Course code BIO332

BIO332 Experimental Molecular Microbiology

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Showing course contents for the educational year starting in 2014 .

Course responsible: Åsa Helena Frostegård
Teachers: Siri Merete Grønhovd, Gro Anita Stamsås, Ekaterina Avershina, Else Marie Aasen, Rannei Tjåland, Leiv Sigve Håvarstein, Knut Rudi
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Department of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science
Teaching language: EN, NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
The maximum number of students is 24. The course requires a minimum of 5 students. All students have to pass a small test on laboratory safety to participate in the course. The test will be given in December.
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in January block. This course has teaching/evaluation in January block + teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel, .
Course frequency: Annually
First time: 2009V
Preferential right:
The course is compulsory for students who are admitted to the master´s programme in microbiology.
Priority is also given to PhD students affiliated with the research school in Molecular microbiology.
Course contents:

This is an intensive laboratory course over three weeks in January. A few lectures will be given in the January block, others will be given during the spring term.
A total of 18 lectures will be given. In addition, a number of scientific primary articles relevant for the experimental work will be discussed in seminars during the first part of the spring semester. The students write a report from the laboratory exercises, in which relevant scientific literature is referred.
The laboratory exercises cover methods used for:

  • measurement of gene expression and biological diversity in various ecosystems
  • characterisation and identification of bacteria
  • horizontal gene transfer
  • genetic regulation
  • genome sequencing
  • interpretation of results and discussions on the various methods

Students write an individual, final report.

Learning outcome:
The students will become familiar with techniques used in microbiological research, with emphasis on molecular methods. Students will become aware of the contexts in which the different methods are used, and the strong and weak points of the various methods will be discussed. In addition, they will learn how to interpret and evaluate biological data, and gain experience in reading and using scientific primary literature. The students will learn and obtain experience with how to prepare and deliver effective oral and written presentations of technical information and scientific results. They will learn to think critically and solve complex and multidisciplinary problems, as well as learn to accurately interpret current research literature.
Learning activities:

Laboratory exercises.

The seminars are based on articles describing relevant scientific findings or methods will be given by the teachers and the students themselves. The students actively participate in discussions during these seminars. The main focus of the course is on learning methods used to elucidate modern microbiological questions. Special lectures are given in connection with the laboratory exercises.

Teaching support:
The teachers are present during the entire course period and can also be reached via e-mail.
Selected scientific articles will be discussed during the seminar series. Scientific articles are used in an extensive report from the laboratory exercises.
Biochemistry equivalent to KJB200. General microbiology equivalent to BIO230. Molecular biology equivalent to BIO210.
Recommended prerequisites:
The laboratory courses BIO233 and BIO211 (or equivalent).
Mandatory activity:
Lectures, seminars and laboratory exercises.

The lab. report will be evaluated internally. The students write an extensive report from the laboratory exercises which should include introduction, materials and methods, results and discussion, plus references to relevant scientific articles. Each student hands in an independent assignment that will be evaluated by an external examiner.

In addition, there will be an oral exam where the student is asked questions concerning the written report and a curriculum consisting of a set of scientific articles on related topics. An external examiner will participate at the oral exam.

Grades A-F will be given for both the written report and the oral exam (contributing 50% each to the final grade), and both parts have to be approved.

Nominal workload:
Laboratory work: 120 hrs.
Seminars/lectures: 18 hrs.
Self study and writing of laboratory repport: 162 hrs.
Entrance requirements:
Special requirements in Science
Reduction of credits:
Type of course:

January block: three weeks (120 hrs) laboratory course, with some lectures.

Spring parallel: 2 seminars /lectures per week in the first half of the parallel, will be announced by the course responsible.

Submission of written report: week 9
Oral exam: week 11 or 12.

All students have to pass a small test on laboratory safety to participate in the course. The test will be given in December.

External examiner of the report on experimental work.

External examiner participates in oral examination.

Examination details: Continuous exam: A - E / Ikke bestått