Course Title: Perform molecular biology tests and procedures

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2013

Course Code: ONPS5665C

Course Title: Perform molecular biology tests and procedures

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5282 - Diploma of Laboratory Technology (Biotechnology)

Course Contact: Amberlee Mitton

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 8053

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 150

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

MSL974006A Perform biological procedures

MSL973007A Perform microscopic examination

MSL973004A Perform aseptic techniques

Course Description

This unit of competency covers the ability to isolate, purify, verify and manipulate biomolecules and their products. This work requires close attention to working with small volumes, multiple-step procedures and prevention of contamination. Personnel are required to apply a wide range of molecular biology tests and procedures.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

MSL975014A Perform molecular biology tests and procedures


1. Interpret and schedule test requirements

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Review test request to identify samples to be tested, test method and equipment/instruments involved
1.2. Identify hazards and enterprise control measures associated with the sample, preparation methods, reagents and/or equipment


2. Receive and handle samples

Performance Criteria:

2.1. Log and label samples according to enterprise procedures
2.2. Record sample description, compare with specification and note and report discrepancies
2.3. Store samples in accordance with enterprise and test method requirements
2.4. Maintain chain of custody, traceable to the worker, for all samples


3. Prepare equipment and reagents

Performance Criteria:

3.1. Set up equipment/instrumentation in accordance with test method requirements and perform pre-use and safety checks
3.2. Select and collect reagents in accordance with test method requirements
3.3. Prepare and label reagents in accordance with test method requirements


4. Extract, verify and manipulate biomolecules

Performance Criteria:

4.1. Produce/extract biomolecules from samples using appropriate isolation methods
4.2. Prevent contamination of samples by unwanted biomolecules
4.3. Recognise the presence of common inhibitors of biomolecular reactions and take corrective action
4.4. Quantify and qualify biomolecular yields from purified extractions
4.5. Use appropriate techniques to prepare and test a range of biomolecular samples
4.6. Use controls and reference standards to confirm the integrity of biomolecular sample preparation and procedures


5. Process data

Performance Criteria:

5.1. Record test data noting atypical observations
5.2. Ensure results are consistent with reference standards and expectations
5.3. Record and report results in accordance with test methods
5.4. Interpret trends in data and/or results and report out of specification or atypical results promptly to appropriate personnel
5.5. Troubleshoot basic procedure, reagent or equipment problems which have led to atypical data or results


6. Maintain a safe work environment

Performance Criteria:

6.1. Use established safe work practices and personal protective equipment to ensure personal safety and that of other laboratory personnel
6.2. Minimise the generation of wastes
6.3. Ensure the safe disposal of wastes, including hazardous wastes and tested samples
6.4. Clean, care for and store equipment and reagents


7. Report and communicate results

Performance Criteria:

7.1. Record approved data into enterprise system
7.2. Keep accurate, traceable work records to protect the enterprise's intellectual property rights
7.3. Maintain confidentiality and security of enterprise information and laboratory data
7.4. Maintain equipment logs in accordance with enterprise procedures

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

Practical exercises, lectures, discussions, class activities, research assignments, group work and peer teaching

Teaching Schedule

WeekPrac (Monday)Theory (Thursday)
1No class
DNA revision- online quiz
Revision of cell structure
DNA structure
The Cell cycle,
Cell division
2Kiwifruit extractionGenetics of cancer

Wheat germ extraction                                               

DNA replication, PCR intro
4Alu PCR pracPCR applications, forensics
5 Labour Daytranscription
6VNTR PCR pracDNA translation
7Gel for VNTR PCRMutations
 Easter break 
8Mid Sem Exams 
Lac operon
 10RT PCR data analysis

 Anzac Day


Transformation transduction
Intro to Rec DNA

12Blue/White Cloning of a DNA Fragment and Assay of ß-galactosidase
Viruses, protoplasts, biolostics
Restriction enzymes
13Miniprep pUC8Host cells, vectors- plasmids
14 Digestion of extracted plasmid, gel Vectors cont-phage & cosmids YAC, BAC, phagemids replica plating
15 Ti plasmid


