Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e dell'Ambiente - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)


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Seat Scienze
A.A. 2016/2017
Credits 6
Hours 48
Period 2^ semestre
Language ENG
U-gov code SM04 5S119


The course provides a multidisciplinary approach, therefore good background in Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Genetics, Biochemistry and Bioinformatics are suggested.

Development of the course

The course will comprise 6 credits: frontal lectures are planned for a total of 4 credits (32 hours) and practical exercises carried out in groups for a total of 2 credits (16 hours). The exercises will included the in silico design of a cloning experiment (carried out in class) and practical laboratory work . The course material related to the lectures, instructions for exercises and laboratory schedule will be available on Moodle platform in the web site of the Department of Life and Environmental Science dedicated to teaching activity.

Learning outcomes

The course provides students with: 
the theoretical and methodological bases used to produce recombinant DNA in different organisms; (b) know how to draw information from genetic, protein and medical databases for applications design in various biotechnological fields; (c) basic information on the current  safety rules required to use genetically modified organisms.

Ability to apply the knowledge:
Students will gain the ability: 
to perform basic manipulations for cloning, expression, and analysis of genes,  following the safety rules; (b) to consult the databases to design the cloning, expression and modifications of a gene in different organisms, according to special applications in the medical, industrial, food and environmental fields;  (c) to assess the benefits and risks associated with genetically modified organisms produced.

Soft skills
The exercises directed to the  in silico design of a cloning experiment for a particular application  will help the students to develop the ability to analyze and synthesize information from different fields, making judgments on autonomy, solve problems, work in groups and improve their communication skills.


Content (lectures, 4 ECTS, 32 hours + tutorials, 2 credits, 16 hours):
Fundamentals of Molecular Biotechnology
prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms used in molecular biotechnology, restriction enzymes and enzymes necessary for the manipulation of DNA and RNA, sequencing and DNA amplification, site directed mutagenesis for the manipulation of proteins, use of databases and programs for the analysis of DNA sequences.
Prokaryotic systems
Plasmid vectors for cloning and expression, transformation and selection  methods, vectors based on bacteriophages, construction of gene libraries, large-scale production of recombinant proteins.
Eukaryotic systems
Expression vectors, transfection and selection methods used in yeast, insect and mammalian cells, production of recombinant proteins in eukaryotic systems, main vectors used for gene therapy based on DNA or RNA molecules.
Biotechnological applications
Examples: production of therapeutic agents based on recombinant nucleic acids and proteins; synthesis of recombinant proteins useful for industrial processes, transgenic animals.
Gene cloning and expression "in silico".
Cloning a DNA fragment in plasmid vector and analysis of the clones.

Development of the examination

Methods for assessing learning outcomes:
The exam will consist of an interview with at least three questions on different topics and a discussion of the laboratory reports submitted. 
The student submits (online) their lab reports at least one week before the exam session. 

Criteria for assessing learning outcomes:
During the oral examination the three questions will be used to evaluate: 
(a) the theoretical and practical knowledge acquired by the students, (b) the ability to present a topic in a clear and appropriate way and (c)the degree of independent judgment reached at the end of the course. 
In lab reports, student should demonstrates that he/she has achieved the ability to apply the knowledge acquired during the course to design a simple protocol for recombinant protein production and he/she is able to properly evaluate the results obtained.

Criteria for measuring learning outcomes:
The higher grade will be express by 30/30 and if the student’s performance will be excellent, it is expected to be awarded (lode).
For each oral question is provided a score from 0 to 8.
The reports will be evaluated from 1 to 6 points.

Criteria for conferring final mark:
Being an integrated course, the final grade is attributed upon evaluation of the overall results obtained in each single module.  Concerning the Genetic Engineering module, the grade it is given by adding the scores of oral responses and reports evaluation. The higher grade is 30/30 and the student must achieve a minimum score of 18/30 to pass the exam. The grade 30/30 cum laude will be used for student able to discuss properly, critically and with great competence about the different topics from both modules.

Recommended reading

S. Primrose, RD. Twyman, B.Old - Genetic Engineering, Principles and features- Zanichelli, 2004.
B.R. Glick, J.J. Pasternak - Molecular Biotechnology, principles and applications of DNA ricombinante- Zanichelli, 1999.
Some topics will be integrated with technical manuals, articles and reviews suggested by the teacher as PDF format in the course website


  • Biologia molecolare e applicata

Università Politecnica delle Marche
P.zza Roma 22, 60121 Ancona
Tel (+39) 071.220.1, Fax (+39) 071.220.2324
P.I. 00382520427