments and potential output. One other assignment is to write a text with in depth study of a new CRISPR technique or a special aspect of CRISPR.

Teaching support:
Group teaching, colloquiums, and lab teaching with lecturers and PhD students with CRISPR expertise. Lecturers and colloquium teachers are available during office hours for additional questions. Canvas
Can be found at the BIO325-Canvas pages.
BIO200, BIO120 
Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:
Lab exercises. Participation in at least 80% of the colloquium group hours is required.
Lab reports must be approved, assignments and presentation will be graded: written assignment 50% and presentation with report 50%. 
Nominal workload:
250 hours.
Entrance requirements:
Special requirements in Science
Reduction of credits:
Type of course:
An external examiner will contribute to evaluation of the course set-up and grading of one of the assignments.
Examination details: Portfolio: Passed / Not Passed