Teaching plan for the course unit



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General information


Course unit name: Advanced Techniques in Genetic Engineering

Course unit code: 568778

Academic year: 2021-2022

Coordinator: Ricard Albalat Rodriguez

Department: Department of Genetics, Microbiology and Statistics

Credits: 2,5

Single program: S



Estimated learning time

Total number of hours 62.5


Face-to-face and/or online activities



-  Lecture





-  Laboratory session




Supervised project


Independent learning




Competences to be gained during study


Basic competences

CB6- Knowledge forming the basis of original thinking in the development or application of ideas, typically in a research context.

CB7- Capacity to apply the acquired knowledge to problem-solving in new or relatively unknown environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to the field of study.

CB8- Capacity to integrate knowledge and tackle the complexity of formulating judgments based on incomplete or limited information, taking due consideration of the social and ethical responsibilities involved in applying knowledge and making judgments.

CB9- Capacity to communicate conclusions, judgments and the grounds on which they have been reached to specialist and non-specialist audiences in a clear and unambiguous manner.

CB10- Skills to enable lifelong self-directed and independent learning.

General competences

CG0- Capacity to structure a reasoned discourse in a logical and rational manner, to discuss any scientific topic in front of diverse audiences.

CG1- Capacity for critical, logical and creative thought. Capacity for analysis and synthesis.

CG2- Capacity for interaction and transfer activities with their environment.

CG3- Capacity to work in groups and to collaborate with other researchers.

CG4- Capacity to read and critically interpret scientific publications related to the subject, mainly in English, and to be able to design, write and defend a research project.

Specific competences

CE6- Capacity to apply knowledge of fundamental aspects of human molecular genetics in order to make a genetic diagnosis.

CE7- Capacity to apply current genetic manipulation techniques to the study of biological and biotechnological processes, and those related to healthcare. Capacity to decide the most appropriate methodology to analyse specific biological problems.





Learning objectives


Referring to knowledge

The aim of the course is to familiarize the student with the current techniques in Genetic Engineering and their use for the study of biological, biotechnological and biomedical issues. We will pay special attention to the available methods and tools for the functional analysis of genes in cell cultures and model organisms. At the end of the course, students should be able to follow and understand the daily progress in this area of research, and to select the most suitable methodology for analyzing a particular biological problem.



Teaching blocks


1. Genetic Engineering in Model Organisms

*  After an introductory session on the different genetic engineering techniques for analyzing gene function by generating transgenic, knockout, knockin or knockdown organisms, several models organisms, including current model animals and new emerging models, will be reviewed, highlighting the advantages and limitations of each system. C. elegans, Drosophila, planarians, ascidians and zebrafish will be among the evaluated models.



2. Genetic Engineering in Cell Cultures

*  Sesions of experimental observations will introduce students to the use of genetically encoded fusion fluorescent proteins and biosensors for the study of molecular dynamics in cell cultures. The classes will include techniques for the incorporation and expression of biosensors in living cells, imaging of cellular processes by using biosensors, and light microscopy techniques for the study of molecular dynamics in living cells (FRAP and FRET). These sesions of experimental observations will be organized in collaboration with the “Unitat de Microscòpia Òptica Avançada; Centres Científics i Tecnològics” of the Universitat de Barcelona (CCiTUB)





Teaching methods and general organization


The contents of the course have been selected with the general aim to provide state-of-the-art knowledge of genetic engineering technology in cell cultures and model organisms. The course is divided into two parts. In the first part, a series of Seminars from different specialists will review the genetic engineering techniques available for selected model organisms. In the second part, based on Experimental Observations, students will learn some genetic engineering technics in cell cultures, and their potential for studying biological processes in living cells.



Official assessment of learning outcomes


In the evaluation process, different aspects of learning will be taken into consideration, from the knowledge acquired by the student, to its attendance and the participation during the classes. A final test will be done according to the instructions, criteria and guidelines announced during the course.