17additional assessment


  Semester 2 
1No classMeiosis
2Genetic BarleyChromosomes & sex determination
Chromosomal abnormalities
3Genetic Barley
Prac Human Genetics
X inactivation
Mendelian genetics 1
Mono hybrid cross
4Prac 2 Complete results
Prac 3 Barr bodies
Dihybrid crosses
Test cross
5Genetics of D.melanogasterCo dominance & incomplete dominance
Sex linked inheritance
Human genetics
6’Mendelian genetics 2 including statistics & probability (Chi Square)Pedigrees,
7Case studiesrevision
9Intro to Mitochondrial DNA
Mitochondrial DNA activity in computer lab
Linked genes
Crossing over
10Population genetics.
Hardy-Weinberg Principle
Applications of the Hardy- Weinberg
Transposable elements
 mid semester break 
11Genetically modified organismsInformation analysis about GMO’s
 student holiday 
12GMO PCRDNA libraries
Screening techniques
Human Genome project
Micro arrays, Bioinformatics
14Internet activity: Computer assisted Sequence analysisApplications of biotech


This teaching schedule is a guide only and may change at times during the year

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

11th Hour Introduction to Molecular Biology, Raineri, Deanna Available on EBL : Ebook Library

Torora, Funke & Case, MicrobIology An Introduction 10th Edition. Pearson Benjamin Cummings


Cumming R. 2010, Human Heredity: Principles & Issues 7thed. Thomson, California USA
Barnum, S.R., 2005, Biotechnology An introduction 2nd ed. Thomson, California USA

Tortora, Funke & Case Microbiology: An Introduction

Other Resources

Suggested Genetics/ Molecular biology Websites:
• Cold Spring Harbor Dolan DNA Learning Centre
• Biotechnology Online
• Howard Hughes Medical Institute Biointeractive


Overview of Assessment

Asessment may include the following:

Written Tests

Practical reports



Assessment Tasks

To pass this course you must pass all summative assessment tasks

Formative assessment:
• Online Quizzes
• Problem sheets/work sheets.
• Feedback and self-assessment in laboratory

Summative assessment:
• 2 Theory exams per semester: 50%
• 2 Prac reports per semester: 30%
• 1 Research assignment and/or presentation: 20%
Maintenance of laboratory logbook- competent or not yet competent

Assessment Matrix

Other Information

Students must obtain an overall exam score of 50% to pass this course. They must also have an overall score of 50% for the combined reports & assignment to pass this course.

Students must attend 80% of practical classes to pass. If you are absent from a session nominated for a formal practical report it is your responsibility to negotiate a replacement report with the teacher. A medical certificate or other acceptable documentation is required to be eligible to write up a different experiment.

Students are required to submit work on the due date at the School Office using the cover sheets provided. The work will be accepted through the School Office and you will receive a receipt which you should keep as proof of submission. Students must NOT submit work directly to the teacher

Extension of time for submission of assessable work:
A student may apply for an extension of up to 7 days from the original due date.
They must lodge the application form (available on the web) at least the day before the due date.
The application is lodged with the School Admin Office on Level 6, Bdg 51.
Late work that is submitted without an application for an extension will not be corrected, and therefore will receive a zero grade.
Students requiring longer extensions must apply for Special Consideration (form available on the Web)

For missed assessments such as exams- you (& your doctor if you are sick) must fill out a special consideration form. This form must be lodged at the HUB or online with supporting evidence (eg medical certificate), prior to, or within, 48 hours of the scheduled time of examination

Plagiarism is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person as though it is your own. It is a form of cheating and is a very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University. Plagiarised material can be drawn from, and presented in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data and oral presentation. Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited.
It also occurs through enabling plagiarism, which is the act of assisting or allowing another person to plagiarise or to copy your own work. Please make sure you consider this carefully in completing all your work and assessments in this course and if you are unsure about whether you might have plagiarised, seek help from your teacher.


Course Overview: Access Course Overview