Course Title:  BIO170: Biotechnology Methods

Course Description

Provides students with laboratory skills needed for employment in the biotechnology industry. Focuses on widely used biotechnology procedures in areas of DNA analysis, protein analysis, tissue culture, monoclonal antibodies, quality control assays, and diagnostic procedures. Lab: 6 hours. 2 credits.

General Course Purpose

The purpose of this course is to provide the student with lab skills in order to prepare them to pursue entry-level, technical-level, or professional-level careers in bioscience and biotechnology.  The laboratory portion of this course will focus on providing student with a set of basic biotech labs skills such as documentation, quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) and good laboratory practices (GLPs). Students will also learn concepts of experimental design and analysis, cell culture, biomanufacturing, immunology, protein analysis, DNA techniques (i.e. genetic engineering, polymerase chain reaction, DNA sequencing, and forensic analyses), and bioinformatics. This course is also designed to serve as the prerequisite to other biotechnology courses in DNA analysis (BIO 251) and protein analysis (BIO 252).

Course Prerequisites/Corequisites
Students are expected to have completed BIO101 or BIO173. BIO253: Concepts in Biotechnology must either be taken previously or concurrent with enrollment in this course.

Course Objectives

Upon completing the course, the student will be able to:

  1. Maintain proper documentation of lab protocols and experiments via the use of laboratory notebooks and standard operating procedures (SOPs).
  2. Use material data safety sheets to understand chemical compounds including their proper storage, handling, and risks.
  3. Detail the process by which experiments are performed in biotechnology, including the application of the scientific method, experimental design, and data analysis.
  4. Utilize aseptic techniques when isolating and maintaining cell cultures.
  5. Make microbiological media
  6. Effectively use a light microscope
  7. Make solutions of varying concentrations and perform serial and stock dilutions
  8. Extract DNA and proteins from cells, followed by analysis by gel electrophoresis
  9. Describe the process by which potential biotechnology products are investigated
  10. Use a spectrophotometer to perform concentrations assays
  11. Determine the pH of different solutions
  12. Grow batch cultures of microorganisms
  13. Use dialysis and column chromatography to concentrate and isolate proteins of interest
  14. Grow and maintain plant cultures used for biotechnology applications
  15. Perform many DNA techniques including restriction digests, transformations, DNA synthesis, and polymerase chain reaction.
  16. Perform basic immunology assays such as the Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay (ELISA)
  17. Obtain information on DNA and protein structure and function using web-based bioinformatics resources.

Major Topics to be Included

  1. Documentation
  2. Lab safety
  3. Experimental design and analysis
  4. Aseptic technique and cell culture
  5. Solution preparation and dilution, including media preparation
  6. DNA extraction and analysis through gel electrophoresis
  7. Protein isolation and analysis
  8. Assay development and spectroscopy
  9. Recombinant protein production (i.e. genetic engineering and cloning)
  10. Protein product purification and analysis
  11. Plant breeding and cloning
  12. Obtaining molecules of pharmaceutical interest
  13. An introduction to advanced DNA methods (i.e. PCR, DNA sequencing, DNA typing, Southern blots)
  14. An introduction to advanced protein studies (ELISA and western blots)
  15. Bioinformatics